That’s win number five out of the last seven games for the Cubs.

Jeff Samardzija once again failed to be the master of his pitch count (if that’s a thing), and pitched only five innings. It was a mixed bag, with some dominance and some wildness mixed in. The bottom of the Cubs order gave them the lead late (after getting things started early), and the bullpen made it stick, even if it wasn’t perfectly smooth.

Shawn Camp loaded the bases in the 7th, but James Russell came in and struck out Yonder Alonso, and Cody Ransom made a fantastic barehanded play on an excuse me dribbler from the next batter. Russell stayed in for the 8th, and, after getting the first two batters, he allowed back-to-back hits, putting the tying run in scoring position. Then it was Kevin Gregg’s turn to come in and bail Russell out, which he did. Gregg then finished off the 9th while Carlos Marmol looked on from the bullpen.

And, I mean, Gregg’s pitches looked, like, good while he was doing it.

april 29 box

  • Kygavin

    The extra “G” means extra good

  • Zogie

    Advanced Box Score
    Cubs Win!!!!. Kevin Gregg has looked solid the past few days as closer including tonight’s 4 out save. The bullpen was outstanding with the exception of Camp. Shark had an okay outing but pitch count got to him early and only threw 5 innings. The defense played well with Barney and the new fan favorite Ransom leading the way. On the offensive side, Sori had a 2-hit day and Hairston connected with a solo shot. Castillo even contributed with a couple good ABs. The 2 MVPs for the game would go to both Darwin Barney and Cody Ransom. Both played great defense and had 2 hits with 2 RBIs. They also came through in the clutch to give the cubs the lead. Lastly, Borbon has played well since joining the cubs. He gives them that added speed threat they needed with a decent bat. Sappelt had another rough day and could be headed to Iowa in the next few days. All in all, the cubs played well tonight, and it was a great game to watch. Cubs Win!!!!!

    • CubFan Paul

      No mention here or up top on the Ump squeezing Samardzija. Shark should of been through 5IP with 80 or so pitches.

      Automated Strikezone please.

      • JulioZuleta

        And what happens when there’s a glitch with that automated strikezone…as there is with every piece of electonic equipment. The pitch f/x/plotting strikes thing is a great invention, but it is not always accurate. I guess I just don’t understand when people throw out “robot umpires” but then don’t really have a suggestion on how to implement the system.

        So many things to consider: hearing foul tips, seeing if a ball that was swung at hit the ground, or a pitched ball grazed the jersey of the batter. I suppose you could have a machine AND a person back there, but the umps would get complacent and less sharp when they’re only making a call once every 15-20 pitches.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I think if there was an automated k zone in place, but only used as a secondary device could work. Give the Managers 2-3 challenges per game. I don’t see 2-3 ball/strike challenges slowing down the game. The Ump wouldn’t even have to leave the field. Just give him a place to throw on a head set or a pager would even work.

          • JulioZuleta

            But even so, who makes that call? The machine? Or do people go and look at the machine? I guess I just would need to see a plan for implementation, but I can’t really see it being feasible yet. For the most part, umpires do a great job. Even when they don’t they’re usually consistently bad for both teams, which I’m okay with. I just don’t think the marginal improvement would be worth the awkwardness of having a machine decide the game. Also, wouldn’t you miss some of the epic manager tirades?

            • Cubbie Blues

              It would be the same k-zone you see on the screen. It plots out where it is and someone (maybe the scorer) looks at it and says ball or strike. Then he pages the ump to say if the call was correct or not. I don’t see the big deal with that one.

              Yes, I would actually miss some of the tirades, but they wouldn’t be totally gone. You still have safe/out calls on the basepaths. I think I would rather have the right call than to be entertained by Managers kicking dirt on the Ump.

              • JulioZuleta

                But you still have an element of human error there. Each scorer could still theoretically have slightly different strike zones. Does the whole ball have to be in the zone? Just touch the zone? Also, there will inevitably be the problem of whether or not the ball plotted in exactly the right place. The plotting system that’s available now is not perfect by any means; there would need to be some real improvement before this became a viable option I think. Again, I think it’s good in theory, I just don’t think the benefit outweighs the burden.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I don’t think the human factor would weigh in much. If any portion of the ball is touching the strike zone it’s a strike. There would be rare instances where that would come into question. If we are talking a +/- 1mm I don’t think anyone would have a problem with the call going either way. As far as the accuracy of the given automated plotting devise, it should be more consistent than the human ump. The big detraction that I can see is the high strike that is an actual strike, but the umps never calls. In replay those would always be strikes and could be taken advantage of by heady pitchers/managers in a critical situation.

        • CubFan Paul

          ‘I just don’t understand when people throw out “robot umpires” but then don’t really have a suggestion on how to implement the system’

          I have a suggestion/solution. Try asking first before lumping me in with “people” ..please.

          • JulioZuleta

            I wasn’t lumping you in…but I know you chose to see it that way thorugh Victim Paul glasses. I was saying when guys like Keith Law and the like say they want robot umps but then don’t expand upon the idea. People have been saying it forever, and I genuinely don’t know what they are suggesting…thank you.

            • CubFan Paul

              If you weren’t lumping me in you did a bad job of doing so, especially since you didn’t first mention Keith law and the like (nor did i). A simple question on what I meant by automated strikezone would of sparked an intelligent conversation on idiot umps and technology.

              • TWC

                You know, Paul, it sure seems like Julio and CubbieBlues were having quite an intelligent conversation about this until you made it an argument about you.

                • CubFan Paul

                  You know tdub, I don’t care. But thanks for butting in. Have a nice day.

                  • TWC

                    You too, Paul! Cheers.

      • Brett

        It was a very inconsistent zone, for sure.

  • chrisfchi

    sorry but gotta call ya out on this one brett. If i had to choose the “breakout” player, im going with Barney over Hairston tonight. either way good game for our cubbies

  • Werner

    That Gregg is our closer really messes with my head. It’s like some wicked Cub brain freeze. It feels good and yet it hurts.

    • N8theGr8

      I know exactly how you feel.

  • Myles

    Good teams beat bad teams and go .500 against other good teams. If you win 50% of the games against >.500 opponents and 60% of the time against <.500 opponents, you'll win 89ish games.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The real breakdown is good teams, average teams, and bad teams, but it does work similar to what you say: good teams play 0.500 ball against other good teams (+/- sampling error), .550 against average team, and more like 0.650 against the bad teams. (Remember, the bad teams do better against average teams, and there always are a lot of those.)

    • Rcleven

      Be real happy to see this team at .500 by season end. Cubs pitching is set up a lot better this year to endure the fire sale coming.

      • ETS

        LOL till the trade deadline!

      • Indy57

        Looking at May’s schedule, it is not out of the question to win 15 to 17 games….just looking at the competition. That would put them near or at .500. Good pitching good defense and just enough wins against the teams we play in May and you never know.

  • Cyranojoe

    Kinda surprised Cody Ransom didn’t get the love tonight.

    • Brett

      He was all set to, but then he struck out with two on in the 8th, and Gregg dominated the 9th. He got a mention, at least.

      • Kubphan82

        Gregg!!!! Is he our new flip candidate???? What can we get for him? How soon can we sell? Lol, I joke. It’s good to see the pen (1.15 era last 12 games) get it together…

    • Spriggs

      Two huge hits and a great play in the field for Ransom! He stuck it to his old team last night. All that from a guy who really, flat out blows too!

  • Levo

    Gregg’s delivery looks a lot better than it used to. It didn’t look like he put much back movement into his pitches before. There seems to be reach back and illusion to hide his pitches. But then again…….it is the Padres and the Marlins………..

  • Rcleven

    With all the trade talk about Barney he sure seems to be the spark plug to get this team on its winning ways.

  • ETS

    I wonder if they are regretting not intentionally walking barney to get the pitcher spot in the 8th which would have force Dale’s hand.

    • Mr. Brent Kennedy

      I agree ETS. Black should of took the risk that Sveum pulls Gregg for a pinch hitter. DeJesus was on the bench but he potentially had Thatcher, a lefty available. Then have Marmol against his best hitters in the ninth.

      • Good Captain

        SD would probably take a mulligan on that one if one were available.

  • Anonnifan

    The Cubs played a really good baseball game today. It was nice to see. Sometimes it seems like this team is just short of clicking. Is that merely a temporary illusion?

  • willis

    Win baby. Love it. The pitchers bailed out each other a little and there was some timely hitting. I’m down with that.

    Shark saying his hand is still not 100% after his cut in Cincy, probably a reason for his control tonight. But he kept the team in it and that’s what you want from a starter. Better days ahead for him.

  • JulioZuleta

    Kevin Gregg looked nasty. Cody Ransom was the MVP. Gotta give some credit where credit is due. Both look like decent moves so far, considering we didn’t give up anything for either. I know Ransom’s start is a little flukey, but Gregg legitimately looks like a major league closer right now

    • willis

      He really does…much different than we remember him. But, as long as he is going right I’m not going to complain. I hate to say it, but the pen seems to be figuring things out. Other than Loe there have been some very good outings lately.

    • JoeyCollins

      “Kevin Gregg looked nasty. Cody Ransom was the MVP.” If i told you a week ago you would start a comment with those two thoughts would you have believed me? Crazy year already, always happy for a win, lets see how long some of these guys can keep this up.

      • Jimmy James

        Scrap heap to the rescue lol…..brings a new flavor to the term scrappy player

        • jt

          glad somebody said it… lol

  • another JP

    Playing all these close games just might be a blessing in disguise- now we’re winning them with clutch defense and relief pitching where they were losses a week ago. But I’ve seen enough of Sappelt and Loe, bring in QG and Sweeney.

  • 7eleven

    I’m loving the extra base hits. That’s six if my remedial math holds up. And would it be a disadvantage if we find out those are indeed GOOGLES?

  • Rcleven

    Can we now put to rest the lefty righty platoon. When the players execute it works.
    All production tonight (except Barney) came from the platoon.
    Got to give this one to Dale.

  • mudge

    Yes. Really in-the-moment managing of the bullpen. Nice to see Sori waking up too.

  • Rizzo44

    Gotta admit. This winning thing is feeling really good lol. Cubs Win!

  • Melrosepad

    I’m surprised that I haven’t seen a comment about game 20 and the first walk for Castillo, but I also haven’t been digging through all the comments on other posts. Nothing like 1 BB/ 22 K.

    • Kenster

      ya I seen one person bring it up. I’m surprised because if im correct I thought Castillo walked a fair amount last year a lot more than he’s been doing now

  • lou brock

    In post game interview Sveum stated Gregg would not have been pitch hit for in the bottom of eight if Barney had been intentionally walked. He said they were short in the pen tonight because of recent heavy usage.
    Has anyone been following the lights out numbers (22 HR’s) the college third baseman from San Diego has been putting up. Kris Bryant is making me rethink the Appel/Gray pitching duo who have been touted for the first 2 picks in this year’s draft. Bryant would definitely fill a position of need both in the field & in the everyday lineup. The gamble we would take with the pitchers & the long term health of their arms versus the likelihood of getting a high OBP, big time power hitting third baseman who could be our cleanup hitter for the next decade is one our FO boys will have to figure out soon. I’m starting to lean toward the proven college everyday player Bryant with our first pick & then load up on pitchers & catchers the rest of the draft.

    • JulioZuleta

      Bryant is very unlikely to stick at 3B. He is a clear step down from the two pitchers, but he may very well be the third player chosen. As it stands now, I’d be pretty upset if they drafted anyone other than Appel or Gray. Also, you never draft a need in baseball. By the time he was called up in a year and a half or so, you never know if it will still be a need.

      • BluBlud

        I love Kris Bryant. I don’t care what position he plays, the guy can flat out rake. I would prefer to have Gray, but after that, I would take Kris Bryant. Before Gray came along, Bryant was my first choice. I don’t know if he’ll stick at third or not, but if he doesn’t, they say he’ll be a corner OF. His bat will play rather nicely in either corner spot. If Baez works out and moves to third and Alomora(or Andreoli) and Soler also work out with the addiction of Bryant, we would have a lineup where Castro and Castillo may be forced to be our #6 and 7 hitters in the future. I think thier bats would play rather nicely in the 6 or 7 hole at SS and catcher. An Outfield of Bryant, Almora(Andreoli) and Soler left to right sound pretty intriguing. At top potential, and it obviosly based off only potential, a middle of the order with Rizzo, Baez, Soler and Bryant could be devastating.

        • BluBlud

          Obviously if Gray is available, you take him first though.

          • ssckelley

            The Rockies would be thrilled if the Cubs passed on either Gray or Appel to take Bryant.

  • Levo

    Now, given our bullpen started the year off terrible……..would the cubs have the bullpen didn’t blow as many games? They played several games well enough to win this year. 8th and 9th inning killers.

  • mudge

    Brett, I could see a book of EBS’s, mixed in with some articles. They’re artful. It’d be a nice way to remember a season. When and if, you know, there’s one we’d like to remember.

    • Brett

      Sounds good to me – a winning season’s worth of EBS. That just means I have to come up with another 480 or so …

  • mick6x

    This must happen

  • Die hard

    Castro on pace for 30 errors and now not hitting.. maybe he needs to ask for a day off cause Sveum won’t give it otherwise