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wrigley field from right bleachersI’m headed back to the right field bleachers today, which will hopefully be a better experience – on a variety of levels – than yesterday’s disappointing/freezing game. Also, I hope that I won’t nearly be pooped on by a seagull today.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (16-14) at Chicago Cubs (11-18), 12:05 CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Game Tickets

If you’re looking for Chicago Cubs tickets for today’s game (or any future games), you can use that TiqIQ link there for the secondary market. There are also some available on Cubs.com.

Starting Pitchers

Tony Cingrani (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 14.0 K/9)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35 ERA, 11.2 K/9)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

(Actual lineup not yet released at the time of this writing, so here’s a best guess as I head out to the ballpark.)

1. Shin-Soo Choo, CF

2. Zack Cozart, SS

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Brandon Phillips, 2B

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Todd Frazier, 3B

7. Xavier Paul, LF

8. Devin Mesoraco, C

9. Tony Cingrani, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dave Sappelt, CF

2. Cody Ransom, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Scott Hairston, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • Brad

    Why the hell is MARMOL still getting opportunities!?!??? He is god awful!!!! He can’t even pitch to the plate!!!

  • Tom A.

    Marmot sucks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I truly hate him and want him gone now.

    He is such a worthless piece of —– !

    Hate him hate him hate him

  • Clay

    Another late inning lose due to Sveum not knowing how to use a bullpen! Seems like everyone knows Marmol sucks besides Dale. Then there are bases loaded and he puts in Rondon?? COME ON! Even the Sveum supporters gotta be getting fed up by now

    • Brad

      That’s why we need a real manager not the Brewers 3rd base coach trash, what a joke.

      • baldtaxguy

        Its the Bullpen, not the manager.

    • Kyle

      This is just silly. Not two days ago he was ripped for using Camp instead of Marmol.

      There is no combination of bullpen pitchers for this team that isn’t awful. They are all awful, except for Russell, who is sort of OK.

      • Rebuilding

        I think Russell has turned into something more than sorta ok, but your point is well taken. Marmol, Camp and Loe are arguably 3 of the worst pitchers in baseball. Rondon is a Rule 5 guy forced Into leverage situations and Gregg is a real reclamation project. Whatever you think of this FO or the “plan” this might be the most poorly constructed bullpen in a long time

        • Kyle

          In their defense, the bullpen was supposed to include Fujikawa and at least one of Feldman/Villanueva, if not two.

          • Kyle

            But regardless of intent, holy balls this is a bad bullpen. Going by net WPA, it’s already on pace to be more than twice as bad as last year’s, which itself was the worst in MLB.

        • Kyle

          Gregg is super terrible, even if he hasn’t shown it yet in a few appearances. He walks almost as many as Marmol.

          If i had to rank the righties in the pen, I guess it’d be:

          Marmol
          Rondon
          Gregg
          Roe
          Camp
          Bowden

          But honestly, they are all just tied for last, because that is awful up and down.

          • Rebuilding

            The funny thing is you could probably rank them in reverse order to that and still be right. Actually, I haven’t looked, but I wonder if there is one other righty reliever in baseball that any other team would trade us 1-1 for one of our guys. Not sure you could find one – we might have the five worst right handed relievers in baseball all in one pen

        • Chad

          Russel can’t pitch every day and every inning of relief. Not to mention he had a rough day a few days ago I believe.
          The bull pen is bad. It’s not like Dale is choosing between Marmol and Mariano Rivera.

  • Brad

    Gonna be nice when we have players that wanna play and work hard day in and out. Lets all sign a petition to get Marmol off the roster.

  • Die hard

    Hard to fault Sveum when Cubs only get 3 hits

    • Clay

      Its actually pretty easy. Marmol should be no where near a ball unless we have a huge.lead or a huge deficit. Rondon is young and shouldnt bee put in a high pressure bases loaded situation. Russell was pitching fine. This teams could easily be .500 or above if Sveum didnt hand the game over to the other team.

      • Rebuilding

        Easy Clay…while you might be right… the happy, smiley Cubs fan crew is going to show up soon and tell you it’s no ones fault while making stupid Will Farrell references

        • Kyle

          If my responsibility plate wasn’t pretty full wielding the Crushing Fist of Logic, I might be tempted to claim leadership over the HSCFC.

        • Clay

          im used to it. Lol

        • DarthHater

          Ooh, a pre-emptive douchebag strike. Well done.

          • Rebuilding

            Thanks, Darth. I’m trying to be more friendly and constructive

      • mjhurdle

        Interesting fact:
        Prior to today, the last time Marmol allowed a run was April 8th.
        but don’t let that stop the irrational second-guessing.

        • Rebuilding

          Marmol has allowed 25 base runners in 11 innings. Yes, he may have avoided giving up some runs on line drive double plays and other oddities, but he is not a MLB quality pitcher at this time

      • Chad

        As I said before. Russell can’t pitch every inning of every relief opportunity. Exactly who do you want Sveum to put in. It’s not like he has Rivera out there. This is almost plagerism of my earlier post.

        • Rebuilding

          You’re right, Chad. He has bad choices and worse choices. I would much rather they just bring up Rusin, Struck, god even Coleman and let the young guys pitch. Sveum makes some awful decisions – but he’s working with a bunch of 2s and 3s off suit

      • baldtaxguy

        Marmol was not prepared. He has to throw strikes and he was not prepared to do so. It is his fault.

  • rc

    I would not spend 1 dime on this piece of garbage. It will only make it easier for them to not spend money and put a pile of ssh hit on the field. Bull shit is what we are getting

  • Stu

    Can we stop the all righty lineup nonsense?

    • Kyle

      No. Because it’s the right decision.

      • Jimmy James

        ^ truth

  • Deacon

    Are you serious, “hard to fault Sveum?” Our idiot manager uses Borbon as a defensive replacement when he can’t throw the ball past 2nd base on a shallow fly ball. Every decision he makes late in games defies logic.

    • Rebuilding

      Hey, I agree with you, but I’ve caught enough flak here for questioning Sveum that I try to be charitable. I think he is bad, but you can also look a little higher for some blame

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Comment was bumped. But I think the message board votes Carmol loses Game of Thrones style. (OFF with his head!) (:Joke:)

    • Clay

      Exactly!!

    • baldtaxguy

      Borbon’s throw into 2nd allowing Bruce to tag from first was just a lazy throw and a mental error. I believe Bruce is out if Nate is in right field there.

  • hardtop

    how about that bullpen. horrible. no excuse for it.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Like I said, he’s never going to be right in Chicago. He’s taking a roster spot that someone else could use, or develop in. He’s a cancer (from a performance view) – how much faith do you think the SP staff has in his holding a lead? Eating his salary is better than leaving him on the roster…

  • curt

    how does this crap keep happening , never have seen teams keep having big innings with so little effort , freaking walks, hbp , singles ,sac flies, marmol must go come theo and hoyer do something I mean if we’re going to suck anyways bring kids up And let them suck.

  • Deacon

    Agree with that Jason. It says if you make enough money, you don’t have to perform because they either a.) aren’t willing to eat a big contract b.) are delusional enough to think you’ll somehow turn it around enough to acquire trade value or c.) think you’ve just had a bout of bad luck but still deserve to keep getting the ball.

    Anyone else thinking they should have taken the Dan Haren offer??

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Turning over the team – personnel wise – is needed. Marmol represents the old winners 2007-8, so its high time to cut him loose.

      That’s all she wrote….damn.

  • hardtop

    in sveums defense, he wasnt given a lot to work with. the bullpen thed assmebled is a joke. i dont think we expected camp to be this bad after last year, but everyone else is exactly who denny green thought they were… suckey.

    • Jeff

      Sveum has no defense, this guy should be managing a little league team!!!

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Does Soriano have another two run shot in him?

  • RY34

    Fuck this team! What’s this make 6-8 losses this year based solely note dipshit combo o Marmol’s arm and dale’s lack of any kind of managerial brainpower

  • Tom A.

    Marmol is crap !

  • YourResidentJag

    Cubs need to pick up Cody Eppley. Just DFA’d by Yankees.

  • Jimmy James

    On the bright side? They didn’t lose by one…….. :)

  • Deacon

    Am I the only one that feels like this Cubs’ team is one of the worst wastes of time in recent Cubs’ memory? They tease you for 7 or 8 innings that keep you watching…..then blow it in a new way…..and you lost a couple hours of your life you’ll never get back in the process! They’re never bad enough to blow it early saving you the time of turning the channel when the game’s still young.

    • RY34

      No you are not, this team is so worthless.

  • Clay

    Yet another “come from behind” loss. The thing is the other team doesnt “come from behind” to win. Sveum gives them the wins, on a gold platter named Carlos Marmol. I wouldnt be half as mad if the other team was winning based on skill.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Patience is a skill. Just let the Cubs BP come in, wait at the plate, and you’ll get a walk, slugged by a pitch, or easy counts to bat in.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Marmol should be on a two-base leash if we HAVE to use him. Two men get on, no matter how-you get yanked.

  • cincycubfan

    I know he doesn’t have the greatest talent, but Sveum looks totally lost as a manager. He did a number of things today that just left me befuddled. The worst had to be using Russell in the 7th. Why in the hell did he use Russell against the bottom of the Reds lineup? And why has he intentional walked XAVIER PAUL two games in a row!? Is Paul all of a sudden an all-star? Is that why he walks him(8th) and puts our only lefty and best reliever in to face him(7th)? There are a number of other decisions today that were just plain stupid(like leaving Marmol in for that long) but I’m already sick of talking about it. Thanks Dale

    • George murukas

      Cubs FO, are you listening? GET RID OF HIM NOW!! Cut your loses! You cannot fix his mental weakness, & fd up mechanics! I understand you have a lot off $$ invested in him, but your pissing the fan base & the rest off the team off with your stubbornness to try & fix something that always has been broken, his delivery mechanics stink closers are suppose to be able to throw strikes, first pich strikes at will & to try to get the opposing team hitters out with pitches out off the strike zone in 8th & 9 th innings. But when he struggles to throw a strike with his slider & fastball & continues to fall behind, they know that he’s nervously trying to throw a fastball down the pie & they sit on it instead off him getting ahead & them wondering if the next pitch will be in the zone or not which keeps them off balance. Please send him down to AAA. Make samardja your closer when garza comes back. He throws strikes,& consistently throws 95,96,97 when he’s streches out as a starter, surely his fastball has potential to touch 98,99,100 when he’s shortened & teach him a change up to go along with his curve , split, & fastball. Or maybe his split serves the same purpose as a change. Send camp down, bring up Colman his fastball reaches 90,91 & throws strikes , not batting practice fastball camp throws at 86,87.

      • George murukas

        Lol, please cut Cameron loe too when fujikama comes back.

        • Rebuilding

          No!!!! I want to see if Loe can be the first pitcher in history to give up a HR per inning. Also, Marmol is definitely on pace to have the worst WHIP of all time. We’ve got some records to break before we blow this thing up

      • Rebuilding

        Absolutely no good reason to move Samardzija out of the rotation. That’s one of the things going right and he has much more value there

        • George murukas

          Look at his record? Some good it’s doing the team when he leaves the game with a lead but can’t win cause the closer can’t hold it!

          • Rebuilding

            I know, George. But the “plan” is beyond this year. Going forward he is much more valuable in the rotation. This season is lost already – we are auditioning guys as trade bait and hopefully for their roles in 2015

            • George

              I don’t understand , I think they are capable off winning this year with a few tweaks. I understand your point off view about value,& his success but he is the most logical solution in this organization as a closer. Winning is contagious, bad habits & bad play runs off on the young players , play to win. He has value as a starter , with no closer at the end to hold the games down , poof there goes the value. I guess they don’t care about alienating us, they want another top pick for 2014.

              • Rebuilding

                I don’t necessarily disagree with you. I think we are actually a little better than I thought we would be given Valbuena, Castillo and the starting rotation. Unfortunately I don’t think the FO agrees with you – this bullpen is not one that you would have in place otherwise. For what we spent on Baker and the Cuban prospect we could have bought several bullpen arms

    • Rebuilding

      You make some good tactical points. I was expecting Russell in the 8th to face Choo and Votto (he ended up facing Choo anyway). I understand whole “role” idea, but wasting him on Paul and Corky is prob not the best idea. With that said – it probably would have happened in the 7th if you bring Marmol/Rondon in there

  • True(ly) Blue

    It’s time to cut Marmol loose! Can the Cubs put him on waivers and when no one claims him because of his pitching problems and salary then send him down to Kane County. (Sorry Kane County) If he refuses the assignment can’t they then release him without having to pay him? He may be a nice guy but I can’t help believing that he must be causing a great deal of internal stress in the clubhouse right now.

    • Kyle

      No. He has the right to refuse the assignment outright. If they want to be rid of him, they have to release him and pay him his full salary, minus whatever he makes for any new team that picks him up.

      • Tom A.

        I guess there would be 2 solutions to our misery. Release Marmol or play with 24 layers on roster. Either way I hope to never ever ever ever see Marmol pitch again.

      • True(ly) Blue

        Thanks for the info! Too bad, eh? BB

  • Richp

    There is a solution to this bull pen problem. March Carlos Marmol out to the mound before batting practice. Kneel him down in front of the whole team and put a bullet behind his ear. That should do the trick. It will serve as notice to the other bull pen losers that sucking won’t be tolerated.

    • TWC

      Yeah. Pitching badly at a baseball game totally calls for that.

      It’s a fucking *game*, Rich. A fucking *game*.

      • Tom A.

        He is frustrated and not serious. But, Marmol still on this team is terrible and a slap In the face of the fans buying tickets. Why Theo and Jed and Mr. Ricketts is that embarrassment still on this team. I support you with the renovation and rebuilding program, but not with the continued use of Marmol. He ruined yet another perfectly good pitching game and a wonderful Saturday. Marmol is absolutely terrible !

        • TWC

          “He is frustrated and not serious.”

          No shit, Tom. I mean, seriously, no fracking shit. That’s still no excuse to write that.

          Y’all carry on with your insane hyperbole.

          • Tom A.

            I agree with you completely.

          • Richp

            Why don’t you explain to me why that isn’t funny. C’mon,tell me. What? Columbine? Newtown?Get over yourself. Please tell me in your own words,without exposing your liberal vomitous mindset,why isn’t that funny,I want to know. Then tell me why you might watch any movie,or television show that depicts violence? You guys make me sick with your politically correct,liberal bullshit mindset. I’ve changed my posting name once already because I butted heads with you s’bags. As much as I love this site,I equally can’t stand some of you Chicago liberals. It’s time to either change my name again,or find a new site that doesn’t have judgemental dirtbags.

            • TWC

              “It’s time to either change my name again,or find a new site …”

              I highly encourage you to do the latter.

            • Anonnifan

              Its not funny because it is an infantile and uninteresting statement that is prompted by you not getting your way, and resembles the tantrum of a 2 year old rather than an intelligent comment. How did I do?

            • baldtaxguy

              What purpose does changing your name serve? If you believe your comment was funny, you should stay in the room and defend it – don’t run away to another name.

              Your comment wasn’t funny, and I’m a conservative, not very politically correct, I am also not considering real tragic events, nor did am I considering gun control issues, or violence on TV, etc.

              Your comment was simply not funny and a stupid one.

      • Richp

        Hey,it’s a joke,dumbass!!!!!!!!!

    • baldtaxguy

      Actually typed those words out, eh? Seek help.

    • Carew

      you may have been joking, but that’s not a joke…

      • Richp

        What a bunch of whiny girls. It’s a joke us Sicilian gun owners can appreciate. Just because you’re a whiny Chicago liberal,don’t rain on my good time. Be politically correct on someone elses post. It’s called freedom of speech,and I find it amusing. Too f’ing bad.if you don’t like it.

        • Carew

          Jokes on you, I’m from North Carolina.

        • Kyle

          You have the freedom of speech to make it (though this is a private site, so that freedom is more in the abstract than referring to the Constitutional protection), and we have the freedom to opine that it reflects poorly on you.

  • @curveballmark

    I want Marmol’s job…only at Wrigley can you play that bad and get paid that good!

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    Hilarious!!

    The remarks in this thread…. Bad pitching… Sveum sucks…. Bad clutch hitting…. Soriano sucks….. Worst bullpen ever…. Bourbon is terrible…..

    Doesn’t everyone get it????

    All those comments are true and when you ad them all together it makes the 2013 cubs the worst in franchise history!! It’s going to be terrible like this all year. When you are terrible you find different ways to lose everyday.

    But, they’re working on it!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m guessing you weren’t around for the ’97 Cubs.

      If we’re talking worst Cub teams ever, the ’13 squad isn’t even in the conversation.

  • Mike

    I was all for the Cubs not acquiring Dan Haren for Marmol last winter. In hindsight, I wish the Cubs could of had Haren for only the first 5-6 weeks of the season vs. an entire season of Marmol. That said, the bullpen, as a whole, has been awful. Course, the lack of clutch hitting hasn’ helped, either. As bad as the bullpen has been, I’d rather see Negrin or Rusin from AAA pitching in relief, or McNutt from AA being given a chance. I mean, as bad as we’ve been, I see no reason not to give these other guys a chance, outside of supposed “starting the service time clock” on those three, which, I seriously doubt would be much of a problem, as none of them figure to be making big bucks in mlb anytime soon. And Sveum’s love affair with Sappelt really should just disappear. Lefty heavy or not, bring up those AAA guys like Sweeney and Bogusevic…they can’t hit any worse than Sappelt. I don’t like all of Sveum’s moves, and I think he could do a lot better with playing a smaller game at times, but, given some of the mental mistakes in the catching department, and some of the circus plays by Rizzo and Castro, I can’t completely fault Sveum for a team that is playing so god awful. I do think a better manager would do a little better, but, hey, with bad hitting choices by some of the players, and an awful bullpen, it’s hard for me to expect much more from this team than another 100 or so losses. This team is has to be designed to fail for better 2014 draft pics….it just has to be. If it’s not by design, then I have little or no hope for the field manager or the front office. I think it will turn around some day, just not this year, and, I’m guessing, not in 2014, either. I’ve been a fan for about 30 years, but I think I’d rather watch paint dry, as this team is predictably awful.

    • True blue

      Agreed

    • Rebuilding

      Post of the day, Mike

  • Die hard

    Bring back the Marlins

  • Tom A.

    Marmol’s WHIP performance this year would be in the top 20 worst on all-time baseball. And, he is 0.25 away from being the worst ever in baseball history.

    Why us he still playing ?

  • 70’scub

    Future rebuild? It would seem every decision matters, less Marmol more Haren equals no need for four years (50 million of Jackson)! Why are we letting Baker rebuild his carreer on the cub dime? Risk on this one should have been spread over two years for six mill plus incentives, which by the way increases the flip value. Who can explain the 3rd base strategy? Two years and five million in a guy who has done nothing, Dale or Jeb should have cut this guy back in March. I’m just thinking the owner needs to get an experienced club president if the “owner has no talent to step up and hold the general manager to some standard that can be measured.

    • Kyle

      Having Jackson for four years is a good thing. Passing on that for Haren would be awful.

    • Tom A.

      At least we don’t have to watch Ian Stewart play and lose it for the Cubs game after game after game.

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