Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 4, Pirates 5 – May 21, 2013

It was quite clear tonight that Matt Garza had great stuff in his return to the rotation after 10 months in injury-induced banishment – he didn’t give up a hit until the 5th inning, and it was a poke blooper by Clint Barmes. What he didn’t have was perfect command of his pitches, which you would expect in his first start in such a long time. Don’t read that as a knock on his start, because I don’t mean it that way. I mean only that he went deep into counts with a lot of hitters, and ran up his pitch count early. You’d have liked to have seen him go deeper into the game, but, all in all, you just can’t complain about that start.

And thus ended the meaningful portion of the game.

From there, the bullpen conspired to blow the game in favor of the Pirates, and, on the flip side, you ain’t coming back on the Pirates’ bullpen this year (though the Cubs did make sure to do their teaser rally in the 9th, scoring on Jason Grilli and leaving the tying run at third).

Darwin Barney had a ridiculously awesome night, by the way. So I guess he and Garza are the story, even though everyone will focus on the loss and this …

may 21 box

Full box.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

135 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 4, Pirates 5 – May 21, 2013”

  1. Ramy16

    Blublud who do you we should get as a mngr?? I still think Svuem will still be there at the end of the year..however over the winter I think he’ll be gone

    1. Blublud

      Shit, I don’t know. Maybe Don Mattingly.

    2. BWA

      Sveum has at least one more year with the Cubs. They FO likes him, he uses their sabermetrics, and they aren’t judging him on performance since they weren’t really trying to win.

      1. Mike

        They have to be judging him on how he uses the limited talent he has though right? I agree you can’t judge his win/loss record but if he really did stick up for Camp over Bowden you have to think that is really going to count against him right? And the way he handles Rizzo and Castro, the poor decisions he makes with pinch hitters. How many times recently has he had Soriano resting for a game and then not using him as a pinch hitter late in a close game?

        1. hansman1982

          They are judging him that way.

          Not sure what you mean about the Rizzo and Castro, pinch hitters or Soriano examples. Generally when you give the regular a day off, you give them the day off. Shit, the one time he was used as a pinch hitter, this place erupted as if he had personally gone out, re-signed Koyie Hill and put him in there.

          95% of being a baseball manager is about being lucky enough to have your guys come through when you make a decision. When you have a team that needs 6 things to go perfectly to contend, those decisions are going to turn bad more often than not regardless of if it’s the right decision or not.

          Every manager makes plenty of boneheaded decisions, the “great” ones are good enough to have enough of them work out to get on teams that have great players so even more of their decisions can work out.

          If you want a couple managers that deserve to be on the hot seat, look at Mattingly and Scioscia.

  2. Ramy16

    I would love to have mike scoccia from the angels…I still think he mite be gone after the all star break

  3. RWakild

    Am confused. Sveum managed like he was pissed about all the bad relievers he has and used them all. Camp should go on the DL until he figures out what is wrong. Rondon should be on the imaginary DL. Games like tonight make me wonder why I even bother watching the Cubs

  4. Ramy16

    RWakild I wanted to throw my iPad against the wall..thank god for apple care..lol

  5. Willrust

    Somehow Russell got the loss for that game for walking 1 batter. Another perfect example of how W/L record can be a BS stat.

    1. Mike

      TWTW daggumit!

  6. bfulp12

    someone please explain to me why Hairston should EVER be in the lineup????

    1. Dob2812

      Statistics. Look them up.

      1. Alex

        Please do. He’s been horrendous this year, especially vs lefties, his so called “strength.”

      2. Jp3

        Yeah I realize over the course of his career they’ve been better than average BUT SSS alert, a quarter of the season is over and he’s been dreadful against everyone. .115/.143 slash line is atrocious, I’m sure it’ll get better (mainly because it can’t get any worse) but at some point his lack of production THIS SEASON should dictate he shouldn’t be in the lineup much

    2. Jason

      Yes thank you! I think I said that before the game started. He’s horrible. People on here think for some reason the cubs will flip him for prospects. Yeah right he’s terrible!!! Look everyone that comes to this site is a cubs fan, im tired of alot of people on here thinking they know it all they dont. Look the cubs are a bad team. If some of these prospects dont work out well they will suck for along time. And that’s my rant. By the way I hate the cardinals some how all they do is win.

  7. Ramy16

    Funny..www.chicagcubs.com, bullpen blows garza’s stellar performance

  8. coal

    “Every lead is sacred.”

    1. Pat

      Every lead is good
      Every lead is needed
      In your neighborhood

      1. beerhelps

        I decided to sell the lot of them for medical experiments.

  9. Fastball

    Good for Garza. I love it that Camp throws an exploding tomato for a glam. Theo and Jed dicked up this move and Camp SUCKS…. If I’m Garza I lock the door to the bus. I put something dead in his locker then take him and kick his ass for blowing my great come back. Maybe somebody should hold this crap bull pen accountable. You F up you pay the price. This band of aw shucks idiots has to be shit canned. Bring up anybody who can throw a ball and hit a glove. Is there a saber metric stat for You Suck as a pitcher go sell cars?

    1. ichabod

      everything i wanted to say and more

      1. ichabod

        hated camp last year and hate him this year. he is pedestrian.

        1. mick6x

          I didn’t hate him last year, but amen brother carlos marmol incarnate!

    2. demz

      “You F up you pay the price”

      what does this even mean?

      1. JoeyCollins

        was wondering the same. guess we have prison rule baseball now? I don’t know why Garza would even care about the blown save, all he needs to do is prove he is healthy and effective for his next contract. He did that no problem.

        1. john

          it means some people (ex: Garza) actually want to win games

          1. Hansman1982

            Ya, cause Shawn Camp wants to lose games. He’s actually better than Mariano Rivera but he jus wants the Cubs to lose so be never has a job again.

            That’s it…the guys who aren’t good hate their teams and hate winning.

  10. Mike

    Loss is on the FO for keeping Camp and then Sveum for using him.

    The end.

  11. fromthemitten

    BARF OUT GAG ME WITH A SPOON I was really hoping they’d just have Villanueva pitch 3 innings as a piggyback to Garza.

    Gotta love that performance by Garza though.. and Sori looks good

    1. MissC

      !!!! Villanueva was warming up, why didn’t he get a chance to pitch? Would it be possible to turn Villanueva into a reliever? He’s got the talent; I think he could be useful in tight situations. I was watching the game on the treadmill at the gym– I nearly tripped and broke my neck when Marmol took the mound. But I guess he needs to keep racking up those scoreless innings so he’s worth something by the trade deadline.

      ps: Kevin Gregg… what a beast lately!!!

      @fromthemitten I COULDN’T AGREE MORE about Sori. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I really don’t think he gets enough credit.

  12. The Dude Abides

    SSDD

    1. Carew

      Perfect

  13. Patrick G

    Where’s Eduardo Sanchez when you need him

  14. Lyle Ernst

    I hope Sveum learns how to handle a bullpen someday….soon. What’s the deal with only having Russell pitch to one batter. Dale lost this game…one of many.

    I’m hoping that he left Camp in to show upper management that they need to get rid of him (Camp).

  15. ruby2626

    In a nutshell Sveum cost us this game. Did he not know a lefty pinch hitter was available and even without one Russell has been your best full season reliever and he prefers to put the game in Camp and his 86 MPH fastballs hands.

    Rizzo slumping and Castro still proving how overrated he is. Should have made that one play and really what is he a .270 singles hitter with average to below avg power.

    1. mudge

      Castro could have taken a couple pitches to give Borbon a chance to steal. Then you need one hit instead of two to tie the game.

  16. Kyle

    The best part of all this is that even after tonight, the peripherals say Camp is better than Bowden.

    1. Rcleven

      That’s the best part? Boy are we in trouble.

      1. Kyle

        It’s the best part for me, in that it’s vaguely amusing while every single other thing about the game is completely infuriating.

        1. Kyle

          Also, Hector Rondon continues to have nobody notice that he’s awful. He’s using the plot armor he garners from a combination of being a Rule 5 guy and never being the guy with the highest-profile blowup,

          1. Chris

            Of everyone available at the time of the Rule 5, I was extremely puzzled as to why they chose Rondon over some of the other arms available.

            1. hansman1982

              As in???

              1. Kyle

                Villanueva for a multi-inning stint seemed an obvious choice at the time.

                1. DarthHater

                  I think the question was why did the Cubs select Rondon in the rule 5 draft, not why was he selected to pitch yesterday.

                  1. hansman1982

                    Ya, as in, who else is being amazing that the Cubs should have selected?

          2. Bill

            Good point, Kyle. Theo wasted a roster spot last year on Lendy Castillo who’s getting torched in A ball, now Theo is likely doing the same with Rondon (although I do like Rondon better than Castillo). I guess it really doesn’t matter though if you are going to fill those valuable roster spots with guys like Camp, Loe, Bowden, who are just very bad older pitchers.

  17. jim

    GOODBYE CUBBIES!
    YOU are going NOWHERE!

  18. CBP

    Older players after their first contract with us that has sucked on contract #2 Remlinger, Eyre, Howry, Marmol, Joe Borowski, and zambrano.

  19. Bill

    Why is Camp still with this team? He’s terrible. No, Bowden isn’t any better, but can’t Theo find relievers who can get a couple batters out?

    I’m not a Svuem fan but for those who are ragging on him ask yourself who gave him the job in the first place? Hint, it’s the same guy that put together one of the worst bullpens in MLB (two seasons in a row).

  20. Bill

    Even the minor leagues have me depressed. Is there a single position player who projects as being a major league starter in a year or two? The numbers don’t look good for any of these guys. Maybe some pitchers, but I don’t see any help from position players in the near future.

    1. someday...2015?

      Don’t let Soler’s average throw you off. He is having a very good season so far, and it seems like he’s just heating up. Yes, he may have some mental issues, but he’s young and should mature. He should project as a quality starter in 2014/2015… I’m higher on Almora then most. I believe Almora could fly through the system and be playing in Wrigley by the end of 2014. I predict he will eventually win an NL MVP bringing the entire package of defense, speed, batters eye, contact, power, and leadership. I would be very suprised if Almora didn’t at least become an every day starter. So yes, their is actually more then one player who projects as a major league starter in the Cubs farm system. That’s not including Baez…

      …I would of thrown Javy in their, but his K rate needs to lower, and his defense needs to improve for me to become a Baez believer.

      1. Bill

        Sorry, I meant to say is there a position player above Daytona that figures to be a starter in the next year or two? I think we have some decent prospects in the low levels, but AA-AAA really looks weak.

        1. ssckelley

          Logan Watson is one I think may end up starting before the end of the season. Villanueva and Silva are a couple at Tennessee worth keeping an eye on.

          1. Jp3

            Who’s Logan Watson? Is he a golfer? Which league is he in?😁

    2. Kyle

      That’s very odd. The position players are light years ahead of our pitching prospects, of whom we have very little.

      To answer the question, do we have anybody who projects to be a starter by late May of 2015?

      I’d say Jorge Soler is the only one who fits that criteria. Maybe half a dozen other guys who have a chance, but none that I’d say “project” to make it.

      1. Bill

        Kyle,

        I should have clarified, I’m talking position players at AA or AAA who will be starting in Chi in the next year or two. I see no help. Pitching? It’s not great but there’s guys like Vizcaino and some others at AA or AAA who will end up being relievers for the Cubs in the next year or two. If for nothing else, they’ll be relievers because Theo has ignored the bullpen and they should be better options than the Camp’s and Bowden’s of the world.

        I agree there are no starting pitching at AA or AAA that figures to be starters in Chi (possibly Vizcaino if they think his arm will hold up), but there are some possible relievers.

        I see no position players. Watkins looks like Barney with a little better bat and a little worse glove. Seems like you are just moving pieces, but not really getting any better.

  21. auggie1955

    Did you see the look on Camp’s face when he gave up that grand slam? He looked like a guy who knew the end was near. We can only hope and pray.

    Also did you hear the the BS Len was trying to pass on to the fans about Camp having some good outings and some bad outings. No, Len, they’ve all been bad. Very bad.

  22. Bfranzoi

    Why did Villanueva not start the 6th? Today’s was his turn in the rotation? This was a no brainer. Sveum is clueless, needs to go.

    1. Alex

      Couldn’t agree more. And with Garza starting, regardless of the decision no need to send out rondon and camp, two struggling pitchers with only a three run lead. Putting this more on Sveum here for the decision. Managers gotta players in the best position to succeed, and Villanueva was an absolutely logical choice after only 5 innings from your starter

  23. EuroCub

    Does anyone know the stats of the teams with the most losses by 1 run ? Because guessing out of the blue, i’d say Cubs are light years ahead of anyone else in both NL and AL. Amirite ?!

    1. someday...2015?

      The Cubs and Royals are tied for the most 1 run losses at 11. The Cubs do have the worst record in 1 run games being 6-11. The only other team 5 games below .500 in 1 run games is the Astros at 4-9. The Marlins are 6-10 and the Royals are 7-11 in one run games. Not light years ahead, but definitely leading the way.

  24. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I agree that Villanueva should have taken over in the 6th. Let him go 3 innings and bring in Gregg. A lot of folks were suggesting the piggyback, especially if Garza struggled… I agree, this was a no-brainer.

    1. mudge

      Why bring in Gregg if CV is on his game? Suddenly he can’t pitch 4 innings?

  25. Bob Johnson

    You folks that are talking about Bowden & Camp both being terrible have it all wrong. Bowden had a couple bad outings, Camp’s been bad all year. Bruce Mills had it right in today’s Daily Herald, “The Cubs designated reliever Michael Bowden for assignment and decided to keep Camp, even though Bowden consistently out pitched Camp.”

    1. Kyle

      Less than one baserunner per IP:

      Camp 9/16 appearances
      Bowden 6/13

      Bowden has not been any more or less consistent than Camp.

  26. Bob Johnson

    Kyle, what about the 4 run difference in earned run average?

    1. Kyle

      ERA isn’t a great predictor of future success in the best of circumstances, and for relievers in short sample sizes it is essentially meaningless.

  27. Bsteady

    I couldn’t of been proved more right. Theo and Co. screwed the pooch on this. It’ll be another 105 years if this keeps up. And I wish we’d do something different against lefties.

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