Another freaking one-run loss to the Pirates. And it was a brutal one at that. Another series loss, too, when it easily could have been a Cubs sweep. Same thing was true the last damn series against the Pirates.

Travis Wood threw a freaking gem, dominating Pirates hitters all day, and the Cubs took advantage of some Pirates miscues to score early and often. The Cubs even played nice defense, too.

But their 4-0 lead evaporated in an ugly 7th inning from Brian Schlitter and James Russell (don’t make the easy, obvious Schlitter joke, man). The Pirates scored five in the frame, and that was it for the day. Commence expletives. People are going to complain about using Schlitter and Russell there instead of, for example, Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon, who each pitched later and each looked dominant. But, it was a 4-0 game in the 7th, which is a perfectly reasonable time to use Schlitter (who has actually looked good at times). And then you’ve got Russell, who is supposed to get lefties out, and failed to do so. I can’t pin this one on the bullpen usage – just on the poor bullpen performance.

The one RR decision I will question is bringing in Luis Valbuena as a pinch hitter with men on first and second and no one out in the 9th, and asking him to sacrifice bunt. Valbuena fouled a ball off trying to bunt, and then struck out swinging. From there, the Cubs’ rally became the obligatory teaser rally. Game over.

april 10 box

Full box score.

  • waittilthisyear

    haha hawk just said during the sox brodcast “the most misleading thing in baseball are numbers.” guy hates numbers man

    • Jon

      I believe he called Avail Garcia a “superstar” yesterday

    • Brett

      What’s funny is he’s right, but not for the reasons he thinks.

    • fortyonenorth

      The Sox won’t beat-out Detroit this year, but they have a watchable team. Abreu looks like a stud and Eaton is someone I would have loved to see in a Cubs uniform. For a team that was bereft of talent in MILB, they have a seemingly strong young core.

      • Jon

        Their offense looks completely turned around. Which is pretty insane as I thought it took 5-6 years to rebuild a ballclub. Of course Hahn did have the benefit of inheriting one of the best farm systems in baseball.

        • CubFan Paul

          “as I thought it took 5-6 years to rebuild a ballclub. Of course Hahn did have the benefit of inheriting one of the best farm systems in baseball.”

          I see what you did there.

        • Jason P

          The problem is now the Sox have improved from terrible to average by trading away all of their older assets. With the farm system as bad as it is and no more Santiago’s or Reed’s to sell off, I don’t see any clear path for them to take the final step and go from “average” to “good”.

          • Jon

            Their biggest acquisition on offense was not a trade, it was a FA signing.

    • ame1908

      I’m still waiting for every Pre-Gamin’ lineup card to include each players’ #TWTW metric.

    • ame1908


  • notcubbiewubbie

    if you really think this season isn’t about the young guys getting 4-500 at bats,what is the point of rebuilding!! should have circled valbuena too he choked in the ninth didn’t get the bunt down and then missed a major league slider. go ahead i started it!

    • Jon

      That was a really tough read.

      • K0ng


        • notcubbiewubbie

          boo hoo boo hoo to both of you!

  • notcubbiewubbie

    if you really want to rant why is schlitter on the team????

    • Eternal Pessimist

      He has had a decent minor league development, including a SO/9 of almost 9 and a SO/BB of almost 3 and a respectable WHIP. Not ready to quit on him just yet.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Well, when you are widely viewed as a team lacking enough good enough talent at the big league level and are predicted to be among the 2 or 3 worst teams in 2014, then losses like today are going to happen. This team, at 3-6, is playing to expectations. The future is bright but the present is a trainwreck. This season really comes down to hoping for and seeing progress in the few key pieces we have in place while tolerating the rest of the ugliness.

  • FFP


    • FFP

      Cubs fans.

      • Cyranojoe

        Watch out. I think he might go postal.

        Nice ballcap, Demps.

    • Cubs-Win

      Well said!!

    • notcubbiewubbie

      that’s right where he belongs.hope he spent some of his millions on the fans out there.

    • Travis

      That’s pretty cool!

  • diamonddon

    If 2014 is going to be a “lost” season as a lot of fans believe, the Cubs should be playing all the kids that will be around in the future. Bring up Baez, Vizcaino, Alcantara, start Olt every game etc.. If you are going to lose, why not give all the kids the experience this year like Houston did last year? I totally agree with the Theo/Jed plan, but play the kids and give them the experience!

    • cubsluver22

      Free Agent market is bad, real bad! We need to get some arms at or before the deadline just saying.

  • carmelo

    To me this game was lost the night before when we used Strop in the 9th inning—-that inning should have been Wright or Rondon (2nd inning). Then today the 7inning would have gone Grimm, followed by Strop, then Veras. Notice how the Pittsburg uses the same 7-9th pitchers once they get the lead.

  • cubsluver22

    I’ve always had some doubts about Travis Wood but man has he been a sight for sore eyes. My question is when do we try to lock him up and for how Much?

  • Medicos

    Last April and early in May the Cubs were going through the same bullpen problems as this year:: decent starting pitching but little success out of an inept bullpen. The FO signed Kevin Gregg and Sveum gave him the closer job:

    33 Saves
    3.40 ERA
    1.37 WHIP
    .5 WAR
    If no one has signed him maybe Epstein will bring him back to the Friendly Confines

    • cubsluver22

      I think this years version will come from AAA

  • cubmig

    How can the Cubs be so consistently inconsistent? Get the lead, lose the lead, tie it up, retake the lead, only to lose the lead and the game in the end? WTF kind of baseball playing is that all about? Add to that, leading the game early by what one may consider a “safe” margin into the later innings and then having the relief pitching collapse and the rebound chance no where to be found.

    It’s bad enough to read that this season is a lost season. It’s salt-in-the-wound to watch how that is playing itself out. Losing hurts. Fucking away games is crushing the spirit that flames hope for patience. That’s what the Cubs’ inconsistent inconsistency is doing.

    As one fan, I keep telling myself it’s early in the season, and that maybe all that’s going wrong with my team will exhaust itself to the point that the only way left to go is “up”; that only plays making winning the outcome will begin to be a norm of sorts. Sure, that’s pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, but fuck, when winning is the desired measure of performance progress, what else is there to hang on to? I watch 98% of Cubs games….and right now, I need any shit hyperbole offers to face watching the next game.

    Being a Cubs fan is a bitch.

    • Medicos

      Calm down cubmig. You’re gonna make yourself sick and our team has only played 9 games so far. There’s 153 left on the schedule. I’ve been watching the Cubs lose year after year. Only 17 winning seasons out of 62 seasons. Take a breath and get ready to knock off the Cards tomorrow!!!

    • Cubbie Blues

      My first thought from reading the your post is, how can you be both consistent and inconsistent? Isn’t it consistence? The core had a great game, the rest,until we are ready to contest, is inconsequential.

      • cubmig

        Don’t know if you are confused by the last sentence in the second paragraph. If so, I made a mistake. That sentence should read: “That’s what the Cubs’ consistent inconsistency is doing.”

        If that wasn’t it, I believe “consistently inconsistent” is stated accurately. Hope I addressed what puzzled you.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I believe what your are saying is, they they are consistently losing leads. That would be consistent. Never mind, this is going to go nowhere and is only leading to the droll of the the team is bad, we have nothing to look to that has become the norm.

  • CubsFaninMS

    “Merry Christmas! Schlitter was full!!!”

    • Required

      Ah have you checked our Schlitters lately? You just made me have good laugh! Thanks!

  • Pingback: Can’t Really Complain About the Pitcher Usage Yesterday and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()