In a few years, having been at today’s game is going to be a great story, much in same way that having been aboard a sinking ship, and living to tell the tale would be. Today, however, I feel a little sick to my stomach. That’s a silly reaction, of course, given that this team was not about to rattle off a 20-game winning streak and make a surprising charge for the playoffs. It’s just … it was a fun damn day before that 9th inning. Why the cosmic hate for the Cubs?

Jeff Samardzija pitched well enough to win, and the bats supported him sufficiently this time around. But Pedro Strop came into his first save opportunity since the changing of the guard with a three run lead, only to throw all over the place. By the time he’d found his command, a Starlin Castro error had helped load the bases. A groundball that hit second base and a hit to right later (that maybe could have been caught), and the game was tied. A blooper to right later, and the game was gone. Justin Ruggiano hurt his hamstring on that last one, and just about no one will remember the homer he hit earlier in the game to extend the Cubs’ lead.

april 23 box

Full box score.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Tough loss, but a lot of good things in that game today. The bullpen issue goes back to the payroll problem. Many quality closers were available in the 10 million range. Theo and Jed were forced to bargain bin, for a 4 mil guy with little track record.
    I saw everything I needed to know about Ricky Renteria when he helped carry rugiano 300 feet of the field. Man is going to be a fine leader.

    • cubsluver22

      How’s 10 million dollar closer Jim Johnson doing? Money does not equal qaulity especially when it comes to bullpen arms.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        See Fernando Rodney, grant Balfour, jaquin Benoit, John axford, fransisco Rodriguez. Proven closers.

        • Brocktoon

          Those guys aren’t making 10M

  • pfk

    I’m as angry and frustrated as anybody. I was so pissed in the 9th seeing it all unfold. Now, I’m over it. Why? Because I still believe in The Plan and most baseball execs will tell you that the Cubs are indeed doing it right – for the first time. I’m OK because I was curious to see how some of the kids on the farm would progress and many of them are doing very well, while some of them are doing incredibly well – like the future stars they are projected to be. I’m Ok because this season – the first half, was to see what we have and what we don’t and then taking that information and beginning the big shakeup that is surely to come. We’ve learned who just isn’t going to make it because of the lack of talent or because there are kids coming along that will move them out. We’ve also learned of a few nice surprises that will stick and fit well. We’ve learned now that both Rizzo and Castro have rebounded from 2013. So, after all the weeping and gnashing of teeth this afternoon, I’m OK. I remain very excited about the teams direction on all levels. Better days are coming and after today we are one day closer to the good days.

    • Sandberg

      I love this comment. Good job.

    • MichiganGoat

      Precisely pfk, losses are tough but don’t lose site of the greater direction.

      • KHRSS

        A top #3 pick?

    • Cubs_Questions

      Agreed completely. Still though, frustrating to watch another win slip away against a bad team, especially with the way it went down. With that said, the future appears to be very bright.

  • jp3

    Anyone else Corey Black has been unhittable (literally) in 2 of his last 3 starts? He went 6 innings of no hit ball as well as 5 innings of no-hit ball the start before last. It’s kind of arbitrary end points but not giving up an actual hit in 2 of 3 is still pretty special

    • Jason P

      Yeah, he’s been pretty great. Hopefully he can stick as a starter, but if he can’t, he’d make one hell of a reliever.

      Imagine a bullpen of Rondon, Grimm, Vizcaino, Black, Ramirez, Rosscup and Strop. Sounds good to me.

  • http://BN Sacko

    If MoneyBoy is still around I’m trying to get a quote straightened out on a previous page.

  • Medicos

    Hawkey Talk

    Hawks—-4 Blues—-3

    Overtime goal by Pat Kane gives Hawks an 4-3 overtime win Series tied 2-2!!!!

  • Jason Powers

    1 Chicago Sox AL 5.05 66.0 63 39 37 2 44 44 .255 1.62
    2 Chicago Cubs NL 4.76 64.1 56 38 34 11 39 67 .230 1.48

    7th inning or later statistics. Cubs 2nd to last in BB. 6th to last on BP ERA..
    White Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Angels, Astros with higher ERA…oh, we don’t like ERA?
    Tied for 1st with HRs Allowed, but 8th in Ks totaled 67 in 64.1 IP. So the FIP is at around 5.10.

    So that’s not going so good.

    Hard to draw anything from an inning, but the 9th inning was an extreme microcosm of 100 years at Wrigley. An ample lead given, with team exploits tending to make one believe nothing seriously could go wrong. Then a pitcher’s ultimate enemy: wildness, a booted DP ball, a ball smacking the 2B bag, and then, on the cusp of victory (2 strikes), a sinking liner an experienced Wrigley RFer may have risked the dive; and saved the game for. The RFer, HR hero of the day, gave it a college try. Thereafter, he came oh so close to saving the game from defeat. Then hurt, his manager carried him back to the dugout. And then silence at bat….

    100 years of bipolar, borderline love-hate relationship ends as 100 years at the ballpark has given in droves: loss and wait until the next day or year.

    Sure some felt a wisp of deja vu circled into the 9th inning. Been here before…same as it ever was:

    • CubChymyst

      I looked up blown saves since 2013 and Cubs have the 3rd most at 30. which is 9 more then the league median.

      • jp3

        Damn I would’ve guessed more but I guess that didn’t account for all of marmol’ blown saves before 2013 huh?

        • jp3

          Man I miss Randy Myers, is he still available and age is not an issue.

        • CubChymyst

          If 2012 is included the Cubs have the 4th most blown saves since then.

          • jp3

            What about 2011 when Marmol blew 10 or his 44 chances. Yikes

  • ssckelley

    CJ Edwards seeing team doctors with pain in his shoulder.

    And the hits keep on coming……

  • Head and Heart

    No way to know for sure but it appeared Castro was clearly frustrated after striking out to end the 8th. His second of an 0-4 game. And I thought he took that at bat out on to the field with him in the 9th. If that’s the case then hopefully it’s a learning moment for Castro who has looked to my eye like he’s been very good with the glove so far.

  • FortyFour

    I think it sucks that the team lost it in the 9th. I still think Strop is capable but he just may have to remain a set up guy. Castro needs to make those plays to help whoever is closing. If Ruggiano is headed to the DL that is too bad for him but I can’t say that he was impactful with his hitting/defense this season. His HR yesterday was about all he has done thus far.

    One thing I could completely care less about is Shark not getting the win. I bet that he will not be missed in that locker room after he is traded. Regardless, I won’t miss his comments about nearly anything.

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