Game 5 Recap (Sort Of): Cubs 6, Brewers 5

All I'm going to say about this victory is, Alfonso Soriano reminded us why it's worth having a left fielder who can't actually field, Kosuke Fukudome continues his drive to be christened "Mr. April," and Carlos Marmol, who is officially NOT the Cubs closer, made our opponents' best hitters look helpless in a way that the guy who is our closer never, ever could.



fwiw, marmol was warming in the pen before the homer. he was just a logical choice to just finish it out...esp. given gregg's adventures last night.

True. From the game story I linked to:

"[Kevin] Gregg is still our closer," Piniella said. "I can't get them
both up [in the bullpen]. I said that the other night in Houston. I
can't afford to get them both up, because I lose [both of] them. We got
Marmol up just in case we tied or went ahead, and that was the end of

"I said when the season started there will be opportunities for
both of them, but believe me, tomorrow, if we get into a similar
situation, Gregg will be the closer."

My point is just that it's hard to watch Marmol dominate another team and not think about what it would be like to have closing regularly. Of course, that leaves a huge hole in the set-up spot...


Might as well use Marmol in the 8th, I really don't think Gregg is all that horrible. He might be the equivalent of a Dempster type closer but I think he'll be ok.

It seems MLB bullpens like to have well-defined roles for each of its pitchers these days. How about Marmol's role is "guy you bring in when you really need to get outs," and Gregg can be "guy who pitches the 9th if Marmol isn't needed or has already been used"?

or just use 4-6 relievers per game until you need a pen of 15 guys.

Yeah I know - someday a team's "bench" will just be a backup catcher and a utility guy who is a pinch runner, pinch hitter, or defensive replacement.

hopefully the dumpster is up for a 7 inning stint today...or the relief crew is up to some multiple innings. marshall's fresh for a long guy...patton's fresh, but i dunno anything about his possible stamina (he's got starter stuff, f'sure).

Marmol hasn't really been all that sharp either. Regardless, he's of more value to the team being brought in as a fire-fighter in the 7th and 8th, than he is trying to rack up 3 run saves in the 9th.


Well it's a long season and Lou has shown that when something doesn't work he is open-minded enough to change it.

Then when he is going to change Lee and Ramirez. Aramis should be hitting third and Derrek needs to be dropped to fifth. Bradley isn't hitting solid yet so there is not need to "protect" him with Ramirez hitting after him.

Bradley isn't hitting solid yet so there is not need to "protect" him with Ramirez hitting after him.


Amen. We're a week into the season and I'm already tired of DLee's shit. I'm banking on him breaking his record of GIDP this season too.

It was nearly 4 am CET when I went to bed in the 9th, and I didn't have faith the Cubs could complete the comeback after Theriot's weak effort in the 8th following Fonty's walk. Glad to be proven wrong. This is one of those games the Cubs shouldn't have won though, so it's nice to make up for Friday's loss.

Alfonso Soriano reminded us why it's worth having a left fielder who can't actually field

Except, you know, he actually can field.

Exactly, he isn't out there for his defense, so that point is taken, but he's not that bad out there. He has made some mistakes, but stat heads say he is about average in range, with a plus arm.

Soriano has to be the most debated Cub in recent memory, because he can look so bad, and then go into stretches where pitchers can't get ANYTHING by him.

And on the fielding side he looks terrified and awkward while being a statistically league average left fielder—which will of course cause debates between the folks who think the stats don't lie given a large enough sample size and the folks who are more into the scouty judgments (and thus believe the stats can't take everything into account that needs to be considered).

Actually he's statistically a superior left fielder, probably the best in the game. He has one problem, going back on balls hit over his head. Going to his left, right and coming in he's excellent at. Then he's got a strong arm with a quick release and uncanny accuracy to add to that.

"He has one problem, going back on balls hit over his head"

Balls wouldn't be over his head if he would go back on them..... like the one a couple games ago. Maybe he needs glasses.

Nav, you may be referring to Weeks's double in the ninth inning Friday night. Soriano froze, and then turned and ran back to retrieve the bouncing ball.

Not saying he should have caught the ball, just that I'd like to see somebody-- Reed Johnson, for example--try.

sori's D gets some "help" from his arm and people running on first it seemed they ran on him because they didn't know what he had in his arm.

lately (last year and this so far) it seems they're running on him because after plays he's usually in a clumsy position to throw the ball once he fields it. the "hop" usually leaves him off balance or kills his forward momentum adding time to getting rid of the ball.

this doesn't take in account his weird routes, stuff that he misjudges over his head, or the free base he gave away yesterday slowing jogging to a ball rather than running to snag it.

that said i'd still say he's above average and his arm is something everyone (should) think about when he's fielding. though, so far this season MIL has turned that lack of fearing sori's arm into a runner on 3rd and a run scored in separate incidents where he had control of the ball long enough to make a play.

ESPN Chicago goes live tomorrow

I'm on pins and needles.

I hear Jay's doing so blogging now. Maybe those geniuses at ESPN will give us more Mariotti.

Giving Mariotti his own lame radio show was what ended Tony Kornheiser's radio show--one of the few sports radio shows I actually enjoyed.

This has Epic Fail written all over it.

I had heard this on Bruce Levine's show yesterday. What is the difference going to be exactly? From the little I heard, there will be myriad blogs with "professional" writer/editors posting shit 24x7. IS that all?

It seems to me that many of the problems with Soriano is how he looks out there in attempting to field, and not whether or not he's actually making the plays with any consistency (which he usually does) - and that arm always reminds me of Dawson's, with the same degree of accuracy. Remind me how many times runners scored successfully from 2nd on ground balls through the hole - not too many last year, if I remember correctly.

We wouldn't be having this debate about last night's game were it not for the fact that Guzman came in and pitched pathetically once again. Why are we keeping this guy? What good is having stuff when your results stink all the time?

Uncle Lou needs to have one of his "nice little chats" with Angel and let him know that his time in Chicago is finite if he doesn't start getting the job done...

I don't think it will be long until you can add Guzman to the list of: Prior, Patterson, Pie, etc. of Cubs top tier prospects that were dumped due to failing to get the job done.

Uh... going into last night's game Guzman's numbers on the season were the best on the staff.

I had advocated all spring that it is finally "ENOUGH" with Gooz. Every year since I've seen him come up he's either injured or has control problems from batter to batter. This is Hendry hanging on too long.

Obviously, had Gaudin not completely stunk it up in ST, we also would not be having this discussion. Frankly, no other RH reliever did much in ST besides "Old Style", on a consistent basis.

Lou is not going to have patience with Cotts either - ala last year. IF he doesn't improve, and in a hurry, he will get his ass sent to Iowa once again. The irony is that the best LHRP (Broke Scott Eyre) got dumped last year, and we now have an A-ball LHRP as the only one that can get people out (well, not counting Marshall).

True on the Eyre thing, but he pissed Lou off so much that he was in the doghouse the entire first half of 2008. It doesn't do a lot of good to have him if you're not going to use him.

Yeah, but Lou needs also to realize that sometimes relievers have a bad stretch and that doesn't necessarily make them permanently useless. The Lou-Hates-Pitchers argument makes a lot of sense to me based on observation of him. (I wish he'd stop doing all the mound visits because of that—let you're pitching coach handle it if all you have to contribute is "throw strikes" and a string of expletives.)

Yeah, but Lou's right more often than not when he goes out there on one of those visits to curse somebody out. I don't always agree with how many pitchers he uses to get through the 7th and 8th, but walking the world just isn't acceptable. Or, if your Cotts, hit the one fucking guy he wants you to face.

Now if you're argument is that he should be nice to his pitchers and take them out for an ice cream cone at Six Flags after the game so Cotts can ride the tilt-a-whirl, then fine. But, to an extent, he's right. All 6 guys down there (Vizcaino excluded) have to throw a LOT more strikes than they've thrown this week or we're going to be in big trouble.

I think that "throw strikes" isn't very helpful unless your pitcher has actually forgotten that's what he's supposed to do. I've never been a fan of intimidation and humiliation as a coaching method—even when he's right (and of course he is—the pitcher isn't in their to put men on base). If you've got something helpful to say, go out and say it, but does it really help your pitcher to curse him out? Maybe some guys need that punch in the crotch, but I doubt it works for everybody.

I agree completely though that the bullpen needs to throw more strikes. I wonder whether they are nibbling too much or are simply having control problems.

To be fair, Cotts has had two bad ABs in a row, right? Yeah, it's infuriating to bring in a pitcher to face one guy and not get him, but it's still only two ABs. I'm always concerned a guy will end up in the minors, released, or traded because of that when Lou just needs to give them a chance.

" I'm always concerned a guy will end up in the minors, released, or traded because of that when Lou just needs to give them a chance."

I hope when Eyre gets his ring he sends an autographed photo of him modelling it to Loue to hang in his office.

I hope when Eyre gets his ring he can hock it for some cash. I hear he's broke.

I think it will also help if Lou doesn't pretend Cotts is a Loogy. It'll take him a long time to prove himself, too, if Lou only lets him face one batter every couple of games.

Guzman has had, what, one bad outing so far this year? I agree with you on his history, but I'm not whining until he blocks someone more valuable. They already dumped Gaudin, so that leaves Kevin Hart and Ascanio, neither of whom look like improvements right at the moment (though they both have good enough stuff to develop into good relievers).

We'll never know the real reason behind the dumping of Woody, but I surely hope it doesn't come back to bite us in the arse.

ESPN Insider speaks of rumblings of Peavy to Brewers later this season.

"take them out for an ice cream cone at Six Flags after the game so Cotts can ride the tilt-a-whirl"

That's funny, WES! Does Six Flags even HAVE a tilt-a-whirl?

Re rumor of Peavy to BREW - do you really think they will want to pay him?

Obviously, the Cubs ownership limbo really affected Hendry's ability to get people he wants. When he's really wanted someone, he's gotten them, in the post-McFail era.

I'm still thinkin' it will be possible once the Ricketts open for business.

Yeah, I think it's BS. The Brewers weren't willing to pay CC, why pay for Peavy? I think that Peavy will finish the season on a coast--either in San Diego or with the Yankees or Red Sox.

Thats complete BS. The Brewers offered a substantial contract to Sabathia that was fair. They just werent willing to dish out Yankee cash for him.

People make it sound like Milwaukee is some destitute franchise that can't afford anyone. They can easily take on Peavy's contract which really isnt that expensive.

I don't have ESPN Insider, so I'm not sure of they are linking to the Trib, but Sullivan wrote a fluff piece on Peavy to the Brewers as well.

Okay, I think our bullpen (and lineup for that matter) deserve a little patience. Bring it down a notch. We're exactly 5 games into the season.

Clearly, if the Brewers contend they'll need to add an arm to the rotation. You can't play in October with Suppan as your number one starter and expect to get anywhere. Of course, (You've heard it here first) I'd be surprised if the Brewers finish much above .500 anyways.

I heard or read about this Peavy -to Milwaukee rumor in ST. Part of the reason they might do it, is to prevent us from getting him. Especislly if the pennant race gets tight. I wouldn't put it past any of our Central division opponents. Except PITT and CINTI.

I agree that our bullpen is walking way too many guys but I think our offense just isn't scoring enough. I'd like to see Hoffpauir in the lineup tonight!

Reed Johnson: Cubs play of the year for a second season?

The camera man helped to add some shock and excitement; rather than just thinking he pulled back a grand slam, it seemed like he pulled back an upper deck grand slam.

Very exciting play—with or without the assist by the camera man. Great catch. Saved at least two runs.

Milton Bradley lasts 5 games, woot! Eleventy11!! Thank god Fukudome is playing well, just slide him back over to RF for the next X weeks/months.

If Bradley is DL-ed, who do the Cubs call up? Jake Fox? Brad Snyder? So Taguchi?

Maybe it'll be a little Hoff-power time?

Six games with Bradley. Geez, that is pathetic. As you say, if Dome can continue being useful with the bat, it will be not so tragic. I am more worried about DP Lee.

At least he drove in a run with a nice sac fly.

i say jake fox mainly because i picked him in contest but can play corners and
also be a backup catching option.
just say no to so

Prediction: Fuku full time in RF, Joey platoons with Reed in CF, Fox or Fuld gets called up. My brain says I know Joey sucks and can't hit, but I'm beginning to warm up to this guy, he seems to make things happen. Lou sure likes him enough, so I can see him getting some starts if Bradley is DL-ed.

Fox is not, and will not, be a backup catcher option.

Fox used to catch, but he isn’t a catcher anymore, and there is a reason for that. He was really bad defensively. If he has ANY ability behind the plate, he would probably already be playing on a big league roster. He isn’t even listed as a catcher on the Iowa Cubs roster, and hasn’t caught since 2007, where he only caught 13 games.

Catchers are in very high demand, especially catchers who can hit. If Fox had any ability behind the plate, he would be catching every day in the minors.

Jake Fox will not catch for the Chicago Cubs, or probably any other team.


But-- Fox is a much more desirable emergency catcher than, say, Aaron Miles.

You don't bring up a player because they can be an emergency catcher.

Jose Macias? Err....anyway Jake Fox also plays the corner outfield spots and could get called up to be a backup OF if Bradley has to be DL'ed and at the same time take over the emergency catching duties from Miles. (hopefully we'll never have to see either one behind the plate...but I have to imagine that as bad as Fox was defensively, he'd be better than Miles)

You do when your starting catcher is injured and not on the DL and you only have one other catcher on the roster.

towards the end of ST, Jake Fox was, as a matter of fact, catching again

CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!! 8-5 over division rival MIL to take another road series 2 games to 1. Moves the Cubs to 4-2, a half game behind STL.

- Johnson. Reed making his case for defensive play of the year very early by robbing Prince Fielder of a Grand Slam and savings 3 runs.
- Brewer pitchers. 10 BB's in the game and walked 4 Cubs runners in in the 4th inning.

- Lee. Another 0-fer night going 0-3 and now has started the year out in a 2-25 slump.
- Bradley. Whoever had game 6 in the 'when will Bradley get hurt' pool, YOU WIN! Bradley tweaked his right groin tonight and will be reevaluated tomorrow to see how bad the injury is. This is what scared many of us with this signing as Bradley has been injury prone and has played more than 101 games only 2 times in his career. Oh yeah, Bradley has started the year out in a 1-17 slump.

- Gregg. Looked very shaky again in a non save situation in the 9th. He might be only one more bad blown save away from losing the closers job to the best reliever, Marmol.

Taking series' on the road is huge, and the Cubs have done it twice even though some of their key players have struggled. Now they come home tomorrow for the home opener. Just keep taking series' and fans will be very happy.

you seem to have your own column now.

Guessed you missed the RBI Lee got in from the deep fly to RF in the 8th?

He's stinkin' now, for sure - but at least be fair if you are planning to keep up with "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" stuff.

More than likely, he will revert to his career averages. But, how long will this be goin' on?

No, I saw the SF, but that does not mean he is hitting good. It was a deep out though.

I fail to see why people get angry about something like a pulled groin that's going to cause Bradley to miss a max of 2-3 weeks during the first month of the season. I'm not saying that you are one of those specifically, manny, but this seemed like the logical place to put that thought with the rest of the following.

I don't frankly care if Bradley misses 125 games as long as he's there when the playoffs start. Why does anybody panic about anything in April anyway? Something tells me this minor injury in the first week of the season won't keep him out until October. We'll see where we stand when he gets hurt again, though. Maybe there's another ACL tear in his future. We'll all find out together, I guess. Also, yes Bradley is slumping, but he's still doing a pretty darn good job of getting on base in front of the guy slugging 538. I wish he was getting on base ahead of the guy slugging 786, but the only guys who got that honor this weekend were our career .193 hitting backup catcher and the pitcher.

I am also struggling with what the qualifiers are to be selected as "good", "bad", or "ugly" by manny. Is it good in a baseball sense or good in a "affects the outcome in a favorable way for our baseball team"? Just trying to feel it out here.

Ok,point taken. Allow me to retort. If Bradley misses 50 games, let alone 125 (haha), the Cubs will struggle to make the playoffs.

The good, bad, ugly titles are for what happened good, bad, or ugly for the Cubs in that game (and maybe overall thus far in the season).

You know that you are just copying Buster Olney right? He's been doing the the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for a while now.

I do not read his articles, but I am pretty sure he doesn't own a copyright on the concept. It is just more of a cleaner way to formalize my thoughts of the game. Take it for what it is, just a poster commenting on the game. And of course, flame away...:)

I wasn't pointing out any copyright infringement (you can't even copyright a phrase). I just found it odd that a poster commenting on the game would choose to use the same exact format that another baseball commentator has been using online, on Sportscenter, on Baseball Tonight, and on Mike & Mike for years, without referencing the inspiration. But it sounds like you've never heard it used in any of those places before, so flame away.

I have heard it used before in many facets of life, probably in reference to baseball too, but again it was just a way to formalize my thoughts. Never thought I needed to reference it. Sorry Buster, no offense!!

Cubs now 1 game out of the wild card lead (ATL and FLA).
156 games to go...

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  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 36 min 6 sec ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 48 min 22 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 57 min 16 sec ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 2 hours 41 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 3 hours 37 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 3 hours 55 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 5 hours 9 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 5 hours 48 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 5 hours 48 min ago view