Nearly 7 innings of great baseball from the pitching and defense, ruined in 4 batters. That was a debacle deep-fried in a disaster served with a chaser of Cubbery. 

20/20 Hindsight: After 6 innings of one run ball, 71 pitches and retiring 14 of 16 since the 2nd inning, Lou lifts Carlos Silva. Silva apparently did have some right shoulder tightness. Fair enough.  Lou replaces him with another sinker baller in Justin Berg, who takes 7 pitches to get through the 7th. I think it's safe to say the Reds weren't handling the sinker too good by this point. Lou even double switched Marlon Byrd so the pitcher's spot in the lineup wouldn't come up in the top of the 8th. Naturally, you still must replace Berg because he worked an entire inning. He cannot possbly handle the rigors of sitting on the bench for 10 minutes to face the bottom of the lineup after retiring the Reds 4-5-6 hitters. Not when such bullpen lynchpins like Esmailin Caridad and John Grabow can be called upon. Lou goes with Caridad, working for the third straight day and Caridad takes Gomes 0-2 and then loses him on a walk. He does the same with Ramon Hernandez(hint to Lou that he might not have it tonight) and then him and Ramirez get confused on how to take an out when the other team gives it to you, followed by throwing a pitch up and over the plate when Koyie sets-up low and inside on Drew Stubbs. Game over.

This idea of defined roles in the bullpen is neat and all, when you actually have players worth defining. The Cubs have Marmol to close and 6 other guys. Play the match-ups and ride the hot hand. Nobody in that pen besides Marmol is deserving of the benefit of the doubt or entitled to any set role at the moment.

The Good: Carlos Silva! Who expected that? The defense did make some fine plays behind him. Ryan Theriot is off the schnide. Mike Fontenot goes 4/5.

Minor League Watch: Jay Jackson got the start for Iowa and goes 5 innings, but gives up 3 runs on 2 home runs. He does strike out 4. Hoffpauir and Dubois go deep in the 5-2 loss. John Gaub gives up 2 runs in an inning of work. At AA, Tony Campana goes 3/4 with a BB and 2 stolen bases out of the leadoff spot and Brandon Guyer goes 2/4 with 2 SB's. Castro goes 1/5. On the pitching side, Ryan Buchter strikes out the side in his inning of work and Jake Muyco picks up the save as Tennessee wins 5-4. Vitters, LeMahieu and Burke each go 1/4 for Daytona with Vitters making an error and getting picked off. Chris Rusin gets tagged for 6 runs in 4 innings in a 7-0 loss. I don't believe Daytona has an extra base hit yet. Jose Valdez goes 3/4 with 2 SB's, plus getting caught once and getting picked off after going 2/4 on Opening night. Peoria loses 5-4 though, although Jeff Antigua strikes out 5 in 5 innings, giving up 2 runs.

Next Up: Z tries to redeem himself against Aaron Harang.


On the bright side, this will keep Marmol from being overused.

I'm already in assume-the-worst mode. Silva looked extremely uncomfortable after throwing one of those pitches to Votto. Expecting to learn today or tomorrow that there is problem beyond tightness in the shoulder. Hell of an effort by him last night, however.

Also wondering if Ricketts's recent declaration that Lou's fate is squarely in Hendry's hands would make Hendry more or less likely to replace him if the Cubs get off to a dismal start.

I thought it looked on TV like he was a little ticked when Larry came and told him he was coming out. And he told the paper he was fine:

"His shoulder stiffened," Piniella said and then repeated twice.

When asked how his shoulder was, Silva replied: "Good. I was ready to go out. They took me out. I was ready to go out."

He added that the only time he felt stiffness was when he tried to field a groundball earlier in the game and fell to the ground.

Actually, Homer was pitching for the other team last night.

That homerun must have been so bittersweet for dusty.
He got the hr, but the damn bases were clogged.

Not only was it clear Caridad didn't have it, but he was throwing a tantrum out there on the mound. And from what I saw, the pitches he was complaining about WERE balls. Gameday shows the same thing, all of his strikes were called strikes (or hit) and all of his balls called balls:

Then today the newspaper has this:

Caridad seemed to blame home-plate umpire Doug Eddings.
"He didn't call strikes," Caridad said. "I throw a strike, and he doesn't call it a strike. I don't know why."

Yep, all Eddings fault. Keep telling yourself that...

It's always a good idea to piss off or alienate the umpires when you're just starting off in the bigs. This where Maddux could be useful in tutoring the youngsters on the fine art of patronizing the umps.

The Reds did everything they could to try and give us this game.

This bullpen will be the epitaph of the 2010 team unless changes are made early enough. Disappointing...but predictable. Let's get a win today.

well that shows some real composure out of your set-up man...

note Rob's pic of Caridad has an "I" on his hat

Smiley soon to be wearing it again when Jeff Gray is ready

Not sure Caridad will be the first to leave. He is an 8th-inning reliever, after all. Berg pitched the 7th. When does Samardzija come in, when the starter gets knocked out in the 3rd?

It's less demoralizing to have a young guy blow a save than an older guy like Gregg, who isn't going to get better.

If taking out Berg was necessary, Samardzija would've been a reasonable choice, given how poorly the Reds had done against Silva and Berg. Samardzija would've been basically more of the same, and he hasn't pitched since Monday. He does seem to be our long reliever at the moment (since Marshall has been so dominant and pitched himself into a high stakes role).

why was taking out Berg necessary? he threw 7 pitches, that's not even an warm-up.

I don't think it was. I think Lou forgot that he'd used Caridad two days in a row, and he forgot that pitchers can go more than one inning when they are pitching well.

Have I mentioned that I think Lou is dumb or at least doesn't put that much energy into managing?

I know feel better after that loss than when Grabow blew it.

Nope, not all.

Everything is all screwy, Theriot is not hitting much, but playing brilliant D. Fontenot is hitting. All very silly.

I'm thinking "Caribad" for a nickname, but it's almost too obvious. I'm not real pleased with it. Any other good nicknames we could use for him?

S-"mail in"...Is Mile Long...Hairy Nads?
That's all I got

I'm not very optimistic about this team and wasn't even though they had a decent spring training record. They're pretty weak up the middle (although Theriot seems to have discovered his inner Castro), which is never good, they don't have the explosive offense that can quickly turn a game around, and they really pretty much appear to have almost no viable relief pitching other than Marshall and Marmol. And even Marmol reminds me too much of The Wild Thing sometimes, although he's got better stuff and could be a really dominant reliever if he could harness it completely.

That said, if they can manage a nice little 2 game winning streak they go home with a .500 road trip.

The lineup is less than awe-inspiring to begin with, but they've also underperformed this week. You're not likely to score many runs when your leadoff hitter has a .118 OBP and your number 3 hitter isn't doing much with the bad (Lee really didn't get on the board until last night). Meanwhile, our #5 hitter does have 2 homeruns, but they are his only two hits, and the guy behind him is Soriano.

Most of these guys are going to put up better overall numbers than they have right now (except Lee, whose OPS looks good after last night's game). We've got a lot more guys underperforming this week than overperforming (Fontenot? Nady?), so the losses shouldn't be surprising. The bullpen is worrisome, but I expect to see guys like Cashner, Grey, Stephens, Schlitter, and Patton mixed and matched in there until they find the most effective bunch (I'd still prefer that to trading for any overpriced relievers). I also wonder whether Silva or Gorzo could be dependable out of the pen, since Lilly should be back soon.

And did anyone else think what Len and Bob had to say about Soto sitting on the bench last night was ridiculous? Soto has to hit or he'll be replaced by Hill because he can't perform as poorly as last year and stay in the lineup? Did anyone mention his .240-ish BABIP to Lou last year? Does everybody else have the same deal? Riot's not hitting either, right now--will he be replaced by Castro on Monday if he doesn't get his average up to .300 this weekend?

I didn't hear what Len and Bob said but today Lou was quoted, "Look, let's just leave it that we need Soto to swing the bat, and we'll leave it at that," he said.

Lou overall seems impatient this year -- he already seems ready to give up on Grabow as a set up man, probably not a bad thing, just sayin'.

Lou is impatient for a good reason. He's fighting for his job, he's going to make other people, including rich pampered free agents, fight for theirs.

I like this competition stuff. Theriot/Castro, Piniella/Sandberg, Soto/Hill, Mesa/Naples, Fukudome/Nady, Soriano/Colvin. Only good can come of this.

Lou is impatient for a good reason... I like this competition stuff... Only good can come of this.

Impatience rarely leads to good decisions. So some bad can come of this "competition" if Lou is impatient.

SS Theriot, RF Fukudome, 1B Lee, 3B Ramirez, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, 2B Fontenot, C Soto, P Zambrano

With Nady apparently ready to play the OF (sort of--he didn't look all that good in RF last night), Colvin isn't going to get all that much playing time. Lou isn't going to rotate two outfielders in there that much. Nady gets the start last night, so Lou won't play Colvin today--doesn't want to sit Fukudome two games in a row. Might be time soon to send Colvin back to AAA so he can get his ABs and Adduci or Fuld can begin their 5th outfielder careers.'s been a week. Patience, is a virtue.

Z's ERA is exactly 10 times higher than Harang's, and Harang's ain't exactly pretty.

soriano for gold glove...

Soriano still can't play left field

Colvin catches that ball. Just sayin'.

so does MikeC probably...


Colvin hits that homerun twice. Just sayin'.

Time for Grabow to kick us in the nads.

woo etc.

Marmol had a wicked slider today. Nice to get in the win column for Z.

Also interesting that Lou went all defense in the bottom 9th, including Hill for Soto and Colvin for Soriano.

I wonder if he'll do the Hill switch with any regularity?

11 sliders, 2 fastballs...he's relying very heavy on it early this year.

at least 1 of the 2 fastballs he threw he had control over.

crunch: if someone can hit one of his sliders, then he is fighting strong odds.

unpossible, Koyie Hill was catching, he doesn't call sliders

If he were to call fastballs, Marmol would be throwing 100 MPH, it just wouldn't be fair.

Hill caught Marmol eleven out thirteen appearances last September. In three of those, Hill came off the bench to "relieve" Soto. It's why I thought the Cubs needed a third catcher--there's nobody behind Hill when he comes in to "close." Last year they had Fox.

In any case, it's a tough situation for Soto, being first-string but playing second fiddle. What other first-string catcher comes out when the closer comes in?

I hope Soto bounces back, and he probably will, but I don't think his future with this team is long term.

Is Jeff Baker the emergency catcher? Fontenot? Marmol?

add Randy Wells to the emergency catcher list

Today's fun fact:

Cubs Left on Base: 0

Frank Thomas blame the Sox loss on the early start today and extra inning game the night before.

Which the Twins, who won today, were in last night also.

Keep up the good work, big skirt.

I'll blame it on countering the Twins ace with Freddy Garcia. I don't care how many innings they played last night, that dog just ain't gonna hunt.

Twins started Mauer at catcher this morning after last night's game as well...guess they're not messing around early.

mauer only ph last night

nice! 2-3

But more importantly, at the moment Milton Bradley is 1/19 with one home run his only hit, same as last year but worse, he's struck out 8 times.

And, oh, the irony, he's been dropped to fifth in the order.

And...was accused by Ranger fans of giving them the finger yesterday.

And just butchered a ball hit to him in left field.

Milton Bradley can go on to win the MVP, triple crown, and cy young for all I care.

"nice! 2-3

But more importantly..."

really? =p

why is that so important to NAV? Tim Wilken didn't draft him.

yeah, more important than a win is how Milton Bradley is doing in the AL.

of all the stupid things that have been said in the comments.

a you-know-what through 7 against the Rays

7.2 ip, first batter hit one off Sabathia's hand but Cano got him.

and a single by Shoppach to left....

no-no no-mo, shoppach single

Twins started Mauer at catcher this morning after last night's game as well.
Mauer didn't start last night, he came into the game as a ph for Butera in the 11th and walked and scored the winning run (now that's how legends are made)

whoops...I turned the game on late and just assumed he started.

Well that does make more sense.

and I need to read the whole comment thread b4 I make a comment

from Paul Sullivan on sunday...Cari-bad just might be the umpire's nickname for him:

As for Caridad, Piniella had to explain to the rookie that it's not in his best interest to accuse the umpire of squeezing him on the two walks that led to the Drew Stubbs' game-winning grand slam. Umpires don't take kindly to rookies questioning their strike zones in the media.

more Sullivan...Marmol's now the wise veteran.

Marmol has only three-plus years of big league experience, but he spent Saturday morning counseling Esmailin Caridad after the rookie blew Friday night's game. It was his first big failure as a big leaguer, and Marmol played the role of a wise veteran.

"He learned from that," Marmol said. "We learn from our mistakes. We have tomorrow. He needs to forget stuff."

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • rain delay...bah.

    crunch 51 min 7 sec ago view
  • Indians extend their streak.

    Darwin Barney gets tagged with the loss.

    Mornington Crescent 58 min 7 sec ago view
  • delayed until 7:20 -EST- (tarp off the field)...

    CLE/TOR in the top 18th in case you're bored. 2nd baseman r.goins pitching for TOR...hit 90mph so far. 1ip 2h 1bb 0k, 0 r/er (bb was ibb). he threw a fastball/change mix. crowd loved it. d.ross is not impressed.

    d.barney strands j.lake at 2nd in the bottom 18 for the cubs the 19th!

    -cubs game has begun-

    crunch 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: Javier Assad was still pitching into the 6th inning, and the first batter he faced reached base on an E-4 (that was Assad's 70th and final pitch of the game). Then Leathersich relieved Assad and retired the second batter 4-3 on the first pitch of the AB (the runner at 1st base advanced to 2nd on the play), and then on an 0-1 pitch the third batter in the inning (second one faced by Leathersich) lined into an inning-ending 6-4 DP (baserunner doubled off 2nd base). When calculating GO/AO, double plays and triple plays count as only one out. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 28 min ago view
  • Wow. The site actually loaded without an error! Happy 4th all, and Go Cubs!

    The E-Man 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • OK -- my 4th of July resolution is to try to stay more positive. So -- 10 games to the AS break, meaning the Cubs will be in first place at the break! First time since...2008? Also, hopefully, Willson, KB and Javy learned something about Familia yesterday that they can use in the future.

    billybucks 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 41 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    Rob Richardson 8 hours 20 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 8 hours 36 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 8 hours 48 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 49 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 11 hours 57 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 12 hours 14 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 12 hours 15 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 20 hours 49 min ago view