Cubs Beat Rockies in 11; Zambrano Getting Recast
Aramis Ramirez blasted a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Rockies Monday night at Wrigley. Lou Piniella's post-game press conference, the main topic of which was a player who never even appeared in the game, was at least as newsworthy as the main event.
First about the game:
The Cubs had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 courtesy of run-scoring singles by Aramis Ramirez and Koyie Hill, before the Rockies tied the game in the 8th inning on a single and three walks, two by John Grabow and one by Carlos Marmol. Marmol redeemed himself by inducing an inning-ending double play, nicely initiated by Starlin Castro, to preserve the tie.
From the ninth through the eleventh, Marmol and Sean Marshall held the Rockies scoreless and hitless while fanning seven (!!!).
Castro led off the bottom of the 11th with a single, his third hit of the night. After Derrek Lee lined out to Troy Tulowitzki, Ramirez pounded the game-winning shot halfway up the bleachers in left-center field. It was Ramirez's first HR in 108 AB's, dating all the way back to April 15th in Milwaukee.
The failing of the Cub bullpen—primarily the failure of Grabow—cost Randy Wells a victory on a night when the righty threw a career-high 116 pitches and limited the visitors to 1 run on 7 hits over 6 2/3 innings. He also pitched himself out of a potentially disastrous fourth inning, striking out Ian Stewart and Clint Barmes to get out of a bases loaded, one out jam.
About the press conference and events leading up to it...
When Grabow took the mound to begin the eighth inning, Kasper and Brenly pointed out that only Carlos Marmol was warming up in the pen. Our 8th Inning Man, Carlos Zambrano, was nowhere to be seen...at least not until the tv cameras found him sitting in the dugout alongside Geovany Soto.
In his post-game meeting with the press, Piniella explained that Zambrano's role in the bullpen would be changing. Piniella, as quoted by Sullivan in the Tribune:
We thought the outcome (of moving Z to the bullpen) would be different. He's not as comfortable in the bullpen pitching short. So we're going to use him in a different role, give him some stamina, build up his arm.
Piniella said his lefties, Grabow and Marshall, would serve as setup men and in answer to a direction question, Lou finally said that Zambrano would rejoin the starting rotation "down the road, if need be."
I guess that means long relief for now. Thing is, Cub starters are averaging better than six innings per outing so it doesn't seem like there is much "long relief" duty to be had. Unless we're talking about mop-up duty in those lost cause games, in which case I'd say that having an $18MM-a-year Mop-Up Man seems a lot sillier than having an $18MM-a-year Setup Guy.
Like just about everything involving this team this year, the Zambrano situation should be fascinating, if not actually enjoyable, to watch.
Ignore it? You talk about it all the time. I'm sure the rest of the board notices, but just doesn't feel the need to harp on it. It is not like we can do anything about it anyway.
that's an interesting leap.
so, we ignore the thing that keeps happening and if one chooses to not ignore it then one obviously wants to replace him with dan harren.
it's fair game. the guy, on multiple occasions, puts the team in 4+ out innings because a guy who throws a ball for a living can't throw to a base. it's not like this happened once or twice or three times or four times or...
There goes Ross' ASG prospects...
unique curiosity is a good description...
he has a lot of 4-5 out innings. this is at least the 2nd time he's turned a double play ball into 0 outs just this year that i've noticed and he's got a slew of "4-out" innings under his belt, too.
and 1.83 ERA
Cubs should trade him, get a worse pitcher that loses games instead but can make a throw to 1b.
Agreed, but like with Garza, I am surprised that more managers don't try an exploit a clear weakness.
not sure either, but in most cases I imagine someone else can field it. And if you bunt it directly at him, he would have enough time to underhand toss it or just run it over?
Today's bunt, he really, really didn't want to field it. Not sure if he lost it in his glove after that or just wasn't going to make the throw. It's not ideal obviously, yet still hasn't had any real impact on the team.
well, how long do keep pretending that a bunt hit well back to the pitcher that would be a double play for many pitchers isn't a "thing"? it's a story. it's not like it's a physical defect people are picking on.
no one gave chuck knoblauch a pass when he lost the ability to throw a ball to 1st.
it's a unique curiosity for a guy who throws a ball on a professional level for a living.
CB Bucknor behind the plate...he is and will continue to always be awful.
Not sure why teams don't bunt more often against him.
To be fair he also had a strike 3 called a ball.
Tomorrow's Sun-Times Headline after Lester's 1 ER, 10 K effort. "150M Lester Fails to Field Sac Bunt."
LESTER ESCAPES! no runs after bases loaded, 0 out!
30 pitch inning.
Yeah, I saw that. Gotta love being a pitcher and getting that "several inches off the inside corner" called as a strike.
he just got a gift on that 2nd K...sides have shifted in a patented lester 4-5 out inning.
...and holy crap, that 2nd strike call on markasis. wow. that was gift wrapped.
Whew. Lester v Braves + Umpires. Umpires are threatening this inning...
ruh roh, 24-hour Lester YIPS narratives coming at you after that failed attempt to field a bunt. Time to log off.