Game 26 Thread - Maholm vs. Billingsley

Right now, the Cubs have 14 Home Runs on the year, Matt Kemp 12...the race is on. If you're in the area, apparently there are some $4 tickets available thanks to the wonders of dynamic pricing. I'd certainly pay that to see Kemp and Castro play.

Dodgers Cubs
Gordon, SS *DeJesus, RF
M. Ellis, 2B
*Campana, CF
Kemp, CF
Castro, SS
*Ethier, RF
*LaHair, 1B
Rivera, LF
Soriano, LF
*Loney, 1B
*Stewart, 3B
Hairston, 3B
Barney, 2B
A.J. Ellis, C
Soto, C
Billingsley, P
*Maholm, P

The big news I suppose is that Carlos Marmol is out as closer for the time being, with Rafael Dolis and James Russell set to share duties depending on matchups. Kerry Wood could be a possibility down the road. This drastic move should easily put about 10-15 extra wins in the Cubs column the rest of the way as they'll undoubtedly never blow a game. Fun fact, Rafael Dolis walk rate is 4.7 BB/9 and he gives up a lot of groundballs for Ian Stewart to butcher, much like he did yesterday to cost Marmol his job. Between Soriano and Marmol, the Ricketts are going to have to hire Kobayashi to eat all that contract money.

The Dodgers, for what little it's worth, have signed Bobby Abreu and optioned a former Cub in Justin Sellers to make room for him.

May the fourth be with you.

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Comments

I'll be in parachat until about 3pm CST.

check the twitter box for an amusing run of questions on Cubs (lack of) relievers.

Imo anyone who pretends they can predict closer success is fooling themselves. Outside of Rivera, it's been almost a complete crap shoot either in terms of talent, emotional ability or injury. Heck, the whole bullpen thing is that way to a lesser success.

I suppose to a degree, but closers with some long term success generally have nasty stuff...

Rivera (cutter)
Hoffmann (change)
Sutter (split-finger)
K-Rod (slider)
Wagner (fastball/slider)

of course opportunity is a big ingredient and having nasty stuff probably gets you the opportunity. But certainly any reliever or closer can be successful for a year or two.

Exactly. Who's asking whether these middle relievers can be elite closers? They're asking whether they could close.

And if they could manage an ERA around 3.5 (or lower) and not implode on a regular basis, they could close for the Cubs in 2013. Thus, Dolis could be the Cubs short-term closer until somebody with a higher K-rate emerges.

And if they could manage an ERA around 3.5 (or lower) and not implode on a regular basis, they could close for the Cubs in 2013. Thus, Dolis could be the Cubs short-term closer until somebody with a higher K-rate emerges.

sure, but who cares who closes in 2013 if you're reserved to the team sucking (as you should).

I'll be pretty surprised if Dolis doesn't implode soon with his K/BB rates.

I guess I could just care less who is closing for the Cubs right now or next year. More important to find 2-3 decent relievers than one dominant closer. It's also more important for the Cubs to figure out where they are going to get a couple of top of the rotation pitchers and legitimate major league position players at 2B, LF, and potentially 3B and C.

There really isn't all that much reason to worry about who is pitching in the 9th until you know who your 1 and 2 pitchers are, who is actually going to drive in runs, and who are going to be the 2-3 reliable pitchers to bridge the gap between rotation and pen. People worry too much about saves.

You don't think Dolis can improve those numbers? That's a question, not a challenge to the assumption. The way he throws seems okay, he doesn't have the scary arm motion Marmol had when he was good, and his slider, although not as wicked as Marmol's, can be effective. If he improves his ratio just a bit, he could close.

There are very few great closers, like it was mentioned. And, as you say, most of the time they have some killer pitch (which I think Dolis may lack from my limited views of him - but I've heard Brenley say that he has great stuff and I like his opinions).

At the same time, playoff advancing teams always find a closer for at least that one season. For us, you would think it doesn't matter, but it kind of does because it is tough on young players to see leads vanish quickly. That takes a toll. I asked my friend Frank the Baseball psychologist and he tells me that is so.

if you can go 2-3 days in a row, your arm rebounds well, and you have an out pitch vs lefties and righties you're good to go.

there's a lot (well, not a ton) of guys who get passed over on closing roles even though they got the stuff because they can't work the load without endangering their arms (SF believes this about s.romo).

a guy like s.marshall makes for a rare-ish non-power-pitching lefty closer, but he's got pitches for both lefties and righties that's effective.

after the marmol thing ends i hope the cubs never look further than 4-7m for paying for a closer. i know marmol technically fits that bill, but i'd also rather not see them trying to save such a small amount of potential millions on his kind of risk/reward possibility.

they just sent down the best reliever in the pen to AAA...for some f'n reason.

5.2ip 1h 2bb 10k

we can't have that in the pros...dude needs more minor league seasoning. he's only 27.

forgot that I'm blacked out on my computer and don't have a TV in my office.

/flips table

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120...

a look at possible #1 draft picks and in a way a look at who could drop to Cubs

From BA's Hot Sheet. Not so Hot Sheet to be more exact:

•Ronald Torreyes, 2b, Cubs: Torreyes has shown some good things and some bad early in the high Class A Florida State League season. The pint-sized second baseman is hitting just .205/.274/.289 in 23 games, including a 1-for-25 (.040) stretch over the past week. The good news is that Torreyes' terrific hand-eye coordination and bat control have not deserted him. Even this past week, he has not struck out once, and he only has seven strikeouts all season. His early performance has been underwhelming, but as a 19-year-old in the FSL, there's no need to panic here.

• Gerardo Concepcion, lhp, Cubs: The Cubs gave Concepcion a rather stunning five-year major league deal worth $6 million in March, a move that was widely derided throughout the international scouting community. While the deal was seen as a significant overpay, Concepcion at least figured to be able to handle the low minors without much issue due to his success in Cuba's Serie Nacional at a young age. Instead, the 20-year-old's first two low Class A Peoria starts have resulted in 12 rus in 5 2/3 innings, including a start this week in which he couldn't even get out of the first. Concepcion is throwing strikes, but he's also struck out just two of the 32 batters he's faced, a pattern consistent with his middling strikeout rate in Cuba with a very hittable fastball that sits in the high 80s.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

i stilll dont know where this "success" in cuba was looking at his numbers.

the "success" was that he was allowed to pitch at that level at best. i think he won their ROY equivalent...not sure.

among qualified hitters

Bourn, Span, Sweeney, Tejada, Ellis, Scutaro, Polanco, Walker, Carroll, Rollins, Bloomquist, Suzuki,Bonifacio (no XBH's), Brantley, DeJesus, Pennington, Reyes, Murphy, Peralta, Morel, Aybar, Byrd

those aren't all that surprising, these are:
McCutchen, Soriano, Francouer, Y. Alonso, Choo, Pujols

2 more years of the simpsons (after this) and it's most likely g'bye.

the ratings...they suck for traditional animation. i love the show. thank god for merchandising. woo.

also, people need to watch Bob's Burgers so it stays on the air another couple of decades. thnx gbye.

The Simpsons jumped the shark years ago. They started when I was in 6th grade for fucks sake, I'm 34 now. That's just too long. Family Guy is right behind them. I'll give Bob's Burgers a shot, why not.

oh yeah, totally...it's just chicken soup for me. i enjoy sitting down and watching a slew of episodes because it's "always been there" through my young teens into adulthood.

Family Guy has refound it's mojo this season. I still thought it was funny last couple seasons, but it's really picked it up recently. Bob's Burgers dunno. Watched first 3 episodes and hated them all.

Watch and Learn!

Just saw rerun of Simpsons when Homer started smoking pot. Classic.
Was from 2002.

WOw, long time ago.

Choo hits one out, that leaves 5

FREE JOE MATHER!

j.russell on in the 7th with a 3 run lead, fwiw.

Why was Maholm taken out after 88 pitches and breezing along? Can our bullpen hold this lead for 3 innings? I don't like the odds. I would have kept him in unless there is something I don't know. Hopefully we can score a few more runs.

So that Joe Mather could hit a solo homerun.

I probably would've favored another inning for Maholm given the circumstances, but I can see the desire to pinch hit when it's a 3-1 ball game. It also never really hurts to protect your starting pitcher in a losing season.

Not watching TV, but did he get smacked with a GB the previous inning?
Gameday said injury delay on GB to Maholm.

yeah, he took a hard comebacker off of him. trainer out + warmup pitches and everything before finishing the inning.

only 2 starters in 2 games have thrown more than 110 pitches this year and there's slew of sub-100 pitch outings...ninja's 1st (110) and garza's 2nd start (119).

with this pen...go figure.

rick monday = william shatner

unf soriano...3/3, 2 doubles, 2rbi...ibb for stewart to load the bases for d.barney.

This dynamic pricing can suck my dick. Pretty sure I won't be able to keep my season tickets at this rate. Can't even give them away if Joe Schmoe can get them directly from the Cubs for $4 on a beautiful Friday afternoon. They really are ass fucking their best cu$tomers with this......at least they could use some lube.

--------sits on ice pack--------------

What part of the park do you have? I've got bleachers, and to be honest, I'm losing on average about $2 per ticket on every game I have to sell. I thought it would be worse (we'll see what September brings). This isn't preferable, but I have a feeling reserved seat-holders are getting it way worse.

I'm in 226. I've been to two games and got $30 for another game. I ate a set of Cards tickets and the ones from today. Luckily I sold half of my tickets to friends before the season. It's hard to get any money back when there are hundreds of tickets on stubhub for under $5. You just have to hope to find an uninformed consumer on Craigslist who will pay close to face, but then I feel like a dick.

Big Kerry Wood fan from way back, but you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. I can't help but think he's done.

first game back after a 2-week layoff, right? no rehab outings...

I'd say share the blame with Sveum for using him there.

It seems to me that Campana really, really sucks at getting down sac bunts.

I am only guessing but it seems as if the Cubs have been in the lead into late innings in more than 50% of their games.

With any modicum of a decent bullpen, they would be right near the .500 mark.

Kerry Wood can kiss my ass.

His 2.40 ERA isn't bad.......oh wait, that's his WHIP. League minimum or retirement next year, buddy.

Yahoo says 4 blown saves

2 by Marmol, 1 by Dolis and 1 by Wood

1 of Marmol's and Dolis's came on Thursday, so that's just 3 losses. The other Marmol blown save was against the Cardinals and Cubs came back to win.

Wood's came against the Nats on Opening Day and they lost, so it's cost them 2 games I believe.

I hope you're not expecting perfection from the bullpen.

they're probably a few tie games that the bullpen blew as well but I'm not looking that up and wasn't your main point.

It's not just saves. Of 16 losses, only 8 are starting pitchers.

ESPN shows 2-7 as relievers and 8-9 for starters, I think you're missing a Randy Wells loss.

but we were talking about blowing leads and closing out victories, weren't we? 2 of those 7 reliever losses I believe are covered by the blown saves I mentioned. I don't know the numbers but I would guess that teams generally float to .500 in games tied from the 7th inning on, but I can't say for sure.

I'm certainly not defending that it's a good crop of relievers, for god's sake they have Camp, R. Lopez at one point and Marmol. But it's hardly been this rash of blowing games lates. It's pretty much a bad team all around with some decent starting pitching at times.

I personally think they can play around the .500 mark give or take a few games the rest of the way, but probably can't make up that hole they already dug themselves into.

We have better than decent starting pitching imo. Take #5 out of the mix and it's been quite good. Also take Marmol and Wood out of the equation and this is a .500 team. Marmol is going back to non-closing relief, which who knows might help him. Wood I bet is out soon if he can't get it together. We have some other relievers actually doing well. A .500 team in a rebuilding year is pretty good imo.

and here comes dolis in for the 3rd game in a row to close.

lineout, groundout, hbp, popout...and a save.

quickest hook ever. wtf ump?

After the ump called out Abreau on a called third down earlier close to the ankles, Sveum just would hope for some consistentcy.

Dolis: CLOSER FOR LIFE!!!!

See my reply to one of your posts way up at the top.

Not for life, but one year maybe. Could go to any of these guys, tho. Russell? Maybe even Maine.

It's a freeforall in the Windy City!

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

best player in April at each position at each level in the minors

Rizzo 1b @ AAA is the only Cub

From Van Dyck's tribune article on Cub victory:

"James Russell relieved Maholm in the seventh and gave up in a while getting two outs."

So I didn't see the game, did Russell pitch for a while, then he kinda gave up... or something?

gave up a run, probably.

damn editors.

Damn it Theo, spend some money on a reliever and we would be winning this thing!!!!!!!!
~pulls out nose hair~

Yumumumumum

Chomp chomp chomp

This Bryce Harper Crow tastes delicious!!!

:/

(what a difference a week makes)

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