There is a bad omen brewing on the north side of Chicago after Kevin Gregg’s horrible first week with the Cubs.
Here are the numbers:
April 6th at Houston – Gregg did pick up his 1st save as a Cub on opening day, but he gave up 1 run on 2 hits in the 9th inning.
April 7th at Houston – Gregg recorded 1 out in the 10th inning, but he gave up a walk and the game-winning single in the Cubs 3-2 loss in extra innings. Although Gregg didn’t take the loss (that went to Neal Cotts who allowed the 1st 2 Astros to reach base in the 10th inning, he didn’t look good).
April 10th at Houston – Gregg’s 1st blown save of the 2009 season. Will there be many more? Manager Lou Pinella did call on Gregg in the bottom of the 8th inning with 2 outs and the bases loaded and the Cubs holding on to a 1 run lead. Gregg answered the call by striking out Bill Hall on 3 pitches. The 9th inning should have been a breeze for Gregg facing the 8, 9 and 1 batters, but Gregg lost control in the 9th and the Cubs lost 4-3. After retiring Jason Kendall on a groundout, Gregg walked pinch-hitter Chris Duffy. Rickie Weeks tied the game with a double to deep left that scored Duffy. After issuing his second walk of the inning to Corey Hart, Ryan Braun stroked a groundball between short and third that was good enough to plate Weeks with the winning run.
Given the fact that there was a closer competition between Gregg and Carlos Marmol this spring, Gregg really needed to get off to a good start with his new mates. It has not turned out that way. Marmol has looked great so far – 2 2/3 innings pitched – 1 hit, 1 walk and 2 holds. Marmol has not allowed a run. It will be interesting to see how Pinella handles the situation. He obviously has to give Gregg ample time to prove his worth, but if the blown saves start racking up, look for Marmol to assume the closer’s role sooner rather than later.