Tag Archive | "Sean Marshall"

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The Carlos Zambrano Train Keeps on Chugging Along – Cubs 1, Padres 0 – 9/27/10

Posted on 28 September 2010 by Lou

The Carlos Zambrano train keeps on chugging along.  Big Z tossed 7 scoreless innings giving up just 3 hits and 4 walks along the way.  He also had 5 K’s.  It was his 7th win in 10 starts since returning to the starting rotation back in early August and it was his 10th win overall in 2010.  At this point, it would be a huge shock if the Cubs try to move Zambrano this off-season.  Without a clear #1 starter, Zambrano has started to convince people that he is still worthy of the 5-year, $80+ million deal he signed a little over 2 years ago.

Sean Marshall pitched a perfect 8th inning with 2 K’s to preserve the 1-0 lead.

Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th inning but picked up his 35th save of the season.  After recording 2 strikeouts to start the inning, he loaded the bases with a single, hit batsman and walk.  But he got out of the jam by getting Nick Hundley to fly out to right field.

Blake DeWitt had 3 hits in the win and he drove in the lone Cubs run with a single in the 7th inning after Alfonso Soriano doubled with 2 outs.  Marlon Byrd also had 3 hits for the Cubs.

The Cubs continue to play spoiler as the win knocked the Padres out of the NL Wild Card lead.

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Coleman Outduels Carpenter?! – Cubs 7, Cards 3 – 9/25/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 26 September 2010 by Lou

Casey Coleman outdueled Chris Carpenter to pick up his 3rd win of the season.  Despite giving up 3 runs in the 1st 3 innings, Coleman stayed focused and ended up pitching 7 solid innings.  He did not allow another run after the the Cards scored 2 runs in the 3rd (one of which was unearned).  Coleman gave up 5 hits and 2 walks and struck out 4 in the process.  Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 8th inning giving up 1 hit.  And Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning.

Blake DeWitt, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano each had 2 hits for the Cubs.  The Cubs scored 5 runs off of Carpenter in only 4 innings as they put together a few good rallies with 7 hits and 4 walks.

Jeff Samardzija looks to get Cubs fans a win in the final home game of the season at Wrigley Field today.  He is going for his 3rd win in 3 starts since being called up from Triple-A…

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Jeff Samardzija Picks up 1st Win in 2010 – Cubs 5, Cardinals 1 – 9/13/10

Posted on 14 September 2010 by Lou

Jeff Samardzija picked up his 1st win of 2010 despite getting into (and out of) a few jams.  The Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-1.

Samardzija made his 1st start in 2 MLB seasons.  He did not allow a single run in 5 2/3 innings.  He gave up 6 hits and 4 walks, but did a great job of keeping the Cards off the scoreboard.  After a good minor league season in which he went 10-3 at Triple-A Iowa, this is a good sign that Samardzija could be on the verge of pitching consistently at the major league level as well.

Sean Marshall struck out Tyler Greene to end the 8th inning and notch his 20th hold of the season. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless 9th inning in a non-save situation.  Marshall (1.18 WHIP & 2.84 ERA) and Marmol (1.24 WHIP & 2.88 ERA) now each have WHIP’s under 1.25 and ERA’s under 3.00.

Xavier Nady had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.  Geovany Soto went 3 for 3 with a walk and 1 RBI.  Alfonso Soriano had a 2-run single in the 3rd inning that extended the Cubs lead to 4-0.

The Cubs take on the Cards in game 2 tonight – Randy Wells will battle Adam Wainwright.

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“Bad” Win for Cubs Over Pirates – Can We Trust Carlos Marmol? – Cubs 5, Pirates 3 – 9/1/10 Wrigley Field

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Lou

If ever there was a “bad” win for a 57-win team, this was it.  I hate to criticize any Cubs win, but if you look more closely at the stats, there is a lot of concern even from the good players.

The biggest question is Carlos Marmol – Marmol entered the game with runners on 1st and 2nd base and 2 outs in the top of the 8th inning with the Cubs leading 5-2.  Sean Marshall – who bailed out Andrew Cashner with a strikeout with a runner in scoring position in the 7th inning – struck out 2 batters in the inning but also allowed 2 runners on with a walk and an error (I’ll get to the error later).  Marmol promptly walked the 1st two batters that he faced to force in a run which cut the Cubs lead to 5-3.  Sure Marmol got the next batter out with a strikeout, but by then the damage was already done.  Marmol walked another batter in the 9th inning as well, giving him 3 walks in an inning and a third in his outing.  Marmol seems to have resorted to his old habits of walking way to many batters in his outings.  In his 5 appearances from August 15th through August 24th, he walked at least 1 batter in each outing.  He issued 3 walks in a blown save showing against the Braves as all 3 runners scored.  Luckily he got out of yesterday’s innings despite the walks, but how much can we rely upon Marmol in the future.  After starting the season with a respectable strikeout to walk ratio, those walk numbers are slowly creeping up again.  In 2010, he has now walked 45 batters while striking out 113.  In 2009 he walked a career-high 65 batters, so depending on how the rest of this month goes, he could come close to that number again (let’s hope not).  Keep in mind, he walked only 35 batters in 2007 and just 41 in 2008.  He’s already eclipsed those numbers this year and we still have 30 games to go.  Batters have only a .167 batting average against Marmol in 2010 (with a career batting average against of .179), so someone needs to get through to him that he cannot keep giving up free passes in his outings.  While it is widely accepted that closers are typically “wild”, I would disagree with this.  Take the top 4 saves leaders in the majors this season, and you’ll see that they have impeccable control – Rays’ Rafael Soriano – 11 walks; Giants’ Brian Wilson – 22 walks; Padres’ Heath Bell – 22 walks; and Royals’  Joakim Soria – 14 walks.  Only 1 closer has more than 30 walks during the course of the season – Francisco Cordero of the Reds with 35.  After that, the next highest is 29 walks by the Tigers’ Jose Valverde.  Somehow, pitching coaches have worked with these closers to limit their walks.  So if the Cubs do intend to continue to rely upon Marmol to be the team’s closer of the future, maybe it’s time for Larry Rothschild to go the way of Lou Pinella following the 2010 MLB season.  He has been Marmol’s pitching coach for his entire career at the major league level and he hasn’t figured out what Marmol needs to do to be more efficient on the mound.  Hopefully the new manager’s new pitching coach will be able to do that in 2011.

I’ve also been a little disappointed with Sean Marshall’s outings of late.  Now I know he was SO good early on that you can’t expect that every time out, but he seems to have lost his focus of late.  It’s hard when you are playing on one of the worst teams in baseball with one of the worst fielding team’s behind you as well, but the walks are killing me.  Since August 4th, Marshall has issued a walk in 7 of his 14 outings (8 total walks).  If you go back to the entire month of July, he issued a walk in only 3 of his 16 appearances (4 total walks). He issued 5 walks in all of June, 7 walks in all of May and only 1 walk in the month of April.  I’m not sure if he is just not as sharp because of the grueling season or because it is frustrating to go out there each day and know that you are probably going to lose, but I hope this does not carry over into the 2011 MLB season.

Well enough of the negative.  Thomas Diamond relieved Tom Gorzelanny after he was hit with a line drive in the 3rd inning.  He gave up 2 ER on 2 hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings, but it was good enough to pick up his 1st major league win.

Kosuke Fukudome continued his hot hitting.  He had 3 more hits with an RBI and 2 runs scored.  He increased his batting average to .281 and has looked more confident at the plate once again.  I’m not sure why he always has a “summertime swoon” (maybe Chicago baseball is too hot for him), but if he keeps this up, it could help the team to move him in the off-season even if they have to eat some of his salary.  Unlike the Carlos Zambrano situation where I would NOT want to eat his salary in order to move him, I wouldn’t mind doing that to get rid of Fukudome.  He has had 3 years to prove himself and it just doesn’t add up at the major league level.  Plus, moving Fukudome would free up Tyler Colvin to play right field on a daily basis so that the club can scrap the 1st base experiment.

Starlin Castro had 2 hits and 2 runs scored and is now tied for 3rd place in the National League batting crown with a .317 batting average.

The Cubs welcome the New York Mets – another underachieving, frustrated team – to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field this Labor Day Weekend.  Randy Wells will face off against knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey in Friday afternoon’s opener.

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Not What the Doctor Ordered for Cubs in Cincy – Cubs 3, Reds 2 – Saturday 8/28/10 & Cubs 5, Reds 7 – Sunday 8/29/10

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Lou

I hate to admit this, but the Cubs actually played better than I thought they would against the Reds in Cincinnati this weekend.  They were going up against 3 pitchers that have given them fits in the past — Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Travis Wood.  Plus, they were coming off of a 3-game losing streak, the perfect time for the Cubs to go into a nose dive and perform miserably against a good Reds team.  While Friday night’s 7-1 loss was entirely expected, I was surprised that the Cubs stayed in both games over the weekend, splitting the Saturday and Sunday contests.

There really weren’t too many highlights, but here’s a quick re-cap:

Cubs 3, Reds 2 Saturday night –

Randy Wells continues to be an enigma in 2010.  Sometime he looks great like he did on Saturday night and other times he looks lost out there as his 6-12 record indicates.  He limited the Reds to just 6 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings.  He gave up a Joey Votto home run and an RBI single in the 6th inning, but otherwise limited the Reds scoring chances throughout his outing.  Bronson Arroyo limited the Cubs offense to just 6 hits in 7 innings, but he made 2 costly mistakes.  He served up Xavier Nady’s solo homer in the 2nd inning and then Kosuke Fukudome’s game-winning 2-run homer in the 5th inning.

One other pitching positive – the bullpen preserved the 3-2 lead handed to them by Wells.  James Russell worked a scoreless 7th inning while striking out the side.  Andrew Cashner worked a perfect 8th as did Carlos Marmol in the 9th inning as he picked up his 24th save.  We know what we have in Marmol, but once again, Cashner and Russell could potentially be good pitchers at the major league level for years to come.  It’s just a matter of getting these kids and building their confidence by getting them in games in the right situations.  Let’s hope Manager Mike Quade can continue to do that the rest of the year with these young pitchers so that they have the right mental attitude heading into the 2011 MLB schedule.

Cubs 5, Reds 7 Sunday afternoon –  The Cubs squandered a great number of chances against Wood and Arthur Rhodes.  The Cubs got 10 hits and 4 walks off of Wood, but only scored 3 times.  You have to do better than that.  A couple of typical bad Cubs moments — bases loaded in the 1st inning and only 1 out and the Cubs don’t score; Jeff Baker makes the 3rd out at 3rd base in the 2nd inning on Starlin Castro’s RBI single; & 2nd and 3rd and 1 out in the 5th inning and they only push across 1 run on a ground out.  Kosuke Fukduome went from here to goat in just 1 short innings-time.  He hit a game-tying 2-run home run off of Arthur Rhodes in the top of the 8th inning.  Then in the bottom half of the inning, his fielding error in right field allowed Chad Heisey to score all the way from 1st base on Ramon Hernandez’s single.   That was the difference in the game.  Jeff Baker, Starlin Castro, Marlon Byrd, Xavier Nady and Geovany Soto each had 2 hits in the loss.

Casey Coleman was back to his mediocre self after a really nice outing against the Nationals.  He gave up 4 ER on 8 hits in 6 innings.  But more importantly, he did not walk a batter.  That is always a good sign for a young pitcher.

Now it is time for the Cubs to battle their 2010 nemesis in a 3-game set this week at Wrigley Field.  The Pittsburgh Pirates come to town with their mouths watering for blood.  Despite an overall record of 43-87 — the worst record in the entire major leagues, the Pirates have beaten the Cubs 9 out of 12 times this season — ouch!  Look out Carlos Zambrano – you better bring your A-game tonight at the Friendly Confines.

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Can the Cubs Trust Carlos Zambrano in 2010? – Cubs 5, Nationals 4 – 8/24/10 Nationals Park

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Lou

Can the Cubs trust Carlos Zambrano for the 2010 MLB schedule?  It is a great question.  Zambrano continued his surprisingly good return from his anger management treatment with a 4th straight positive start.  This one was clearly his best as his control – both mental and physical – were clearly on display.  Big Z has yet to let up more than 2 ER in any of his last 4 starts, and although his control has been suspect in 2 of the starts (7 walks in 5 innings against the Giants and 6 walks against the Padres in 6 innings), he is putting the Cubs in position to win ball games.  He is 2-0 in the 4 starts.  In last night’s 5-4 win, Zambrano worked into the 8th inning, striking out 8 batters along the way. He ran out of steam in the 8th inning after giving up a 1-out hit to Nyger Morgan on his 108th pitch.  Manager Mike Quade (I’m still having trouble saying that) decided to go with the usually-reliable Sean Marshall who promptly loaded the bases with walks to Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn.  So Quade had to call upon Carlos Marmol to put out the threat, which he did when he struck out Ian Desmond.  Marmol made things interesting in the 9th inning when he loaded the bases on 2 walks, a balk and hit and then gave up a bases-clearing double to Adam Kennedy to turn a 4-run lead into a 1-run lead.  But he got Zimmerman to fly out to right field to end the game and preserve the win for Quade and the Cubs.

It would have been interesting to see Big Z’s reaction had Marmol fully blown the save with his disastrous 9th inning. Would the “old-angry” Zambrano have erupted if the Cubs ended up losing the game, costing Zambrano a win.  Or would we have seen the “softer-compassionate” Zambrano give Marmol a hug after he blew the game, consoling him with words of kindness and “Go Get ‘Em tomorrow kid.”  While I’d like to think that Zambrano would have been “fine” with a loss, part of me can’t help but wonder when the next “Z-eruption” will occur.  He is 5-6 on the season, but it’s tough to judge his 1.68 WHIP and 4.64 ERA.  He had so many poor starts early in the season and a few bad relief outings which has really skewed his numbers.  The recent walk issues haven’t helped his WHIP at all either.  I guess we’ll have to see how he pitches the rest of the way.  He is dealing with a sick nephew in Venezuela who could die at any moment from an infectious disease, so Big Z’s focus could be a bit limited over the remaining 6 starts or so, but it would be nice to see him continue to pitch well down the stretch.  It wouldn’t completely convince me that the Cubs need to keep Big Z on the roster in 2010, but it would make that decision that much tougher.

I guess if Big Z’s trade value improves with more good starts, then I would be open to dealing him, but only if the Cubs don’t have to pay a good chunk of his salary.  But if a team is only going to take him IF the Cubs take on 50% of his salary (he is owed just under $40 million over the next 2 seasons), I would advise against it.  For as much of a headache as he can be, he is still young at 29 years of age and if he can give the Cubs innings and wins over the final 2 years of the deal, it may be worth it to keep him and then use him as a trade chip for a contender in July 2012 – the year before he becomes a free agent.  Sure, Big Z is clearly not worth the $91.5 million GM Jim Hendry agreed to pay him in his new deal back in 2008, but to get pennies on the dollar for Big Z in an off-season move now, might not be the best move for the Cubs for the 2010 and 2011 MLB seasons.

Alfonso Soriano and Tyler Colvin continued to respond to their new spots in the lineup under Quade.  In the 7-hole, Soriano crushed a 3-run home run to deep left field that gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning.  In the 4th inning, Colvin extended the Cubs lead to 5-1 with a 2-run homer to deep right that scored Soriano (who had reached on an error).  Colvin was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit on the night.

Ryan Dempster and the Cubs go for the sweep over the Nationals tonight in Washington, DC.  They will take on their former teammate Jason Marquis who has yet to win in 2010 – he has lost all 6 of his starts during the 2010 MLB schedule, pitching 5 innings only once all season long.  He has a hefty 11.39 ERA and 2.25 WHIP as he is still dealing with elbow surgery recovery 3 months ago…

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Keep ‘Em Coming — Cubs Lose Again & Hill Looks Like a Fool – Cubs 3, Padres 5 – 8/19/10

Posted on 20 August 2010 by Lou

7 straight losses for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, including 4 in a row this week to the NL-West leading San Diego Padres.  The Padres really made it look easy this week against the “Major League Team called the Cubs”.  Not really sure what that means, but since the players that the Cubs trot out each day collectively play like a top notch high school team instead of a real major league team, I feel like we should put the “Cubs” name in quotes whenever we use it for the rest of this atrocious 2010 MLB schedule.

Carlos Zambrano still didn’t have the best control, but he did just enough in his 6 innings of work to give the Cubs a chance to win.  He limited the Padres to just 1 run over his 6 innings – 4 hits, 1 walk and 6 K’s.  The Cubs trailed 1-0 when his pitching day was done, but the Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the inning on RBI doubles from Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez. He could have gotten the win.

But then the wheels came off as Sean Marshall – the Cubs most consistent reliever all season long – ended up giving up 4 runs in the 7th inning as the Braves regained the lead for good at 5-2.  The inning took a turn for the worse when Koyie Hill made an embarrassing play to cap-off the Braves’ 4-run inning.  Will Venable’s 2-run single put the Braves up -2, but it was his heads-up base running that captured the moment.  When the Cubs and Koyie Hill caught Chase Headley in a run down between 3rd base and home plate.  Venable astutely ran over to 3rd base during the action.  Hill made an attempt to tag Venable at 3rd base after he tagged out Headley, but he never actually called time out.  Hill then went over to the mound to talk to reliever Justin Berg.  Since no one officially called time out, Venable darted home to score the 4th run of the inning.  His run really didn’t matter – whether the score was 4-2 or 5-2, the Cubs were still going to lose the game.  But it just goes to show how out-of-touch this Cubs team is with the concept of “baseball”.  I know that sounds weird, but there is something off with the players that GM Jim Hendry has assembled to play on the “Major League Team called the Cubs” (sorry, forgot use the ” ” a few times up there).  It’s almost as if they regressed and forgot how to play the game.  They continue to make mental mistakes, they continue to make physical fielding and running mistakes and they clearly lack the confidence to win ballgames on a consistent basis.  I’m not sure how it is even possible to spend over $140 million and not put together a winning team, but Hendry seems to have pulled off the impossible with the ludicrous deals and trades that he has made over the last 3-4 seasons. And not only are they NOT a WINNING team, they somehow managed to form one of the WORST teams in all of baseball this season.

Were there any positives from the game?  I guess.  Blake DeWitt had 2 more hits, but also struck out twice.  In fact, every Cubs starter struck out at least once during the game as the Padres racked up 12 K’s.  You also like to see the Cubs hang tough until Byrd and Ramirez drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the 6th inning with the game on the line.  Marcos Mateo and Andrew Cashner – both of whom I really criticized the other day for their ineffectiveness – each threw scoreless innings with 2 K’s apiece.  But other than that, there wasn’t too much to like about the Cubs as usual.

This just in – looks like we can call it 5 losses in a row this week at Wrigley Field.  After Ryan Dempster worked the Braves for just 2 runs over 8 great innings on a hot and humid day at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field today, closer Carlos Marmol quickly ruined that with an inning from hell.  3 walks to load the bases and then a bases-clearing triple to Rick Ankiel that changed a 3-2 Cubs lead to a 5-3 Cubs deficit.  Beautiful…

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Cubs Surprise Cards with Series Win in St. Louis over the Weekend – Cubs 3, Cards 2 – Saturday 8/14/10 & Cubs 9, Cards 7 – Sunday 8/15/10

Posted on 16 August 2010 by Lou

It was a surprising series win for the Cubs over the Cards over the weekend in St. Louis.  That makes 2 straight series wins for the Cubs over the 2nd place team in the NL Central (the Cubs took 2 of 3 from the Cards at Wrigley Field from July 24th through July 26th).  Unfortunately, it’s still just too little too late for this underachieving 2010 Cubs squad.

Saturday 8/14/10 – Cubs 3, Cards 2 – The Cubs didn’t hit all that well against Chris Carpenter and a duo of relievers, but they did just enough to get Carlos Zambrano the win.  Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits including a solo home run in the 2nd inning that tied the game at 1.  Koyie Hill doubled in Marlon Byrd with a 2-out double later in the inning that gave the Cubs the lead for good.  Derrek Lee also added a solo shot in the 3rd inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-1.  It was lee’s 2nd home run in as many days since returning from the bereavement list.

As for Big Z, Zambrano notched his 1st win in over 2 months, tossing 5 2/3 innings.  He gave up 2 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.  It wasn’t great, but anytime you beat the Cardinals it is a good thing.  Sean Marshall worked an inning and a third of scoreless ball and then handed the ball off to Carlos Marmol with a man on and 1 out in the 8th inning.  Marmol worked the 5-out outing for his 20th save of the season.

Sunday 8/15/10 – Cubs 9, Cards 7 – Derrek Lee led the way with solo home runs in the 1st and 3rd innings.  A bigger day eluded the big man as he left the game in the 5th inning with lower back spasms.  But it was his 4th home run in the weekend series.

The Cubs then blew the game open with a 6-run 4th inning off of Kyle Lohse and Mike McDougal.  Koyie Hill had a 2-run double; Ryan Dempster helped his own cause with an RBI single; Fukudome had an RBI double; and Marlon Byrd had an RBI single – his 2nd hit of the inning.  Byrd had 3 hits and also scored a run when he led off that frame with his 1st hit of the inning.

The Cubs did their best to try to hand the game back to the Cards in the 9th inning.  Marcos Mateo recorded 2 straight outs in the 8th inning, but then self-destructed in the 9th inning.  He gave up a lead-off home run and then a single and 2 hits before being replaced by James Russell.  Russell walked in a run making the score 9-4, which forced Manager Lou Pinella to go with closer Carlos Marmol to save the day.  Marmol gave up a 2-run single which cut the lead to 3 runs, and then he gave up a run-scoring ground out.  But eventually he closed the door on the win for the Cubs, notching his 21st save in the process.

Ryan Dempster pitched well – 6 2/3 innings, 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks on a hot and humid St. Louis day.  He picked up his 11th win on the season.

Now it’s back to Wrigley Field where the Cubs host the NL-West-leading San Diego Padres.  Tom Gorzelanny looks to start the series off on a positive note tonight at the Friendly Confines.

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Cubs Top Lincecum – You Betcha?! Hey Lou (or Alan) – “It’s Time to Rest Marshall & Marmol!” – Cubs 8, Giants 6 – 8/10/10

Posted on 11 August 2010 by Lou

Pitcher’s duel between Ryan Dempster & Tim Lincecum?  Not a chance as each team racks up 14 hits as Cubs win 8-6.  It was a rare impressive offensive attack for the Cubs as Tyler Colvin, Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome led the way.

Although Colvin has struggled recently, you have to like what he brings to the table every day.  And Starlin continues to shine night in and night out.  Take the 1st inning for example — Colvin led off with a single and stole 2nd base.  Castro drove him in with a single and then stole 2nd base too to get into scoring position.  Ramirez then drove him in with a single and then scored on Fukudome’s home run.  Now I know it doesn’t happen like that too often, but you had to like 4 runs on 4 hits and still only 1 out in the 1st inning.

Colvin and Castro also came through in the 4th inning for the Cubs.  Colvin earned a 2-out walk with the bases loaded and then Castro came through with the clutch 2-out single that plated Koyie Hill and Ryan Dempster to extend the Cubs lead to 6-2.

Ramirez ended up with the best night – 3 hits, and RBI and a run scored.

And Mike Fontenot came through with a clutch 2-run pinch-hit double in the 8th inning that gave the Cubs a much-needed 8-4 lead (see below).

Dempster pitched “OK”.  The Giants are not the best hitting team, so when you’re staked to a 4-0 1st inning lead against a pitcher like Tim Lincecum, you cannot give back lone runs in the 1st 2 innings of the game.  Sure one of the runs was unearned, but Dempster has to be better.  He gave a light-hitting Giants lineup way too many chances to score with 8 hits and 2 walks over 6 2/3 innings.  He gave way to Andrew Cashner in the 7th inning after he gave up a single and a walk with 2 outs.  Cashner gave up Buster Posey’s 2-out double which cut the Cubs lead to 6-4, but he buckled down to strike out Pat Burrell to end the threat.

Sean Marshall struggled again with a walk and a hit in the 8th inning, but he kept the Giants off the scoreboard.

And Carlos Marmol gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in a non-save situation in the 9th inning.

Marshall and Marmol have been so good all season long, but they have made way too many appearances because the rest of the bullpen was so bad.  Marshall has made 59 appearances – 6-3 record, 1.11 WHIP, 2.45 ERA, 69 K’s and 19 walks.  In all of 2009, Marshall appeared in just 55 games (with 9 starts).  Marmol has appeared in 52 games – 2-2 record, 1.24 WHIP, 2.75 ERA, 96 K’s and 34 walks.  Marmol appeared in 79 games in 2009 and 82 games in 2008, but there is NO reason to throw him that many times in 2010.  Lou or Alan – whoever is managing the club day in and day out – please rest Marshall and Marmol!

Tom Gorzelanny battles Barry Zito in Game 2 of the series.  It should be another good picther’s duel, right?!

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Weekend Recap — Rocky High Sweep – Rockies Outscore Cubs 31-14 in 3-Game Weekend Set @ Coors Field – 7/30/10 – 8/1/10

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Lou

What a horrible weekend for the Cubs in Denver this weekend – not sure it’s even worth it to re-live the debacle.

Friday – 7/30/10 – Cubs 2, Rockies 17 – A 12-run 8th inning turned a close game into an embarrassing laugher for the Cubs.  Sean Marshall gave up hits to the 1st 2 batters he faced in the 8th inning, but then got 2 strikeouts and 2 strikes on Carlos Gonzalez before Gonzalez stroked an RBI single to start the record-setting rally.  The Rockies set a major league record by recording 11 straight hits and they had 13 hits in the inning overall which was a franchise-record. The Rockies scored 12 runs to extend their 5-2 lead to 17-2.  WOW.  The Rockies batted around twice in the inning.  Troy Tulowitki, Clint Barmes and Melvin More each had 2 hits in the inning.  Every Rockies hitter got a hit in the inning.

Sean Marshall was charged with 5 ER on 5 hits in 2/3 of an inning.  Andrew Cashner faced 6 batters and did not record a single out – 6 hits, 6 runs, 2 home runs.  And Brian Schlitter mopped up the mess with 1 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks as he recorded the final out of the inning on an Ian Stewart fly ball to deep center field with the bases loaded.

Marshall had this to say — “It was dumbfounding as for us as it was people to watch the game.  You hate to be on the receiving end.  I don’t think it’s going to happen again.”

Manager Lou Pinella had this to say — “I’d never seen an inning like that.  We had two outs and two strikes on a hitter and they score 12 runs.  I’d never seen an inning like that.” The problem is Lou – it seems like you or another member of the Cubs organization has said that same thing about a dozen times this year.  The Cub sseem to invent new ways to lose on a daily basis these days…

Saturday – 7/31/10 – Cubs 5, Rockies 6 – After Derrek Lee’s game-tying 3-run home run in the top of the 8th inning, the Cubs thought their luck might change. Marshall even came in and pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the bottom of the inning, but interim Manager Alan Trammell opted to stick with Marshall to face the left-handed hitting Carlos Gonzalez instead of bringing in closer Carlos Marmol to start the 9th.  And that turned out to be a fatal mistake as Gonzalez crushed the 1st pitch he saw into the 3rd deck in deep right field.  It was a walk-off 6-5 win for the Rockies as Gonzalez used that home run to complete hitting for the cycle in his final at-bat of the game.

Tom Gorzelanny looked mortal again in the elevation of Colorado.  He pitched 6 1/3 innings, but gave up 5 ER on 9 hits and 2 walks.

Sunday – 8/1/10 – Cubs 7, Rockies 8 – Another poor start to the game put the Cubs in a hole on Sunday.  Carlos Silva only pitched to 4 batters because he was suffering from an abnormally high heart rate.  He had to make a trip to a Denver area hospital and did not make the trip back to Chicago after the game.  Silva recorded one out, but suffered his 5th loss of the season, giving up 2 ER on 2 hits and a walk.  James Russell did not fare much better, giving up 4 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and a walk in his 2 2/3 inning of work.  And while Carlos Zambrano tossed a scoreless 4th inning, he ran into trouble in the 5th inning giving up 2 ER on 2 walks and 2 hits.  He walked the first 2 men he faced in the inning and both runners scored.  Just like that – it was 6-0 after 2 innings and 8-0 after 5 innings.  Not good, when you are riding a 4-game losing streak.

The Cubs made it interesting in the late innings.  Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto each singled in runs in the 7th inning.  Alfonso Soriano cut the lead to 8-4 in the 8th inning with a solo HR.  In the 9th inning, Rockies closer Huston Street walked Lee and Soto with 1 out.  Marlon Byrd then triple in Lee and Soto and the lead was 8-6.  Soriano’s sac fly on a spectacular play by outfielder Nat Fowler plated Byrd to cut the lead to 8-7.  If Fowler doesn’t catch that ball, who knows how far Soriano goes on the play.  But with no one on base, Street struck out Jeff Baker to end the game.

One other bright spot for the Cubs — newly acquired Blake DeWitt had 3 hits in his Cubs debut.

All in all, it was a brutal road trip for the Cubs. After winning the 1st game in Houston, the Cubs proceeded to drop the final 5 games of the trip.  The Cubs are now 13 games under .500 at 46-59 and they trail the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals by 13 games…

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