Filed: April 30, 2009
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Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles turn two against the Marlins Thursday (Cubbie Nation/file)
Click here for the photo gallery of last night's game.
What did we expect?
When a team plays a game with a catcher at third, a pitcher pinch hitting, a DH in right field, a reliever starting, and no pen whatsoever, you're going to get the sort of collective thud the Cubs dropped Thursday in losing to the Marlins 8-2.
Talk about a tale of contrasts. While the crowd of 37,956 was electric all night long with updates on the Bulls' triple-overtime win and the Hawks' playoff game, the Cubs were showing exactly how far away they are from being legitimately playoff worthy.
And this wasn't the sort of game where some facet of your club wasn't working. No, this was a team effort, which is the only good thing that could be said about this clunker. And I mean you too, Lou.
Yes, you got seven innings of one-run ball from starter Sean Marshall. And yes, those back-to-back homers by Milton Bradley and Mike Fontenot in the fifth inning looked nice. But let's talk about what the Cubs didn't—or couldn't—do.
They couldn't play defense.
And I'm not just talking about the two Ryan Theriot errors. I'm talking about the Alfredo Amezaga double that Bradley should have reached. The Cameron Maybin infield hit that he threaded past everybody. The busted pick-off throw to first. Etc., etc., etc.
And while the homers were nice, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position and cobbling together five hits against the likes of Chris Volstad, Kiki Calero, Dan Meyer, and Renyel Pinto won't cut it anywhere. Or anytime.
The pitching? Awful. You have to give a little bit of credit to Kevin Gregg, but Carlos Marmol's own inexplicable throwing error lead to the game tying run in the eighth. And the Marlins went absolutely Jackson Pollock on Aaron Heilman in the 10th to put this thing away for good. Six runs—five earned—in no official innings of work. Ouch.
Lou Piniella got what he deserved too. Even if you could explain to me why you would let a 250 lb. Carlos Zambrano run the bases after his pinch-hit single—why exactly is Joey Gathright here again??—a rational actor surely would have sent him in for Milton Bradley in the ninth. Instead, Reed Johnson would ground into a force-out that Gathright would have beat out with little question.
Shame on you all. You owe Chicago better.