Filed:September 12th, 2009
Carlos Marmol fires (balls) away in the ninth inning of the Cubs 7-5 loss (Cubbie Nation)
Click here for the photo gallery of Saturday's game
The Chicago Cubs gave a textbook example of why pitching and defense win ballgames by showing what not to do in a 7-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds Saturday.
Honestly, I'm not sure I would have believed this game if I wasn't sitting there seeing it for myself. Maybe it was the early start (12:05). Or perhaps...oh hell, who are we kidding? It's just an underprepared team that isn't good enough to make some luck and good fortune for itself. Shame to, as while they bobbled away an opportunity to beat a perfectly beatable Reds team, they also lost a chance to gain ground on both the Rockies and Giants in the wild card standings -- if you believe there's still a race there.
It really all came down to the third inning, where a trio of errors allowed the Reds to score a pair, and hasten an early exit for Randy Wells. First, Derrek Lee bobbles a Johnny Cueto sacrifice allowing him to reach. Then, in one of the most unusual plays that you'll see this season, Aramis Ramirez beans Corky Miller in the head on what should have been a 5-4-3 double play. Miller would be given home on the error.
Then, immediately after Ryan Theriot makes a great throw home to throw out Cueto, he bobbles the force play at second, which would lead to the second run of the inning.
The Cubs would go on to spot the Reds a 5-0 lead before coming back strong on a Geovany Soto-led (2-3, 3RBI) rally, tying the game entering the ninth inning.
But Carlos Marmol walks too many $%#@$!! batters! After putting a pair on with two out via the walk, pinch-hitter Drew Sutton serves up a two-run double that proved to be the game-winner.
Drew Sutton hits the game-winning double against the Cubs (Cubbie Nation)
I'm pretty confident that the Cubs will give Marmol a long look at this role in 2010, but I've seen little that inspires confidence here, so far. It's still the same old story with him; you just can't seem to get strong back-to-back performances out of him. How someone looks and thinks that he can go out for two or three game in a row, and be an overpowering closer is beyond me, but maybe the Cubs will figure this problem out in the off-season.
In the meantime, let's hope that they can win today, and take this series. No need to double down on the shame of losing a series to the Nationals at home in the stretch run by doing the same against the Reds.