View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2009



Who to blame?

Written by , Posted in General

Sure baseball is a “win some, lose some” sport. Sure, close games can go either way. And when you get blown out — a la the final two in Colorado, you just say “oh well, it happens,” and you move on to the next series. Losing closer games is harder — you wonder what coulda, shoulda been done to win the game. You look for blame to place.

So, last night — who do you blame?

1. Lou for pulling Harden with only 87 pitches? Is there some sort of law in Lou’s world that pitchers have to come out after seven innings or 100 pitches, whichever comes first?

2. The offense? Ten hits and seven walks really ought to yield more than three runs in 12 innings. Again — does this team lack clutch?

3. Marmol — I mean one HBP and three walks and a hit in two thirds of an inning? Really? Really? Send him down. He needs help. His problem is either mechanical or it’s between his considerable ears.

4. Gregg — Oh, yeah, I feel good when he comes in. Tingly all over.

5. The 0 for 9 Soto/Soriano combo? Tough day for the 5/6 spot. Why is Soto hitting 5 again? Because he came off the DL swinging such a hot bat? No, can’t be that. Because he was on fire back when he got hurt? No. Can’t be that. Hmm. I wonder.

6. Injuries? It’s easy to say “all the injuries are at fault” but what team doesn’t have injuries during the season? And even with the injuries, the Cubs have fielded a fairly good team all year…or at least an expensive one…it just hasn’t produced.

7. Jim Hendry — for not improving the team enough in the areas that are the most needed at the trade deadline. Just wondering who you blame?

Me? I blame them all. Mostly I blame myself for caring.

  • Because he was on fire back when he got hurt? No. Can’t be that.

    Actually… Soto was hitting the ball very well when he got hurt.

    But I agree with you that he shouldn’t be hitting 5th right now.

  • Gilbert

    Lou for leaving Marmol in against Ryan Howard after Marmol had already hit a batter and walked two. There was a lefty warming up in the pen! Bring him in.

  • You forgot to mention the terrible baserunning and awful fielding that has hurt this ballclub all year long. There is no facet of the game that this time excels in, none. Last night Comcast took a poll of Cub fans as to which team is the best in the NL right now and 12% voted for the Cubs. Where do these people come from? They are so far from the best team in anything right now it is ridiculous.

  • Mastrick

    Marmol should not be used in close games, he’s too erratic. So I blame Marmol (because we all know he’s better than this) and also Lou because he should know that Marmol is unreliable by now. My hat’s off to Bradley for another good game.

  • Steve H in SLC

    I don’t know how you can blame the pitching at all in a game like this — even though Marmol clearly sucked.

    I think the next time Marmol walks (or hits) the lead-off batter, he should be pulled, right then and there. Certainly after two free passes in an inning. When he’s on, he’s unhittable, but when he’s off, he’s off.

    You can also throw some blame toward Piniella for an irrational animosity toward certain pitchers, and Hendry for indulging it. I’d have felt a lot better with Eyre pitching for the Cubs last night than Marmol.

    Still, the bottom line is that the Cubs scored three runs in 12 innings, and only one run over the final nine. So this one is on the offense.

  • Doc Raker

    I think this game sums up the Cubs 2009 season pretty well.
    Great starting pitching unable to help himself with a bunt.
    Give up quick runs on minimal hits.
    Poor bullpen pitching, too many walks from Marmol and a closer that can’t close.
    Poor clutch hitting, we should of had 6 runs by the 4th inning, instead we only score 2. Just can’t put a team away with the offense.

  • Doc Raker

    PS- Can’t beat teams over .500. Even if we make the playoffs, which we won’t unless of an unforseen air disaster involving another contending team, we are probably likely to play a team over .500 in the playoffs which leaves our chances pretty slim.

    PSS- In no way am I rooting for an air disaster. This Cub team is a big enough disaster for one season.

  • Not as a Sox fan, but as a guy who watches a tremendous amount of baseball, my question has been this for a while now:

    It seems as though Angel Guzman has done a very, very good job for the Cubs this year. I can’t exactly figure out why he doesn’t have more of a late-inning role than Marmol.

  • MJ

    Len made stated the record of the Cubs in games in which they scored 3 or less runs. I think they had only won three times. That’s pathetic.

    Basically, they’re unbeatable scoring four or more runs.

    I’m still optimistic because I’ve watched too many teams who I thought were out of it in August make a run (like the Cubs did before the road trip), and make some hay in the post season.

    That’s not to say I believe they’ll do it, I’m just optimistic.

  • Mastrick

    It’s funny how Cubs announcers, Piniella and others call this current set of games an important one but some people don’t. Optimism is a good thing but let’s temper it with reality.

  • cubbiedude

    Rick Beato, the Cubs are the best team in the NL in sucking and underperforming right now.

    I enjoyed watching Rich Harden pitch 5 or 6 perfect innings. I enjoyed watching Angel Guzman and John Grabow pitch as well. You gotta find little things to enjoy.

    By the way, my dad was very disappointed in Carlos Marmol’s performance.

  • MJ

    Optimism is a good thing but let’s temper it with reality.

    Says the guy that wants to release everyone.