I am not happy with the series against the Pirates. This was a series that the Cubs could have easily won. Instead, we get a rainout, a blown save and a win. Before the game, Dusty was asked about the closer role and had this to say.

It’s time to make some changes. At least until whatever is happening stops happening and we get it straight. Right now, we have to make some changes. It’s not very pleasant on us, or him, or Cubs fans, or anybody.

Here are the thoughts from todays game:

  • Kerry Wood was less than dominant today, despite only giving up 2 runs. He allowed walks to start each of the first three innings to start the game. Only one of the three came back to hurt him, but on a normal day, that ratio would be higher. He came out of the game early because he arm just wasn’t feeling perfect. The cold weather was affecting him. I was impressed with his performance after I heard that he was not feeling well. It wasn’t the best performance, but we’ll take it. At least he toughed it out and didn’t leave the team high and dry after 2 innings.
  • Michael Barrett has continued to gun down runners with remarkable improvement. If he can keep this up for another month or so, people may just stop running as much on him. He’s not the kind of catcher that can put an end to a teams running plans, but if he can keep this up, you certainly have to believe teams will begin to think twice before running.
  • After Michael Wuertz came in during the 8th, I began to get worried about who Dusty was planning on using in the 9th. I started to get angry at the TV just thinking of Remlinger or The King coming in to pitch. In the end, Dusty brought in Mr. Sly to get the job done. He looked fine to me. I’m really not picky about the closer role. I tend to follow the Bill James philosophy that says there are times other than the 9th inning where you should use your “Closer”. The ninth inning should be treated as any other inning. If you have the meat of the order coming up in the 8th, bring in the best guy in the pen during THAT inning instead.
  • My hitting streak in the MLB Beat The Streak game has increased as a result of Ramirez getting a hit in todays game. If you’d like to play, let me know and I’ll send you an invite.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail