Marlins 13, Cubs 3

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right

  • Lone Star  Aramis Ramirez hit his sixteenth homerun of the season, a three-run line-drive to left-center field off Javier Vasquez in the sixth inning.
  • The Hawk Andre Dawson sang the during seventh inning stretch today.  It’s always nice to see Dawson back at Wrigley Field.  If I had only watched that part of the game, it might have been a better day.
  • Nothing Else  Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.

What Went Wrong

  • Paltry Hitting The Cubs combined for four hits today–three singles, and Ramirez’s homer.  And they only took one walk, for a total of five baserunners in the game.  Those kind of numbers are only acceptable when your starting pitcher is throwing a no-hitter.  And today, he wasn’t.
  • False Start Carlos Zambrano has been on the DL for the last two weeks, and it showed.  He started out bad–giving up three runs in the first–and finished even worse, surrendering a three-run homer to Mike Stanton, his second of the game.  Starting pitchers have to give their teams a chance to win–today Zambrano didn’t.
  • Little Help  Ramon Ortiz gave up three runs in his relief appearance.  Jeff Samardzija gave up another two.  James Russell and–surprise, surprise–John Grabow both pitched effectively in their respective innings, but they were the exception today.

Game Notes

  • Flatliners  Javier Vazquez pitched very well, so give him credit for the win.  But the game seemed over before the Cubs ever came up to bat.  They were lifeless at the plate and in the field.  Mike Quade said after the game that he can’t quit on the team because they haven’t quit on him.  That may be the case, but there’s certainly no fight in this team either.
  • I Weep For The Future Earlier today at mlbtraderumors.com there was a story saying that the Cubs have told other teams Jeff Baker is not available to be traded.  Let that wash over you for a second–Jeff Baker.  The original story, by Ken Rosenthal and John Morosi, said other teams believe the Cubs see him as part of the team next year.  My fear is  Hendry has tagged Baker as the replacement at third base if he can unload Aramis Ramirez.  Someone needs to grab Hendry by his greasy collar and help him understand that Baker’s as valuable as he will ever be, and the Cubs should be pouncing on any chance they have to restock for the future.  The Cubs’ no-trade list should only be three or four names long: Castro, Marshall, Garza, and maybe Soto.  So to sum up, our plan is to protect our bench players for the future.  Baker is thirty years old now, and only occasionally cracks our lineup–that can’t possibly be a foundation we want to build on.

Takeaway

I’m not sure if this is the low point of the season, but you can see it from here.

Stars of the Game

Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Javier Vazquez (.200 WPA)

2nd Star – Hanley Ramirez (.188 WPA)

3rd Star – Mike Stanton (.100 WPA)

 

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