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Castillo wins it in the 11th after bullpen blows another late lead

Written by , Posted in General

by Luke Jett

After another rough outing for Cubs closer Jose Veras, is it time for manager Rick Renteria to make a switch? The right hander blew a two run lead in the ninth inning Friday night to give the Cardinals life heading into extra innings. In the inning, he surrendered the two runs, but only on one hit. He hit two guys and walked another, coupled with a passed ball, to recap a horrendous inning for the Cubs closer.

Is it time to make a switch? I was tending to lean on the small sample size and the relatively short outings so far. But after tonight’s debacle, it has me thinking maybe it is time for a change. Veras now has an ERA north of 12 in his four appearances and in both save opportunities, he has blown them. There is one reason Renteria would keep him in the closers role and that is for the chance that he bounces back and becomes a flippable piece at the deadline.

I find this theory highly unlikely, seeing as they have Veras under an option for next year. I would like to see Pedro Strop or Hector Rondon get a shot to close. Both pitchers threw scoreless innings tonight and Rondon picked up his first career save. The Cubs went through basically the same scenario with Carlos Marmol last year. You have got to wonder how long Renteria’s leash is on Veras.


With two outs in the 11th inning, Welington Castillo parked a three run home run and Rondon shut the door to give the Cubs a 6-3 win.  This all coming after Jose Veras blew another save. The Cubs led 3-1 going into the ninth before Veras allowed two runs on just one hit to go along with two hit batsman and a walk.

The Cubs had to come back once again after Yadier Molina’s second inning RBI single, the only run starter Jeff Samardzija allowed. Ryan Sweeney cracked a single into left to score Anthony Rizzo in the 7th to tie the game. The Cubs broke the tie with a sacrifice fly from Rizzo and a RBI single from Nate Schierholtz, which gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead in the 8th.

  • Rondon closed out the 11th inning to pick up his first career save and continued his scoreless innings streak that is up to 16 now.
  • Emilio Bonifacio went 1-3 today. He has reached base safely in all 10 games so far.
  • Schierholtz went 4-5 with a double and a RBI in the win. He raised his average from .185 to .281 just tonight. Early numbers are fun.

Tomorrow won’t be any easier for the Cubs as they will face Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright who supports a 1.29 ERA in his first two starts. He will be opposed by Cubs swing man Carlos Villanueva, who picked up the win in his only start of the year last Sunday against the Phillies. He gave up one run in five innings of work in that start. Let’s take a look at Wainwright’s scouting report.

MLB.com

Wainwright pitched well in a loss Sunday, hurt by two two-out doubles. He’s already walked six after issuing only 34 free passes in 2013. Wainwright is still trying to find the feel for his cutter, but he doesn’t believe he’s far from getting it.

Wikipedia

Wainwright has a sinkerball, throwing it in the 90-92 mph range. He also throws a good deal of cutters (85–88) and curveballs (72–76)That has dropped more than 8 inches before from top to bottom of the pitch. Less commonly, he also throws a four-seam fastball (90–94, tops out at the mid 90s) and changeup (83–86). He uses all of his pitches against left-handed hitters, but he does not use the changeup against right-handers. Wainwright’s most-used pitch in 2-strike counts is his curveball.

In spring training of 2013, he started incorporating an elevated four-seam fastball, making his curveball more effective.

  • Doc Raker

    I don’t see why it takes so long to make a change in bullpen roles. This is a young team and everyone is competing for their role. Veras has been poor to putrid so why continue him as a closer when you have promising guys doing a much better job with their innings. I think Renteria should reward success and give the closer job to Strop or Rondon and move Grimm up the later.

    I like Renteria, he is engaged, vocal and a dugout leader. You can see him thinking and talking the game. This is what a young team needs, someone talking about the situation and giving some energy to the intellectual aspects of the game. Baseball is a mental grind and when you stay mentally engaged you play better.

    This is an exciting young team. The Cardinal announcers were noting at one point that all the Cubs hits where singles which goes to the need for more ISO which was discussed earlier this week. Beef provided some ISO to ice this one!

    • Eddie Von White

      I like that about Renteria too.

    • PLCB3

      Veres is out of his closer gig!

    • AC0000000

      Veres is out of his closer gig!

  • The call didn’t do that bomb justice… Beef got that fastball.

    • Doc Raker

      Len Kasper’s call? When does Kasper’s calls do any justice to the game? I always watch the opposing team broadcast if available.

      • PLCB3

        Including the White Sox?

    • Doc Raker

      Len Kasper’s call? When does Kasper’s calls do any justice to the game? I always watch the opposing team broadcast if available.

      • AC0000000

        Including the White Sox?

  • PLCB3
  • PLCB3

    While Beef left the No Homers Club to give us the win last night, our old friend Andrew Cashner threw a 1-hitter.

    • Doc Raker

      Andrew Cashner is the real deal. I like Rizzo but I think dominant starting pitching is harder to come by than big hitting first basemen. I don’t think I make the Cashner for Rizzo deal.

      • PLCB3

        Who is your long-term answer at 1B then? Filler until Vogelboch is ready?

  • AC0000000

    While Beef left the No Homers Club to give us the win last night, our old friend Andrew Cashner threw a 1-hitter.

    • Doc Raker

      Andrew Cashner is the real deal. I like Rizzo but I think dominant starting pitching is harder to come by than big hitting first basemen. I don’t think I make the Cashner for Rizzo deal.

      • AC0000000

        Who is your long-term answer at 1B then? Filler until Vogelboch is ready?

        I agree if we had kept Cashner the rotation would be in a better position, but I chalk up this trade as one that works out for both teams.