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Game 76 – Gregg Almost Blows It

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Cubs 5, Brewers 4

Box Score / Highlights

You ever get so busy you literally forget what day it is? That’s the kind of day I had yesterday, which is how I managed to go to bed oblivious to the fact that I still had a recap to write. Apologies for the delay, and for the hasty manner in which I’m throwing this together. I didn’t see the game, but here’s what I’ve managed to glean:

  • Scott Feldman threw six solid-ish innings.
  • One of the runs he surrendered was a solo homer to Aramis Ramirez in the second inning, which was also the former Cub’s 2000th career hit. Another former Cub, Tom Gorzelanny, caught the ball with his cap in the Brewers’ bullpen.
  • Brian Bogusevic is accomplishing something with the roster spot Carlos Marmol used to occupy–he had two hits Wednesday, along with Luis Valbuena and a rested and refreshed Starlin Castro.
  • Kevin Gregg tried to give the game away in the ninth. He might have succeeded if not for this play at the plate to throw out a charging Rickie Weeks.

What did I miss?

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Cubs DFA Marmol

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The Cubs just announced news that’s sure to be a relief to most of their fans: Carlos Marmol has been designated for assignment. And in other unsurprising news, the team has released disgruntled third baseman Ian Stewart. It seems the Cubs–often considered baseball’s Biggest Losers–are finally shedding some dead weight.

Here’s the press release regarding Marmol:


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Cubs today designated right-handed pitcher Carlos Marmol for assignment and selected the contract of outfielder Brian Bogusevic.

Bogusevic will wear uniform number 66 and be available for the Cubs tonight when they start a three-game series in Milwaukee.

The 29-year-old Bogusevic joins the Cubs after batting .319 (83-for-260) with 14 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 32 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 78 games with Iowa this season.  The left-handed batter and thrower turned in a .418 on-base percentage and a .512 slugging percentage, good for a .929 OPS.

This past offseason, Bogusevic signed a minor league contract with the Cubs that included an invite to big league spring training.  He batted .410 (16-for-39) with a .452 on-base percentage, a .692 slugging percentage and a 1.144 OPS before being one of the final cuts of the spring.

Bogusevic spent all or part of three big league seasons with Houston (2010-12), including the entire 2012 season when he saw action in 146 games and hit .203 (72-for-355) with nine doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 28 RBI.  The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Bogusevic was originally selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2005 Draft as a left-handed pitcher but converted to outfield midway through the 2008 campaign.

Marmol, 30, went 2-4 with two saves and a 5.86 ERA (18 ER/27.2 IP) in 31 relief appearances this season.  He struck out 32 and walked 21 batters in 27.2 innings pitched, an average of 10.4 strikeouts and 6.8 walks per nine innings.

The righthander originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on July 3, 1999.  Signed as a catcher, Marmol converted to a pitcher prior to the 2003 season and made his big league debut in 2006.  A National League All-Star in 2008 as a set-up man, Marmol holds the franchise mark with 82 career holds.  Marmol became the closer in late 2009 and compiled 117 saves, third most in team history.  Overall, he went 23-32 with a 3.50 ERA (211 ER/542.1 IP) in 483 appearances with the Cubs, 470 of the outings in relief.

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Game 70 – Somebody Plunk Yadier

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Cubs 1, Cardinals 4

Box Score / Highlights

Yadier Molina is currently the hottest hitter in baseball. Let that wash over you for a second. One of the most infuriating players on one of the most infuriating teams in the game is having a career year. It’s utterly sickening. Coming into Wednesday night’s game, Molina had already been a major contributor in the first two games of the series. He’d spread five hits over those two games, driving in a total of three runs. He only added one hit Wednesday night, but it was a big one–a two-run homer in the sixth to break the 1-1 tie and give the Cards a lead they’d never surrender. There was a time not that long ago when Molina’s hitting was considered spotty–in fact, he was sometimes one of the few easy outs in the St. Louis lineup. Today he’s hitting an insane .365, by far the league lead.

I ‘d like to suggest a solution for our Molina-shaped problem: plunk him. Dale needs to go old school on him, and throw a little fear into each of his at-bats. He’s seeing the ball too well lately; making productive contact with alarming ease these days. He’s even got some of his teammates prematurely talking MVP. Let’s give him something to think about on our way out of town. Frankly, I think this Cubs team could benefit from getting into a skirmish or two. And if you’re going to start something, you might as well do it by going after the best player for your arch rival.

Because as it sits right now, there’s not a lot of life in this team. Wednesday night they were held to just two hits, and wouldn’t have scored at all if it weren’t for Anthony Rizzo knocking the ball away from Molina to cross the plate after a Darwin Barney sac fly.

In fact, when I read about the Cubs’ poor performance Wednesday, I was even more pleased with my decision to watch the Blackhawks vs. Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals instead. The game was incredible–thanks for asking. Lots of momentum swings, and lots of scoring and hitting. The Hawks pulled out the dramatic win in overtime to even the series at 2-2 as they head back to Chicago for Game 5 Saturday night. If you’re interested, you can see the highlights here. It was certainly as conversation-worthy as the Cubs’ meager efforts last night.

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The Diary of Dale Sveum

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013


Dear Diary,

Well, I got myself kicked out of another game tonight. The umps handed a run to the Cards in the 7th, even though Yadi Molina was out by a mile. What kind of man accepts “Yadi” as a nickname? And how lazy does a fan base need to be to settle on that for their All Star catcher? Seriously, he’s the face of their franchise–they can’t do any better than that? And why does no one seem to care that he’s got musical notes tattooed on his neck? It might as well be one of those My Little Ponies. I’ll bet he’s one of those Bronies, just like Dempster. I hate coming to St. Louis. It’s just denim shorts and missing teeth as far as the eye can see.

There should be a height requirement for umpires. My neck is killing me from arguing with D.J. Reyburn. The guy’s a midget in twelve states. It’s amazing he can even get his tiny, Oompa Loompa hands around a baseball. I’ll have to pay more attention next time and see if he has to use both hands. Mental note: next time bring out something for him to stand on so I don’t have to swear at the top of his tiny hat.

I did manage to make it into the clubhouse in time to catch a little bit of the Tigers game. I miss Prince. I miss the way he got us all to lie about him being a vegetarian–for crying out loud, his batting gloves were made out of bacon! I miss the way he sloshed around the bases, and the way everyone had to pretend he didn’t look like he was about to die. Sure he’s a fat slob, but he was our fat slob. It would be weird to call him in the middle of the season, wouldn’t it? I’d give anything to hear his exhausted voice again; the way he pants uncontrollably because he had to get up to answer the phone. Mental note: maybe we can get Marmol to tell people he’s got epilepsy or palsy or something that could be an excuse for how much he sucks.

I still don’t miss Braun.

Alright, I gotta hit the sack. Tomorrow’s game isn’t going to mismanage itself. LOL!

But seriously, it’s getting harder and harder to drag myself to the stadium every day. Theo and Jed keep saying they’re not holding these losses against me. But then why is Mike Scioscia’s phone number always on Theo’s desk? And why doesn’t he even try to hide it? There’s no way the Angels would make him their fall guy, right? Right?

I’m so alone.

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Game 63 – The Reds Own Wrigley

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Reds 2, Cubs 1

Box Score / Highlights

To paraphrase the great philosopher Pedro Martinez, it might be time for the Cubs to just tip their hats and call the Reds their daddies. It sickens me to say it, but Cincinnati has won their last twelve games at Wrigley Field. They sort of own the Friendly Confines these days, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much the Cubs can do about it.

Wednesday’s loss wasn’t another lop-sided failure like Tuesday’s 12-2 embarrassment. Instead, it was a relative pitchers’ duel, with Travis Wood and Mike Leake both throwing well deep into the game. It really came down to a few well-timed hits, and the Cubs just couldn’t put together enough of them. In fact, they only managed three hits for the afternoon–meager production that made for a short, impressive day for the Reds’ pitching staff.

In the ten games since their five-game winning streak, the Cubs have gone 2-8, scoring a measly seven runs combined in those games. Translation: I don’t have a lot to say that would be worthwhile about this game or this team right now. There are times when we lose games by getting spectacularly out-pitched or out-hit by an overwhelming opponent. When the other team is that much better than ours, it’s easy to let those losses roll off your back.

Wednesday’s game was not one of those.

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