Three Walks and a Wild Pitch … The Cubs Get Marmol-ed Again – Cubs 1 Cardinals 2

Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight – Cubs 1 Cardinals 2
WP – Jason Motte (5-2) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-6, BS 10) Save – None

On the final Saturday of the season, the Cubs took a 1-0 lead into the ninth. Cubs pitching had held the Cardinals in check for the second day in a row and allowed one run over the first 17 innings of the series … and that was scored on a squeeze bunt off the bat of Chris Carpenter.

Carlos Marmol retired Lance Berkman to start the ninth. Matt Holliday followed with a single to right center and if not for a tremendous sliding stop by Marlon Byrd, Holliday would have ended up at second with the tying run.

A throwing error by Geovany Soto allowed pinch runner, Tyler Greene to advance all the way to third with one out. Marmol struck out David Freese for the second out … then lost his command.

Carlos Marmol issued three straight walks to force in the tying run. Marmol walked Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker to load the bases. The free-swinging Ryan Theriot hit for Corey Patterson and looked at a 3-2 pitch that resulted in a walk and tied the game at one.

Marmol uncorked a wild pitch on the second offering to Rafael Furcal that gave the Cardinals the game. St. Louis scored two runs in the ninth with the only hit coming to start the rally. Marmol threw 30 pitches in 2/3 of an inningonly 13 in the strike zone.

Carlos Marmol has blown a league-worst 10 saves this season.

Prior to the ninth inning, the Cubs put together a solid effort in a must win game for the Cardinals. Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd made sensational defensive plays behind Rodrigo Lopez (no runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings) and actually made up for the struggles Blake DeWitt had in the field on Saturday (six chances for DeWitt on Saturday, three handled cleanly with only one charged error).

The Cubs only run came in the first inning on a RBI single by Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI). Quade’s offense managed only six hits, all singles, and was 1-for-3 with RISP and left five on base. Soriano has driven in 27 runs in his last 28 games.

Starlin Castro reached base for the 36th game in a row with a 1-for-4 effort on Saturday afternoon. Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a run scored) scored the Cubs’ lone run. After looking totally overmatched against Chris Carpenter on Friday, Bryan LaHair was 2-for-4 against Kyle Lohse.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 18 games below .500 with a 70-88 record … and only four left to play.

Mr. 200 Hits led off the game by grounding out to second. Darwin Barney followed Castro with a single to center (0-2 pitch). Bryan LaHair stepped in after a bad game on Friday and lashed a single into right on a 1-2 pitch. Barney rounded second and ended up at third with one down.

Carlos Pena, with runners on first and third, looked at a 2-2 pitch on the outside part of the plate for the second out. Alfonso Soriano got just enough of a 1-0 pitch to dump a single into left. Barney scored … 1-0 Cubs.

Blake DeWitt lined a 1-0 pitch into center that Jon Jay tracked down to end the inning.

The Cardinals went down in order on just nine pitches, five for strikes, in the first.

Marlon Byrd led off the second … and flied out to center on the first pitch. Geovany Soto followed with a single to center (0-2 pitch). Rodrigo Lopez bunted a 1-1 pitch too hard to Albert Pujols. Pujols threw out Soto at second. Lopez ended up at first but Castro looked at a 1-2 pitch on the outside part of the plate to end the inning.

Rodrigo Lopez issued a two-out walk to David Freese in the second but that was all for the Cardinals.

The Cubs did nothing against Lohse in the third.

Skip Schumaker flied out to left on the first pitch of the third. Kyle Lohse reached on an infield single to DeWitt at third. DeWitt backed up on the chopper (2-2) pitch and could not throw out the Cardinals’ pitcher … the first hit allowed by Lopez. Furcal hit a 0-1 pitch back up the middle. Barney fielded the ball and tossed to Castro to force Lohse. Furcal beat out the throw to first. Jay flied out to left to end the inning. Lopez threw 35 pitches in three innings, 22 for strikes.

Lohse made quick work of the Cubs in the fourth … 1-2-3 on 10 pitches.

Lopez retired Albert Pujols on a grounder to second and a Lance Berkman on a liner to first … second good play by Pena that took away a hit from Berkman on Saturday afternoon. Matt Holliday hit a grounder to third on a 1-2 pitch. DeWitt fielded the ball but threw high to first. Holliday reached on DeWitt’s error.

David Freese lined a 2-2 pitch into left. For some reason, Holliday tried to advance to third and Soriano threw him out at third to end the inning … 56 pitches of Lopez after four, 35 for strikes.

Starlin Castro singled to center with two outs in the fifth … but that was all for the Cubs in the fifth against Kyle Lohse.

Yadier Molina grounded out to DeWitt to start the fifth. DeWitt made the routine play for the first out. Lopez started pitching from behind at that point of the game. Skip Schumaker singled to left center (3-1 pitch) and advanced to second when Lohse dropped a perfect bunt up the first baseline. Furcal looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Bryan LaHair led off the sixth with a single to left center. Pena struck out for the third time against Kyle Lohse. Soriano hit a grounder to third. Freese threw to second and forced LaHair. Soriano reached first but was stranded when DeWitt grounded out to second to end the inning.

Jon Jay hit a soft one-hop liner to Castro to start the sixth. Lopez wanted nothing to do with Pujols in a one-run game and walked him on five pitches. Lance Berkman ripped a 1-0 pitch into right. Pujols ended up at third with one out.

Matt Holliday hit a tailor made double play ball to third (2-2 pitch). DeWitt bobbled the ball then threw home to cut down Pujols. The Cubs eventually tagged out Pujols for the second out (another textbook run down) but both Berkman and Holliday ended up in scoring position … DeWitt’s inability to make routine defensive plays hurt the Cubs again.

David Freese lined out to Marlon Byrd on a 2-2 pitch to end the sixth.

The Cubs went quickly against Lohse in the seventh … and there was a Tyler Colvin sighting. Colvin hit for Lopez and struck out swinging to end the inning.

Andrew Cashner replaced Lopez in the seventh … and sat down the Cardinals in order on seven pitches. Marlon Byrd made a terrific diving catch running in toward the infield to take away a hit from Skip Schumaker. Cashner snapped off an 85 MPH slider to strikeout Daniel Descalso to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Octavio Dotel in the eighth.

Sean Marshall retired the top of the Cardinals lineup in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Marc Rzepczynski retired Pena on a grounder to Pujols to start the ninth. LaRussa went to his pen and brought in Jason Motte to face Soriano. Soriano struck out swinging and DeWitt flied out to center on the first pitch to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol retired Berkman on a lineout to center to start the ninth. Matt Holliday ripped a 2-1 pitch into right center. Marlon Byrd made a terrific sliding stop in right center to hold Holliday to a single. Tyler Greene ran for Holliday and took off for second on a 2-1 offering to Freese.

Soto’s throw hit Greene and ended up in shallow left. Greene ended up at third on Soto’s error with one out. Marmol reached back and struck out Freese swinging for the second out. Marmol walked Yadier Molina (3-2 pitch). Adron Chambers ran for Molina and Skip Schumaker stepped in with runners on first and third with two down.

Marmol walked Skip Schumaker on five pitches to load the bases.

Ryan Theriot pinch hit for Corey Patterson … and Marmol walked Theriot on a 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run. With the bases still loaded and two down, Rafael Furcal looked at strike one … but Carlos Marmol’s next pitch was in the dirt and got past Geovany Soto. Adron Chambers scored and the Cubs lost in St. Louis again in walk off fashion.

It always hurts when the Cubs lose to the Cardinals but it worse when they just give one away in the ninth …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Randy Wells against Edwin Jackson in the series and season finale against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anais Nin
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  • Ryan7

    Can we please find a new closer. He sucks big time. I think the cubs need to get rid of all the Carlos on the team. All three need to go some where else

    • Tony_Hall

      Unfortunately, that is what the Cubs usually do, get rid of players when their value is low.  Marmol has been behind all year, by coming in out of shape.  Hopefully he understands he needs to work all winter, and come into spring training, looking like he lost the 15+ lbs he seems to have added.  If he comes back in shape, he may get the life back on his fast ball and his slider, if that happens, the Cubs will be in better shape to decide what to do with him.  If he comes into ST, not in shape again, it will be a bad situation, as it will be hard to move him, and hard to use him.

    • Brp921

      Marmol should be done as a closer. He doesn’t have what it takes.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Little Afonso feels so mistreated because he batted 7th this year.  Oh boo hoo!

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7012704/chicago-cubs-alfonso-soriano-feels-mistreated-hitting-seventh-2011

    • Tony_Hall

      7th is the best spot for him.  8th needs to be a guy with a decent OBP, and player willing to work the count.  7th is the spot for the worst overall OBP guy, with some power.  25 HR’s, 80+RBI’s, and a 280 OBP, sounds like a 7th hitter.

    • GaryLeeT

      Wow. It’s shocking (or maybe not) that the most over paid player in baseball, still has the gall to admit to a reporter that he’s discontented.

  • paulcatanese

    Brutal boxscore, again the kids out hit the vets. And a lousy way to
     lose a game.

  • Ripsnorter1

    More good news: 

    ARAM ONLY WANTS TO PLAY FOR A CONTENDER.http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7012272/chicago-cubs-aramis-ramirez-only-wants-sign-contender

    You know, I wonder…..he only hits when the season is already lost. If he went to the Yanks, the BoSox, or some other contender….would he hit his weight?

    • Demitri

      Then why didn’t he want to get traded during the deadline? What a punk. He just told the Cubs organization whose boss. How do they sit there and take that?

      • Last_ginger

        He didnt want to have to move his family in the middle of the year. Theres more to pro ball then baseball and alot of people fail to realize that.

        • GaryLeeT

          Move his family? They live in the Dominican with his precious fighting cocks.

          • Tony_Hall

            During the school year, but summers they spend in Chicago.

          • GaryLeeT

            Right. With no school to take them out of, and they already move twice a year, I am sure they are quite use to it. There were only 2 months left in the season at the trade deadline, half of which is spent on the road anyway. He would not have moved his family until next season, which he will have to do anyway. Ramirez is a selfish jerk, who owed the Cubs big time for all those huge chunks of time he did not hit, and spent on the DL.

          • Tony_Hall

            I’m tired of the guy too, but he had no obligation to accept a trade.  Nor does he “owe” anything to the team for his non-production.  

            Now moving into FA, of course he wants to go to a team that is able to compete next year, and of course the only teams that should be interested are teams ready to compete next year.  

            The real question is will any of those teams, actually want his laziness.

          • GaryLeeT

            Come on Tony, players make concessions for their teams all the time. I am talking about doing what’s morally right, not just what he’s leagally bound to do for the employer and fans who treated him VERY well.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think ARam should have accepted a trade.  I think they should have benched him after not wanting to be traded.

            But he has no “moral obligation” to the fans to accept a trade.

          • GaryLeeT

            If you are saying he does not have the morals of a player like Kerry Wood, I agree.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not sure where you got that.  

            Players sign contracts and so do the teams. Any player or team can exercise their rights, under that contract.  The player doesn’t need to (but can) consider, what is best for the team, when deciding whether or not to exercise a part of that contract.  

            These players all get paid, very well, to play baseball.  At the time, ARam, said he didn’t want to get traded (July), JH was still here, and he didn’t want to leave.  He knew JH would surround him with more aging vets, like himself, to try to make another run at it in 2012.  Now he wants to leave and go to a team that is willing to do the same.  I say thanks for the good years, I will try to remember them, rather than his laziness.  Hope he finds another team, willing to let him play baseball, his way, only when he wants to play.

          • GaryLeeT

            Last word.

        • Demitri

          I understand but cmon. Its a business he chose to be in. He should know the price of playing a sport

        • diehardcubfan

          That is the same lame excuse that Derek Lee used and look what happened with him anyway. 

          Sorry, they make way to much money to not be discontent and don’t agree with the argument about not wanting to move the family. 

          Its a pathetic excuse.  I have spent more of my lifetime away from my family then he ever will.

      • Tony_Hall

        They didn’t have a lot of choice, but to take it.  But what they could have done, and should have done, was hit him where it hurts…in the stats.  Sit him on the bench, starting in late July, when he wouldn’t be traded.  Sit him everyday, until he decides he needs to go somewhere else to be able to get the contract he wants this off season.

        • diehardcubfan

          When you have a moron managing the team things like not sitting him on the bench don’t happen. 

          Quade only loves his vets.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Today we got a good look at the DeWitt 3B “experiment.” 

    He’s awful, don’t you see? 

    • cc002600

      Dewitt belongs in the AL as a DH.
      What a horrible infielder.

      • Tony_Hall

        Who would use that bat as a DH???

        • Ripsnorter1

          Let’s see….how about a team managed by QQuade?

          Hmmmm. I can think of no other…..he’s 13 for 62 as a PH (.210) with 4 GIDP and 12 Ks and 4 BBs. He’s 24th of 50 (with at least 25 PH AB) in MLB in PHs…….as a team we hit .198 in the PH role…we are #22 of 30 teams…..the worst of all? Johnny Gomes–get this …zero for 28.

          But then again, his #1 position has been LF in 2011. He’s played 22 games there; 15 at 2B and thankfully, just 10 games at 3B….

          • Tony_Hall

            And yet going into this year, he had spent not 1 inning in LF.

            Q has spent the entire year, putting players in a position to fail, versus putting players in a position to succeed.  

            I have high hopes for the future, and the new GM.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You are so correct, Tony.

            The fact is: the Cubs COULD HAVE WON 90 games with THIS ROSTER this year IF….IF they had good management, and just a few decent roster moves at the trade deadline.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I just corrected my post: he played 22 in LF, 15 at 2B and 10 at 3B.
            Interestingly enough, his natural position is….are you ready for this?…..3B!

            AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

            I wonder who drafted this guy–Tim Wilkens? I know he came via the Dodgers, but man alive, another middle infielder with no power, no speed, can’t hit for average, and no glove at all!

          • Tony_Hall

            I am looking forward to the drafts in the coming years.  The old owners were very cheap on draft budget, and they had to draft players who were cheap and signable, versus, you know, actually good at baseball.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Stone says that the Cubs have drafted some decent arms, but they are being mishandled. As proof, he points to all of the injuries.

            Hey, who can argue with him? Look at Wells. He was lost to the Rule V draft because the Cubs didn’t think anything of him. Toronto taught him the slider, and toss him back at us because they didn’t want to David Patton him on the roster all year. SO he becomes a 12 game winner with us. 

            Why didn’t our coaches–re: Mark Riggins–teach him something?

            Perhaps it is true after all: that if you don’t know anything, you can’t teach anything…..

          • Henry

            I don’t think much of our coaches but I also don’t think much of Steve Stone and his opinions on Cub Baseball.  How is Starlin Castro doing.  Check with Stoney!

          • Dorasaga

            That will be an interesting question: What is “good for baseball?” Or rather, to be more specific, “What kind of pro. player does the Cubs need?”

            An athlete? Guys who are always aware to be well-conditioned, run well, read the ball as an infielder, maybe got some muscles to knock some dingers, but care very least of getting on-base? Or, Viciedo, a younger David Ortiz? You know, this kind of question comes to my peril.

            I see the Cubs under Wilkens drafted “athletic” guys, but they have very poor baseball knowledge and less of the fundamental skills to get on base. Maybe, just maybe, next year the New GM will balance such philosophy out by drafting some big guys who have plate discipline with some Darwin Barney kind of intelligence.

          • Tony_Hall

            Wilken has drafted the athletic player, and I like that philosophy, as you need athletic players, as long as they mix in some guys, who can hit the ball out of the park.  

            The most expensive, established player, is a player with power.  Stockpiling players who, are least expensive, and therefore least valuable, is not good for a system.  

            Baseball IQ needs to be high, now more than ever, as there, for some reason, seems to be less guys able to hit 50 and 60 HR’s anymore.

            Also – Give Polar Bear that 1 and only loss for the year :)

          • Dorasaga

            Yes, I was once close to accomplish so in our regular games. I hope my players will not fail me this time, with all my commitment of playing them towards the end.   :-0)

      • diehardcubfan

        He is even a worse outfielder.

  • BosephHeyden

    I don’t think any person in charge of the Cubs right now realizes that, at this point in time, wins and losses no longer matter.  This the time to be showing off the younger talent.  If the Cubs win without them, who cares:  they had five months to win and they didn’t.  If they lose without them, then it’s a double waste of time, because they failed to win AND they didn’t try out the new guys.

    It’s things like these that make me think Ricketts will hire an old school GM that keeps Quade around for “just one more year”.

    • Ripsnorter1

      And after “just one more year,” when, by some stroke of ill-fortune, the Cubs win 89 and get a wild card birth, only to be eliminated in 3 straight, the “New-Old GM” re-ups QQuade for another 3 years because he has done so well with the team……

    • paulcatanese

      He is not my choice by any means but dont count on Qua not coming back, I just have a sinking feeling about it.

      • Ripsnorter1

        What’s sinking is all the minor league talent. He knows how to destroy prospects faster than any manager in MLB. “Hey, let’s get LaHair to play SS tomorrow….”

        • paulcatanese

          Just got up Rip, but as usual you are right about Qua, left alone, he will destroy any kids chances. Whats amazing is,Qua is either afraid of vets, or idolizes them, or just plain stupid (I think all three) and Ricketts must feel the same way with one addition, the pity for Qua, and the desire not to admit he was wrong with the choice of Qua. Cannot be another reason for the continuence of that employment.

  • Ripsnorter1

    BIG NIGHT FOR ADAM DUDD TONIGHT….

    0 for 3 with only 2 Strike outs, instead of the usual three….

  • paulcatanese

    As Neil pointed out equals a loss. But that loss is squarely on the shoulders of Qua and lesser Riggins. Absolutly should have pulled him. Qua knows what Marmol can do and when he loses it, Soto knows and should have at least let Qua know and Riggins, well I don know it he can tell the difference or not, to me he has been the invisable man all year. How could Qua not know when the whole baseball world watching the game knew it before it happened, this should be another nail in Qua’s coffin.

  • xaxinho

    Quade should replace Marmol when he walked Molina. I don’t get it. Quade wants to be friend of the players? “I have confidence on my boys”? Cut the crap… This 70s porn star Riggins should be out too. A pitching coach needs to train well our pitchers. Is clear that our pitchers are having poor training… 

  • Tony Spumoni

    I wasn’t surprised the Cubs lost.  I was surprised to learn that they actually held the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the ninth.  
    When I heard that Marmol blew the save, that didn’t surprise me either.  And when I learned HOW he blew it, well, I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the manager, who should have pulled Carlos as soon as it became apparent he had no control today.
    It’s too bad, the Cubs could have won this one.  They deserved to win this one. Thanks Mr. Quade.

    • The Maven

      I’m not a defender of Quade, but this kind of thing happens to managers all the time. It part of the “unwritten rules” that make baseball unique.

      In the 80’s, a so-called genius named Tony LaRussa was managing the  White Sox. Almost routinely, a pitcher named Jerry Koosman would get himself into jams. Koosman was a year older than LaRussa.

      When Koosman got into trouble, LaRussa would come trotting out to the mound. After a few minutes, LaRussa trotted back to the dugout with Koosman still on the mound. Inevitably, LaRussa would have to come back out one hitter later, as Koosman allowed a key hit, usually a home run. It was as predictable as the sun rising. 

      And that was from a genius.

      • Tony_Hall

        This might explain, Larussa’s many pitching changes, especially in one inning, that he now known for today.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I know Aaron wants Edwin Jackson, and he has good stuff on the occasions that he can control it. He’s 28 with 8 yrs in MLB, so he’s very experienced.

    But look at his line this year:

    191 IP
    218 H
    .293 BAA
    1.45 WHIP
    All this in just 30 starts!  

    He’s stunk up the joint. Everybody trades him away because…..he ain’t that good.

    And this isn’t a knock on Aaron. Jackson is another Garza in that he has excellent stuff, if only the control comes together. And at age 28, NOW MAY BE THE TIME. But in my book, depending on the cost, it’s pretty risky. He has a career WHIP of 1.49. He’s Randy Wells, folks. Do you want to sign him for 3-4 years now?

    One thing is for sure: we’d better get A LOT OF PITCHING this offseason. We have next to nothing coming up from the minors, and we have great needs in the starting rotation and closer spots, especially.

    • Dorasaga

      I lost all my playoff weeks in my Head-to-head fantasy league wherein I kept Edwin. Not that I have a grudge against the guy for helping me to lose, but I’ve been following his stats and watched quite some games of him. He’s another “with good stuff but never put himself together enough to stay consistent most part of the season.” Garza is a way-superior pitcher compared to Edwin.

      If the Ricketts are on their word, the Cubs will focus on developing youth before contention (and a World Series, hello?) seems a reality, instead of lip-service. They shall avoid FA pitchers asking for a deal more than 2 years.

      I hope to see the likes of B.McCarthy (currently A’s) or H.Iwakuma (successfully rehabbed in Japan) if they go under-valued. But after browsing MLBTR, I doubt that can happen with a weak market for 2012. It’s still possible to lure MacPhail and his despicable O’s to trade one of their two older pitchers (Guthrie, Simon), but again, things are not positive before we know who’s this GM…