Marmol Spoils the Ending to the Soriano Show – Cubs 4, Reds 6

Game Thirty – Cubs 4, Reds 6

WP – Logan Ondrusek (2-0) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-2) Save – Aroldis Chapman (7)

The Cubs played a good game against one of the better teams in the league for seven innings. While it wasn’t a clean game, the Cubs took a 4-2 lead into the eighth thanks to two, two-run home runs by Alfonso Soriano and a solid, six inning outing from Jeff Samardzija.

Carlos Marmol took the hill in the eighth for his franchise record 453rd relief appearance and the game quickly got out of hand. Carlos Marmol was as bad as he’s ever been. Marmol walked the first two batters he faced then hit Brandon Phillips with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Hector Rondon replaced Marmol and the rookie was not able to clean up the mess.

The Reds batted around and scored four runs in the eighth on one hit, four walks, a hit batsman and two sacrifice flies. The Reds have won the last 11 day games at Wrigley Field.

Jeff Samardzija struggled with his command for a majority of his outing but still left with a lead on a day he did not have it. In all fairness to Samardzija, the homeplate umpire had a tight, inconsistent strike zone on Saturday. Shin-Soo Choo took Samardzija deep on his first pitch of the game and the second run he allowed scored after a walk and his own error put Choo in scoring position in the third. Samardzija settled down after the fourth and retired seven of the last eight batters he faced. Samardzija allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Samardzija threw 111 pitches, 65 for strikes. Samardzija has thrown over 100 pitches in his last three outings without pitching into the seventh inning (111, 101 and 104). The bottom line, Samardzija put his team in position to win the game.

A day after walking seven batters, Cubs pitching walked eight and hit a batter on Saturday.

Alfonso Soriano hit not one but two, two-run homers on Saturday afternoon. Soriano finished the game 2-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI and a walk while supplying all of the offense the Cubs should have needed on Saturday. Soriano entered play on Friday with only two RBI and one home run … Soriano hit two longballs on Saturday and has driven in five runs in two games.

Saturday marked the 31st time in his career that Soriano hit multiple home runs in the same game. Soriano became the 70th player in MLB history with at least 375 home runs.

Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a double, a HBP and two runs scored) was on board for both of Soriano’s homers and recorded the Cubs only other hit of the game.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 11-19 on the season.

Shin-Soo Choo drove Jeff Samardzija’s first pitch of the game into the basket in left … and before the game had a chance to get started, the Cubs were down 1-0. Cozart popped out to Barney for the first out. Joey Votto went with a 2-2 pitch and doubled to left. Samardzija settled down with Votto on second and one out. Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce struck out swinging to end the inning. Samardzija threw 18 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes.

Tony Cingrani made quick work of Sappelt and Ransom before hitting Anthony Rizzo on a 1-2 pitch.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and launched a 3-1 pitch to the back of the bleachers in left. Soriano’s second homer of the season put the Cubs up 2-1. Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.

Samardzija worked around a one-out double by Xavier Paul in the second without allowing the Reds to tie the game. Samardzija’s pitch count kept climbing. It took Samardzija 44 pitches, 28 for strikes, to complete two innings.

The third inning was not as kind to Samardzija as his error allowed the Reds to tie the game. Choo walked to start the third. Samardzija then uncorked a wild pick-off attempt to first. The ball hit and skipped past Rizzo into foul territory. Choo advanced to second. Zack Cozart singled to center on a 2-2 pitch. Choo scored and tied the game at two. Votto flied out to left center, Phillips struck out swinging and Bruce flied out to left on Samardzija’s 62nd pitch (39 strikes) to end the third.

Dave Sappelt walked to start the third but was erased when Ransom grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Anthony Rizzo stepped in and drove a 1-1 pitch to deep center. The ball hit halfway up the wall and Rizzo ended up at second with his eighth double of the season.

Alfonso Soriano broke up the 2-2 tie with his second longball of the day. Soriano drove a 1-0 pitch into the bleachers in left … 4-2 Cubs. Castro flied out to deep right center to end the inning.

Samardzija faced the minimum in the fourth as he pitch count continued to climb. Samardzija threw 75 pitches, 45 for strikes, over the first four innings.

The Reds’ lefty settled down after Soriano’s second homer. Cingrani retired seven in a row through the fifth.

Samardzija continued to struggle with his command in the fifth. He retired three of the four batters he faced as his pitch count escalated to 96, 55 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija retired the side in order in the sixth to end his outing.

The game remained 4-2 until the eighth inning.

Carlos Marmol made his way in from the pen with the Cubs up 4-2. Marmol walked Zack Cozart on four pitches then missed on his first two offerings to Votto. Marmol ended up walking Joey Votto. Marmol then hit Brandon Phillips with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Sveum decided that was enough and went to his pen for Hector Rondon.

Jay Bruce stepped in with the bags juiced and no outs. Bruce hit a 1-0 pitch into shallow left center that fell in and drove in Cozart with the Reds’ third run. Todd Frazier drove a 2-0 pitch into right. Julio Borbon hauled it in for the first out as Votto tagged and scored the tying run. With runners on second and third with one down, Rondon intentionally walked Paul to reload the bases. Jack Hannahan hit for Corky Miller. Rondon could not throw strikes and walked Hannahan to force in Phillips with the go ahead run. Devin Mesoraco hit for Logan Ondrusek and drove in the Reds’ sixth and final run with a sac fly to right. Choo grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs could not mount a rally against Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman and handed the Reds their first road series win of the season.

Edwin Jackson faces Mat Latos in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Ray Ray

    Cubs had zero hits after Soriano’s HR in the 3rd inning. Got to better than that offensively.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      It doesn’t do much good to get hits when you run Mr. blowsave out there? 4 runs, geez!

  • Ray Ray

    Next 3 series are against Cardinals, Nationals and Rockies with a makeup game against Rangers. It could get pretty ugly this month.

  • Sonate

    The Cubs needed 6 outs for a win and couldn’t get them without 4 runs scoring first. In Marmol’s defense, pitch-tracks showed that three of his pitches that were called balls were strikes. However, when your pitches are all over the ballpark the umps will not likely give you the benefit of the doubt.

  • Rick Barkan

    So who is the idiot that put Marmol in the game Sveum. It’s time that Marmol does a disappearing act get rid of him for some bats. Dale you know the guy sucks why keep using him put him on waivers if he isn’t claimed send him to Iowa. Then chalk it up as another bad contract.

    • Tony_Hall

      Marmol would become a FA, not be sent to Iowa, unless he accepted the assignment, which he wouldn’t.

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        I know you can explain to me why we should care, maybe he would go to our worst enemy that way.

        • Jason Penrod

          I like Marmol. He’s making us better…. Everytime we put him in the game, we are that much closer to the #1 pick!

        • Tony_Hall

          I was explaining to Rick that he wouldn’t be sent to Iowa. I want him released. I don’t believe any team will give up anything for him at this point. They should have said yes to Haren.

    • TheWrongGuy

      We can’t send him down he’s in a guarantee’d major league contract. If I am correct. so the only thing we can do is remove him from the roster and straight out release him AND pay him. It’s pretty much a no win contract situation for a guy with probably one of the best wipe-out sliders in the game (his ONLY pitch).

      I would also like to mention the last 2 spring training’s in a row he’s showed up fat and OUT OF SHAPE! Everyone wondering who else they were talking about when Soler was disciplined for not running out a play to first base. Was just my thought’s

      That’s my 2 cents.
      And thanks again Mr. Marmol for another great Cubbie LOSS (at least this time the loss is in your stats and NOT our starters).

      • Tony_Hall

        He hasn’t had the wipeout slider for a few years.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    So what’s the over/under? 105 losses this season?

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      Close, we are on track to lose 102.6.

    • Ray Ray

      I will take the under on 105. My cup is half full.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I do not think the Cubs will lose that many games.

      • Jason Penrod

        I’m going with 99 loses.

        • Ripsnorter1

          You could be right. Once the starting pitchers arms begin to tire–like Villaneuva’s arm seems to have done–the ERAs will increase, and things will go downhill.

          IN-Credibly…the Cubs are #1 in all of MLB with BAA…..229! That will change.

          • Theboardrider

            Once we flip the guys that are playing well for prospects it will get bad. Take away Villanueva, Schierholtz, Dejesus, Feldman, Navarro, Hairston, maybe even James Russell and a couple more.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes, you could be right. Last year was a plane crash after the deadline trades.

        • SuzyS

          Jason, I’m with you…99 losses.
          Theo and Jed will work to avoid 100 this year.
          If Baker and Vizcaino come back…the second half rotation will be better than last year.
          Although they may audition some minor league arms to see what they have for next year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Baker….a lost year, most likely. Sure, he may make 11 starts…and win 3 of them.

            Vizcaino….September call up?

          • SuzyS

            Rip…possibly a September call-up for Vizcaino…possibly earlier…depending on how he’s progressing. I’m sure they will give him every opportunity to audition for the 2014 rotation…while being careful not to push him too much. I believe they said they’d give him 150 innings of work…wherever they place him.
            I always liked the Baker of old…it will be interesting to see how much he has left, once he heals. I really did not understand his signing…without at least an option on next year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I like the Baker of old. I did not expect him to be this injured.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    If the Cubs lose more games in 2013 than in 2012 are they progressing?

    • paulcatanese

      Of course, they will be progressing, it takes a lot of talent to invent different ways to lose. Thus they are more innovative than 2012, and that is progressing.

      • triple

        Sad, true, and funny all at the same time… thanks Paul!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Scott Hairston’s off to a slow start….but he’s always been slow in March/April. However, this is the worst ever. It’s those FA contracts that wreck the mind.

    2004, 2005, 2006…he started in the minors.

    2007…220 BA .243 fpr the year

    2008….212 BA….248 for the year

    2009…390 BA…….265 for the year

    2010…..244 BA……210 for the year

    2011….167 BA….235 for the year

    2012….244 BA……263 for the year

    2013….097 BA….what will he hit in 2013?

  • SuzyS

    Last year, The Cubs basically paid the Marlins 25 mil or so to take Zambrano. Marmol is untradeable at this point…but we can certainly eat the rest of his contract and give someone else the chance.

  • SuzyS

    Neil, I noted the comment you made yesterday…with wonder…the wonder of how you’ve restrained yourself for so long from making your own comments.

    Unlike the rest of us that can walk away…or at least put the Cubs on the back burner…if we wished. You’ve made it your job to watch them…Day after Day after Day. That’s a lot of bad baseball these days.

    Seemingly, even Aaron has given up the ghost for now.

    So, I just want to thank you for keeping this site going for those that wish to comment or just vent…in light of a season that promises to be long…once again.
    Thanks Neil for all your work…hopefully it will be filled with stories of great baseball in the not to distant future.

    Forecast for tonight: Dark, followed by Dawn.

  • Bryan

    According to an article on, last year the Cubs were the most profitable club in all of baseball (Forbes). And this is the on-field product we now have to accept. Don’t we all think that something just seems a bit odd with this Rickett’s management.

    • Brp921

      That SI guy doesn’t know his A&& from a hole in the ground. Do some research SI. Wrigley Field is falling apart. Not only does Ricketts have payroll, he has to do all the upkeep that’s been ignored forever with the trib doing the bare min possible. I don’t think Tom Ricketts would have said anything he wouldn’t do and I’ll bet his lawyers have checked out the consequences if he did decide to move.

    • SuzyS

      Bryan, this a rehash of a discussion earlier this week. The real culprit was Sam Zell: I don’t think any of us enjoy watching right now…But it is not all on Ricketts.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The best move the Cubs could make is to build a completely new ball park.

    • Brp921

      As much as I enjoy Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville I have come to the same conclusion as you over the past year Rip.

      • GaryLeeT

        I like being at Wrigley, but getting there, finding a place to park, and leaving, is a giant PIA.

  • Tom U

    I don’t normally like to use other websites, but I trust this source.

    Bad news on Josh Conway from Arizona Phil

    • SuzyS

      Who ever was in charge of the grounds crew must be in trouble. Too bad about Conway…he had/has a lot of promise. ” A loud pop” doesn’t sound good.