Game & Series Recap: Dodgers 8 (2), Cubs 2 (2)
Take a look at Sean Marshall for example. In his first full season as a starter, he's taken the mound in the first inning 8 different times. In each of those 8 appearances, he's thrown 5 or more innings and he's only allowed more than 3 earned runs twice -- on May 5th, when he pitched 7 innings in a loss to San Francisco and yesterday, when he was rocked by the Dodgers.
In other words, Marshall has consistently delivered acceptable performances from the mound. His record for the month of May before yesterday? 3-2, 4.05 ERA. That's good for any 5th starter anywhere in baseball. But because Sean Marshall got beat yesterday, these are the comments of a couple - well, one -- of our readers:
Cubsfanky: Sean Marshall is TRASH!!
So, is this the way it's going to be all year long? A player has an ugly performance and we jump him? Ryan Dempster alternates between good, bad, and ugly outings and we label him a juicer? Milton Bradley begins the year 1 for 23 and we call him selfish? Derrek Lee slumps while he battles a sore neck and we call him washed up? This is how it is now?
On the bright side, the Cubs offense accounted for 9 more hits yesterday but they were only able to draw a solitary walk. Reed Johnson, who is apparently on fire, had another 3-hit game and suddenly finds himself batting .295.
The bullpen also threw 4.2 innings of shutout relief, stopping the Dodgers offense cold. They struck out 8 over that span too.
As for Sean Marshall, fans of Randy Wells couldn't have asked for a different performance. It should be a tough decision for Lou to make once Rich Harden comes back as to whether or not Wells stays in the rotation and Marshall shores up the pen or vice versa. A few more strong outings from Wells, coupled with a few more bad or ugly outings from Marshall and Lou's decision will be easy.
Current Record: 25-24
Position in the NL Central: 4th place, 4.5 games out
Best Possible Record: 138-24
Worst Possible Record: 25-137
Record needed to win 110: 85-28
On Pace For: 83-79