Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game & Series Recap: Dodgers 8 (2), Cubs 2 (2)

Cubs lose
I so love Cub fans.  The Cubs can take 2 of 4 from the hottest team in baseball and Cub fans will immediately jump on the negative. 

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

Reed Johnson

I'd say Reed's heating up can be attributed to the same thing as his hot start last spring. Lefties lefties and more lefties. He tortures lefties to a tune of a .357 average in 09. Last year the Pirates threw a steady stream of LHP at him and he got off to such a great beginning of the season. He's like what Matt Murton would be if Matt Murton didn't suck so much and constantly hit choppers to 3rd.

I thought the most interesting things I saw last night were.
1) Soriano is hurting and is still looking terrible. The only reason he got that double was because the guy pitching didn't feature some sweeping curveball/slider that ends up in the LHP batter's box.

2) I hope the Cubs never face Broxton in the post season. It was men vs boys when he was pitching... just like the playoffs last year.

3) The Cubs struck out Juan Pierre 4 times this series, bringing his season total to 12. Impressive pitching by the Cubs.

Sean Marshall is not trash

He has been willing to take the ball in any and all situations Lou has asked him to. Starting, long relief, short relief. This is exceeding rare in today's game, my friends.

That having been said, the game was over before we even went to the plate.


i don't know if you could say this is his first full season as a starter. he was almost exclusively a starter in 06 and 07 and only really was used as a reliever last year.

I mean it in the sense that

I mean it in the sense that he started the year in the rotation (even, ironically, if he pitched in relief first)

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