Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: September 13th vs. Reds

GameCastHomer Bailey (5-4, 5.60 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly (11-8, 3.17 ERA)

Story-lines
The Cubs blew a chance to gain a game on the Rockies last night, thanks in part to the erratic arm of Carlos Marmol.  I know that some people think he's capable of being the team's next closer, but his inability to regularly throw a strike makes that a bad idea. 

Maybe Marmol is just erratic and always will be, but you'd think the team's pitching coach might figure out a few strategies to fix his mechanics and help him get effective again.  Perhaps Larry should be sitting down with the Dramatic Gopher and they could study tape from a few years ago when he was accurate and unhittable.  Or maybe not.

It seems to me that in Chicago, the concept of closer has been blown to epic proportions over the years.  Maybe that's because the Cubs haven't had a guy do the job well for more than two years straight since the 80's.  But it seems to me that teams have found success converting all sorts of middle relievers into closers in recent years, so maybe the Cubs should stop over-thinking it and just give their best reliever a shot -- that'd be Angel Guzman, at least this season.

Who's Hot

Geo Soto -- Way too little, and way, way too late.  Soto has been hitting at a sick pace as of late, but he's still a second-year FAIL.  Next season will be essential for him.

Who's Not
The Cubs Bullpen -- every day as of late the Cubs pen has coughed up a lot of runs, even in games they've won.  It'd probably be fair to call them Lou's dirty habit or something ... just when you think it's better now and things have cleaned up, the dirty habit reappears and the Cubs tank again.

Conclusions

With all due respect to Randy Wells -- and he is due a ton of my respect by now -- Ted Lilly has been the best pitcher on the team in 2009.  He was also lit up like a firecracker against the Reds last year, but he's been luckier in '09.  I feel good about this team's chances of getting a series win.

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