Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gordon Wittemeyer has proven he is a witless ninny

Here's the proof: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/588167,CST-SPT-cub04.article

Here's the truth: Carlos Marmol did not lose the game (although it is a little unnerving to see him poop himself in postseason action).  Uncle Lou did not lose the game for taking Z out after 6 sweaty desert innings.

They lost because, last night, they couldn't hit Brandon Webb, a fairly common occurrence, especially amongst heavily right-handed teams like ours.

You don't think Lou realized this early on?  Our only real shot of winning last night was for Z to throw a shutout.  Once he gave up a run, and considering Z's volatile emotional state, Lou did a remarkable job of psychoanalysis. 

If he yanks Z while we are behind, Z gets hung with the loss, and he spends the next week steaming over that.

If he yanks Z while we are ahead, and somehow the bullpen coughs it up, he not only spends the next week steaming over THAT, he probably beats someone up, too.

But, in a tie situation, Z can sit back, consider himself lucky, and be in the best frame of mind for his next start.

So Lou took that route, and gave Marmol a try.  Now, Marmol is our most statistically spectacular reliever.  But he is quite unproven in the postseason.  If we just go by the numbers, we might be compelled to lean on him, to go to him in an ultimate must-win situation.  But why make that assumption if you don't know how he responds to Real Playoff Pressure? 

So rather than waiting until an elimination game to try him out, he breaks him in a relatively gentler fashion,  a tie game in Game 1.  Now, we know that Marmol has a little Cap'n Tightpants in him, at least after October 1st.  So maybe we put him back in there sometime in Game 2 or 3 when we are either ahead or behind by a few, let him get his legs under him, so we can possibly count on him for a Game 4 or 5.

But maybe there isn't going to be a Game 4 or 5, Captain Slothy??  Uncle Lou threw away Game 1 by yanking Z too soon! For cripes sake, jagoffs...throw THIS away.  We lost last night because our gutless lineup couldn't hit Webb.  Not that its a real disgrace.  He IS after all the reigning Cy Young holder.  If they can get from Webb to Valvoline, whatever their closer's name is, forget it.  Webb was Dealin' last night, this kind of thing will happen. 

Do you really want a guy like the Dustbag, who can only think one game (hell, one minute) at a time, or do you want someone who can see the big picture?   Lou knows, that if our hitters start hitting, there WILL be a Game 4, and we are actually set up better for Game 4 than if he wrung Zambrano out for every last pitch he had.  He also knows what he has with Marmol, and maybe when the chests get tight and men reach for their nutsacks, maybe instead of reflexively reaching for Marmol, he insteads opts for Wood or Howry.

Let's see what we have tonight, because if the hitters don't show up tonight, it ain't gonna matter how well Marmol does under pressure.  We ain't gonna have a chance to find out. 

Hmm

Bobbo, not sure I agree with you too much. I think there's a bit of Lou apologism going on above.

The fact is (and this is true in every game, but more apparent in playoff games) that before you bring in a player, you never know if they're going to have 'it.' Hey, look at Peavy, I would have taken Peavy to throw my season deciding game... but he didn't have 'it.'

Zambrano was clearly on last night. Removing good players who are performing well to bring in a good player who hasn't proven if he's going to pitch well that day should only be done when necessary.

It comes down to this: Z had only thrown 85 pitches. Lou looked ahead to Sunday and decided that he would chance bringing in Marmol. It backfired. It was a bad decision made for the wrong reason... and it looks even worse after letting Z bat with the bases loaded only one inning prior.

I still love me some Uncle Lou, and I agree that it wasn't his fault we lost, nor was it Marmol's... but the decision was still a poor one. I said it when Lou took him out... and I'd say it even if Marmol, Howry, and Dempster all threw scoreless innings.

___
This has been a message of Pestilence

I side with the Sloth

I'm afraid that I have to agree with Rob on this one. Although I honestly had a gut feeling that it would go poorly, it makes sense to me. Apart from keeping Carlos's pitch count down, our bullpen has been lights out for a long while. The only difference is that I would've gone with Woody in the 7th and I would've saved Marmol for the 8th inning. But from a purely neutral point of view, I honestly can't criticize Piniella for his decisions last night.

Well, except maybe for batting Jacque in the #2 spot. Shouldn't DeRosa be there?

No Sweat

Webb was just filthy. Still we dropped one on our opponents home field against one of the league's best. Unfortunately we couldn't hit Valverde either. Hopefully everything changes tonight against Doug Davis.

Anyway Cub fans back off the ledge. At least the Cubs weren't beaten by a series of whacky improbable events.

I wanted one more inning as

I wanted one more inning as well. Heck, it didn't have to be the entire inning either. I had a feeling that runs were going to be tough to come by. Thus, I wanted another inning just to better brace ourselves for an extra-inning game. Our bullpen is deeper than theirs and our bench is better. The longer the game went on the more I liked our chances.

Let's hope Marmol will be more relaxed next time.

I didn't have a problem with

I didn't have a problem with Lou removing Zambrano after six as much as I did with him not pinch hitting for Z with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth with the game still tied at 1. If Lou wanted to "save" him for game four then that would have been the perfect opportunity to get him out. Lou also errored by not having Z bunt Theriot over in the fifth when he lead off by reaching second on an error. If Z gets that bunt down then Theriot scores of Soriano's fly out after that putting the Cubs up 2-1.

Pulling Z

Well said. Short rest after an efficent outing is coming and there's no reason the Cubs bullpen couldn't have hung right in there.

Get 'em tonight...the bats have to feel like it's still September when anything that could be hit, was hit. Can we channel some Jobu in here?

A side note....

Can these TBS announcers be the biggest hacks ever? I like Dick Stockton. He's called a few decent football games but he's got to be the worst baseball play by play guy I've heard in ages. Ron Darling was average at best. Minimal incite and very boring.

And just on the Cubs, how many names did they butcher?

Zambrano = Zembr-ANN-o

Quade = Quaid, didn't realize he was one of the Quaid brothers

Marmol = Mar-MOLE

I want Stoney!!!

Announcers

They were killing me -- and I like Stockton. As for Darling, he was such a bad color guy that the Nats fired him after last season. I can't understand how the Mets hired him.

I'm with you on this one.

Everyone who has decided to second-guess piniella can eat the peanuts out of my shit.

He's gotten us this far, he knows what he's doing. If Z had given up the HR the same dickweeds would have been screaming that he left Z in too long.

Fuck 'em all, let Lilly bury some bodies tonight.

Every writer I trust...

..sides with me on this issue. Marriotti, of course, is against me. So I have that going for me. Which is nice.

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