Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Brewers 6, Cubs 2; The One that Got Away

Loss

It was a perfect opportunity for the Cubs to bring their magic number to 2.  Ben Sheets, Brewers Ace 2.0 leaves the game - and possibly ends his season - in the 2nd inning.  This leaves the Cubs in the "competent" hands of a mediocre Brewers bullpen - 7 different Milwaukee relievers were used last night, and last I checked, they only have 2 or 3 good relievers on their team.

In other words, the Cubs should have demolished them, right?  Wrong.  Jason Marquis was on the hill.

For you new readers, Jason Marquis has a number of nicknames on this blog.  Mostly we just call him the Marquis de Suck, but another appropriate - if not less funny - nickname might be Hendry's Folly.  Although the Cubs already look built to compete again next season, Jim will have a few moves to make before '09 rolls around.  For example, will he roll the dice and bring back Dempster?  And if he brings back Dempster, will Samardzija get a shot at starting?  And if the Notre Dame phenom is going to get his shot, then who does he replace in the rotation?  The answer, obviously, is Jason Marquis, the weakest link.

Last night, Hendry's Folly* made it easy for the Brewers by allowing a 3-run first inning.  Admittedly, he buckled down after that and pitched into the 6th without allowing another run, but the damage was already done.  Marquis exited in the 6th, and In the 7th, his white flag replacement Angel Guzman saw fit to pitch in-game batting practice to Milwaukee.

(*still a year remaining on that albatross of a contract, hurray)

Even had the Cubs offense taken advantage of the early departure of Ben Sheets, it may have been a little much asking for them to overcome the 6 runs scored by the Brewers.  However, the only real offensive production they had last night came from an Aramis Ramirez solo shot in the 2nd, and a Ryan Theriot ground-out RBI in the 9th.  The Cubs offense only managed 6 hits and 3 walks, but they will face a depleted Brewers pitching staff tonight, led by Dave Bush.  Bush is 9-10 with a 4.24 ERA, and he is currently 0-2 with an 8.23 ERA against the Cubs this year.

I'm sure we will all look forward to the Cubs finishing this thing sooner rather than later.  The offense needs to come alive tonight, and with Bush pitching and the Milwaukee pen worn out, it could get real ugly real fast.

Not sure we can pin this one on De Suck

Unless just his mere Suckitude spread to our suddenly impatient hitters. That answer I could accept. He didn't lose the game for us.

I'm still optimistic

With four home games left, there's still plenty of time to clinch at home.

As far as Marquis goes, I wouldn't be surprised if Hendry eats the last year of his contract and trades him in the offseason. I'm willing to bet a club would take him.

I can see Dempster coming back giving us a rotation of Z/Demp/Harden/Lilly/Shark. I wouldn't count out Hendry going after another starting pitcher, perhaps a left hander.

It's still way early to be

It's still way early to be thinking too much about the off season, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to looking ahead, just like you.

The thing is, the Cubs really don't have many places they can be upgraded. Maybe another steady arm in the pen, just maybe a CFer if Pie is indeed a bust, but that's about it.

Jeff Spellcheck

I don't think he's just quite ready for starting. Marshall, in my humble and oft-misguided opinion, should be penciled in as a fifth starter.
There's also the issue of resigning Harden, no? Or does he have a contract for next season?

That was the real benefit of

That was the real benefit of Harden - he has a year left before he's a free agent.

The general line of thinking when it comes to young pitching is that you always try them as starters first before turning to them as relievers. Smardzjibaoenebela was thrust into the relief pitching role this year out of necessity and he's excelled. If he remains at the ML level next year, he deserves a chance at winning a spot in the rotation.

Not to mention the fact that stranger things have happened than Rich Hill launching a successful comeback.

Good point

Then we have the "problem" of having too many starting pitchers fighting for a position.
I hope Hill finds what's been missing. I saw him pitch three times at Wrigley and he was very good.

The problem with guys like

The problem with guys like Sean Marshall and Rich Hill, is, besides big Z, all of our pitchers are the same. We need a change of pace guy in there. I really hope we sign another "power" type pitcher. Jason Marquis is the weak link in our rotation and that was the issue last season and probably why he was rumored in so many deals this past winter. I don't see anyway of Marquis coming back. And honestly, i don't even see Hill pitching for Piniella again.

If they move Samardzija or Marmol to the rotation, i hope we sign Hitoki Iwase. He's 33 and pitches in Japan, but he's the greatest RP in Japanese history. Crazy slider and a 97 mph fast ball. And he's even said he'd be a set-up man if need be. lol

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