Cubs 53-47, 2/1
Cardinals 46-52, 8/7
POTG: 1B Derek Lee (HR)
Runner Up: RF Cliff Floyd (2 H), C Jason Kendall (2 H, 2B)
(lifted from B-R’s gamelog, which I use extensively for these things.)
(bottom of the 6th) A Miles Single to LF (Ground Ball) B Looper Walk; Miles to 2B D Eckstein Bunt Groundout: 3B-2B; Miles to 3B; Looper to 2B J Edmonds Walk A Pujols Hit By Pitch; Miles Scores; Looper to 3B; Edmonds to 2B C Duncan ...
I was, like your average person on a Thursday night, hanging out in the parking lot of the O’Hare Oasis (overlooking 294, heading north) when Chris Duncan came up to bat. I had just stopped there, about 15 mintues before 9. Except for the McDonalds, everything in the Oasis closes down at 9 PM, and some of the food places shut down an hour before. Making a decision between sticking around to hear this at bat or wandering around inside to see if the pretzel stand just happened to be open late wasn’t really much of a decision. I figured out which way this one was going.
C Duncan Home Run (Fly Ball to RF); Looper Scores; Edmonds Scores; Pujols Scores
The pretzel stand was closed, too.
Looper wanted to bunt, but Marquis wouldn’t let him give up the out. Edmonds was down 1-2, and Marquis threw 3 straight balls. Hitting Pujols might have been the best move Marquis made the decision – at least it limited him to one run. Didn’t matter much in the long run.
They really should’ve had someone warming up as soon as he walked the pitcher, to face Pujols. Maybe next time.
When Jason Marquis was signed (for THREE YEARS! We have 2.39 more years of this!), he was promoted as a guy who’d At Least eat up some innings. In fact, he’s on pace to get exactly 200 innings at this moment, and his ERA is actually below average. But those numbers are coasting on his performance in the first two months. He’s been a drag on the staff since Summer.
April: 6.13 innings (2.35)
May: 6.67 innings (3.38)
June: 4.6 innings (5.09)
July 5.6 innings (6.67)
In a perfect scenario, I’d love for the Cubs to pick up Torii Hunter from the Twins as a rental the rest of the season, because I think it’d be the best way to improve. (The Indians just beat the Cubs to the Kenny Lofton idea.) But I think the easiest way to put a league average pitcher in Jason Marquis spot – he’s putting the Cubs in low win situations and stretching out the bullpen. Another Sean Marshall would pick up a lot of slack.
I just did some fast counting, and realized I’m going to just miss going to Marquis’ next start (assuming it’s on schedule.) I’m so thrilled.
Santo and Corey, the radio crew with Pat out sick, have absolutely no chemistry so far. Maybe they’ll get it someday, but it sure wasn’t happening last night. Santo was at least more informative than usual, explaining Marquis’ meltdown of an inning was because he had decided to solely use a fastball and couldn’t locate it. Santo explained this while losing his mind, but he did explain it.
In the slightly bigger picture, 2 out of 3 is good enough. It’s just very disappointing when there was a game to be gained on both the NL Central (where they’d be 1 game back) and the Wild Card (where they’d be leading.