Brewers 16-12, -1.5 (3rd)
Cubs 17-11, -0.5 (2nd)
POTG: SP Z!!!! (HR [1/13]; 6.1 IP, 7 J, R, 2 BB, 3 K)
Runner Up: SS Ryan Theriot (3 H), RF Fukudome (4 H, CS, 2A)
Yes, there was a dumb move with a guy recovering from injury in this game. It wasn’t Soriano: Gallardo has torn ACL.
The Cubs are going to have games were defenders make bad plays, pitchers don’t get the jobs done, and people get out running the bases. What I hope never happens is the Cubs have a game where the pitcher suffers a knee injury so bad they’re balled up on the ground in pain and the manager allows them to continue to pitch. That was many times worse than the loss of one game.
I think, when Gallardo went down, every Cubs fan with any sort of memory flash backed to their favorite freak Mark Prior injury. Maybe it was the time he got hit by a batted ball for you, but I think most went with the Marcus Gilles collision game. Even though none of his major arm injury he’s had has definitely been linked with that incident, I don’t know of a Cubs fan who would’ve let him go back out on the mound if it happened today. Dusty let him pitch three more innings, and we all live to regret this. When Yost let Gallarado go back on the mound, history was repeating itself.
Given the Brewers bullpen, Gallardo probably needed to be in as long as possible to get the Brewers the win on this one day, but there are times as a manager you must look at the big picture. How much more damage was done to the knee and how many future games did Yost cost his team by letting a prize pitching prospect play hurt? It wasn’t the World Series, it wasn’t the last days of the season, it was just game 28 of 162. Yost lost his perspective.
The cold math is the Brewers won the game, but everyone will now project them for 2 or 3 less wins on the season without Gallardo. And that may be the difference, but as a fan of baseball, I’m disappointed.
Cubs fans have to keep this game in perspective as well. It feels like the first game the Cubs lost that they really should’ve won, but at least they got to May 1st before taking one of those. There are real concerns about Kerry Wood, but Marmol being the closer may have meant Wood just blows the game an inning or two earlier. Soriano probably should’ve been double switched out of the game, but sometimes you’ve just got to learn those lessons the hard way, and it’s better to learn those lessons in Game 28.
Buried in all of this was Z being awesome yet again. I was really hoping for a 1-0 victory, but I guess you don’t always get what you want. On ESPN after the game, Buster Onley credited Z’s good start to an improved K rate. His Ks are down on the season, I have no idea what he meant. Walks are down which is how Z makes it work, at least for now.
Regardless of how he was used, Marmol was his usual untouchable self. That’s good.
Also buried was the hitting. Even though they were in position at the end, the hitters didn’t do all they could’ve. When Ronny Cedeno comes off the bench for half the team’s walks (2) and Z has half the XBH (2), something’s a bit off.