May 7 – 9; vs. Braves – Series Preview

Atlanta Braves Logo - Braves in scarlet with navy outline above a scarlet tomahawk

The Cubs look to keep things rolling as they welcome the Atlanta Braves to Wrigley Field for a three game set.  This will be the second series in a row where the Cubs will be facing one of the best teams in baseball.  The Cubs first test was over the weekend against the Dodgers, and they passed with flying colors taking 2 out of 3.  If the Cubs are going to do the same thing in this series they are going to need an outstanding pitching effort.  They have been getting that lately, but they will be really tested in this series against the top run scoring team in the National League. 

The Braves are led by the usual suspects in Chipper Jones, and Brian McCann, but are also getting solid production from Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.  The Cubs should be able to take advantage of a Braves pitching staff that has been knocked around a bit this season.  The Braves come into the series with a 4.41 ERA which ranks 14th in the National League.  The Cubs haven’t lost a series since the April 20-22 series to the Reds, let’s keep that going, go Cubs!

Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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My Carlos Marmol Rant… Enjoy

Are you kidding me?  Carlos Marmol has become the goat for the 2012 Chicago Cubs, and Cubs fans aren’t about to let their voices go unheard, I’m one of them.  The latest episode of failure was this afternoon where the Cubs were sailing along to a victory and a two game sweep. 

Ryan Dempster was dominant going 8 innings, throwing 101 pitches.  Let’s stop right there for a second.  I don’t want to start piling on Dale Sveum yet, I’m really going to try hard not to.  Why is Ryan Dempster not starting the 9th inning?  I’m sorry, I don’t understand why your #1 starter can’t throw more than 101 pitches.  He’s coming back from an injury, I get that, but this is beyond ridiculous that he has to sit on the bench and watch his awesome effort go to crap because another guy on the team has the “role” of finishing games.  Give me a break, nothing, nothing Carlos Marmol has done this year or last year warrants him getting opportunities to carry a Dora the Explorer backpack let alone close out major league baseball games. 

I see the other side of it, trust me, Dempster did enough, he should be able to sit on the bench after 101 pitches and watch a competent pitcher get the final three outs.  The Cubs have some of those too, none of which are named Marmol.  James Russell starts the 9th the Cubs win, Rafael Dolis starts the 9th the Cubs probably win.  Henry Rowengartner starts the 9th the Cubs definitely win.  Another issue I have is why is Marmol allowed to get out of jams he creates, he hasn’t gotten out of one yet this year.  If Marmol is coming in then there better be someone warming up in the pen just in case the typical happens. What, you don’t want to disrespect the mighty Marmol by having a pitcher warming up?  Too bad, does it show a lack of confidence in Marmol, sure does, because that’s exactly the case, no one has confidence in Marmol, not even Marmol.  Without Marmol’s “efforts” the Cubs would be at or just above the .500 mark and full of confidence, yet they sit at 9-16, dead last in the Central.  But hey, at least Marmol’s getting his work in, you know, building his confidence in easy save situations. 

Enough, Marmol is done, consider the closer position an open one.  That’s what Sveum and Company should do, enough rewarding the contract, and what he is supposed to be, and start rewarding guys who are performing.  Sorry, totally fed up with Marmol and the Cubs enabling him, back to your regularly scheduled programming, recaps and such coming up.

– George

Familiar Feeling in Latest Cubs Loss


It’s gone beyond a troubling trend, it is now something that all Cubs fans have come to expect this season, late innings losses, and shoddy defensive work.  Both were on display in Miami on Tuesday Night where the only thing uglier than the Marlins new home run sculpture was the Cubs defense and tremendous ability to ground into double plays like it was cool.  Ryan Dempster turned in another solid outing, but Josh Johnson matched him as both starters did not figure into the decision.  The end result was left up to each team’s bullpen, and usually when that happens the Cubs will come out on the short end of the stick, and they did.

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Cubs Fall Flat Against Brewers

Another day, another solid start from Ryan Dempster, and another loss.  Such is life at this point with the Cubs, do everything but win.  Once again the Cubs entered the late innings hanging on to a one run lead.  By now, everyone should know that odds are the outcome is not going to be a favorable one for Cubs fans and players alike.

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April 11, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Brewers

Time to win a game, let’s go.  Dempster vs Gallardo today, should be a good one as the Cubs try to end a two game skid and get out of their early season funk.  In all reality the Cubs could be 4-1 instead of 1-4, it is what it is, let’s get a W.  Here’s how the Cubs lineup today.

RF DeJesus
2B Barney
SS Castro
LF Soriano
3B Stewart
1B LaHair
C Soto
CF Byrd
P Dempster

Brewers Lineup:

LF Aoki
RF Morgan
2B Weeks
3B Ramirez
1B Gamel
SS Gonzalez
C Kottaras
CF Gomez
P Gallardo

Thanks for reading, please win today.  Go Cubs!
– George Cotugno

April 5-8, vs. Washington – Series Recap

Washington wins the series 2 – 1.

  Continue reading “April 5-8, vs. Washington – Series Recap”