Well That Was Special
They’d been threatening it, hadn’t they? No matter how much you tried to ignore it, you just knew the bullpen’s pipes were getting more and more clogged and though you kept promising to buy some Drain-O, or at least baking soda and vinegar, it was just around the corner before it backed up and hacked up black stuff everywhere.
I find a meltdown like this early in the season is good practice. Because, y’see, a bullpen implosion really only matters if you have actual aims for the season that are measured in wins and losses. Believe me, I had a huge urge to throw something or bellow an expletive I made up at volumes to shake the foundation as soon as Upton’s bat went “click.” But A) it’s April and B), what does it matter?
Carlos Marmol isn’t going to be the closer when this team matters again. He probably won’t be in May, at this pace. Kyuji Fujikawa won’t be either, though we don’t know if this work of art is just a one-off or something we should be accustomed to. He’ll have to locate his fastball a fuck of a lot better, as nothing else is going to work if he doesn’t.
As for Marmol, I just can’t get worked up any more. We’ve lived with this for too long. If you want to get upset about him sending whatever trade value he had right into the toilet, that’s cool.
Because there’s no secret with Carlos. He can’t repeat his delivery or his arm slot. He rushes when panicked. He drops his arm. The slider flattens out and he can’t control it. It has no tilt. So he goes to the fastball, which is string straight and he can’t locate. We know he can’t be throwing 3-1 fastballs to either Upton, because there’s no guarantee it will be over the corners. Which Marmol needs. Whatever.
Still, there is something darkly magical about a Cubs pen Chernobyl. They always seem so epic.
-Ruined a good start by Carlos Villanueva. But pitcher’s wins are bullshit, we all know that. He had better stuff than I had imagined. Whatever keeps Feldman buried on the depth chart.
-I’m really loving Wellington Castillo’s desire to drive the ball the opposite way. If he can keep it up, he could turn into a very dangerous hitter. Only one week obviously, but it is an encouraging start.
-I’m not too worried about Anthony Rizzo’s slump. He’s still seeing the right amount of pitches. Last year, when he slumped he was swinging at a lot of first and second pitches. Maybe he should try and ambush a pitcher here, but as long as he’s patient, he’ll get where he needs to be. He’s still stepped on a couple pitches so far. Maybe he just needs pitchers to make just a tad more mistakes for him to get going fully.
-Keep doing it, Nate Schierhotlz. I’m happy to look like an idiot for you.
-I wish Starlin would swing at less pitches. I wish a lot of things.