The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
There’s this misconception that when a bad baseball team, which the Cubs almost certainly are, plays a very good team, which the Cincinnati Reds most certainly are, that they just win every game 10-0. But it rarely works out like that. Usually, it’s just the good team doing nothing wrong, and simply waiting around in just enough of a touching distance when the bad team will present them an opportunity. When you’re a humming machine, you don’t miss. The Reds haven’t the past two days. They’ve been doing it to the Cubs for a few years now. The Cardinals have been doing it for what seems like my entire life.
But you can’t really pin this anywhere, and that’s the thing about baseball. Eventually, someone has to hit or someone has to pitch or someone has to make a play defensively. So it is with Dale Sveum’s options. None of us want to see Sean Camp come in again in an important situation after Thursday’s….whathaveya. After Russell seamlessly got out of the 7th today, who was left? It was Carlos Marmol, and that’s about it. Unless Sheffield Ave. needed some new potholes courtesy of Kameron Loe.
While Marmol had put together a nice string of appearances after being chucked from the closer role, a meltdown is never too far around the corner. It’s who he is. What’s amazing is that managers don’t have a reliever warming up at the beginning of the inning. Sure, it wouldn’t show any faith in Marmol and could affect his confidence. But has he earned much else?
Considering what he came in against, I don’t know that Hector Rondon could have done much more. He broke a bat, he got a lazy fly ball, but he did walk a guy. And one intentional. This fire was already raging.
And it’s something we’ve seen far too much of the past few years. The Cubs get a good start or the offense comes alive, but an error or a bullpen that can’t find reverse — or get out of reverse, whichever — and it all goes up in smoke.
Other things I think I think:
-Hopefully this is Soriano starting to heat up. With Rizzo getting on base more, it could only help. We know he sucks in April, and while he his level of suckage in April gets deeper and makes us believe slightly less that he’ll get hot again with every passing year, he always does.
-As Wellington Castillo’s offense starts to dip after a hot month, his defense comes under the microscope. It hasn’t been a good week for it, topped by lollygagging after a passed ball/wild pitch on Thursday from Camp. Then again, we all assumed the run would score, but it’s his job not to.
Castillo still doesn’t receive the ball well. He’s cost his pitchers a couple key strikes by moving his body far too much when catching a borderline pitch. You have to stay quiet back there physically, even though by rule it shouldn’t matter how and where a catcher catches a ball. But we all know it does.
When he blocks pitches, he doesn’t seem to get his knees down on the ground, and they’re slithering under him. It’s not enough to drop your glove, you have to get your knees on the ground too.
-Yeah yeah, home run on Thursday. Scott Hairston still sucks.
-I like the adjustments Darwin Barney is trying to make in theory, in that he’s trying to be more patient. It’s been a complaint of mine about him. While the results are ugly now, I think in the end they’ll pay dividends.
-Interesting discussion on the broadcast today, where DeShaies and Kasper were talking about how Starlin Castro had discarded his leg kick against Aroldis Chapman, and how Sveum would like to see him permanently go to that approach. We’ve heard in the past that Castro can get hardheaded when it comes to changing things about his swing. But a lesser leg kick could provide a longer look to pitches, and his hands are so quick I don’t know how much power or line drive ability he’d lose. At some point, I think he’s going to have to adopt that approach. Keep an eye on?