I’ve been pushing for Marmol this entire Spring and I’ve never felt better about it than I do right now.
In the past week I’ve made a few comments about how it doesn’t make any sense for Wood to claim the closer role for the Cubs. The stats show he shouldn’t and personally, that’s all you should need to make your decision. But then Piniella more or less implies (through his BS statements of having 3 guys he’d feel comfortable with as the closer) that the gig is Wood’s if he can close out the last two weeks of Spring strong (pun intended) and if he can prove that he can get it done on consecutive days. I figured, OK, fine…let’s see.
Cut to Day One: Today. Result: Wood is scratched from the game due to back spasms.
I nearly have no words. With Marmol’s Spring and a sidelining result by Wood when first asked to pitch on consecutive days…could we please put an end to this already?
Sure, Marmol struggled today but the fact is, he got out the jam, only giving up one run. This game was beyond ‘saving’ anyway considering Hart got blown out of the water (1/3 IP, 4ER, 2H, 2BB) the inning prior. (Too bad for him too, he’s been looking good as of late). I honestly think Lou needs to simply make the decision to announce Marmol as the closer and enough already. Why have these questions linger any longer than need be?
Having the exact opposite day of Wood was Dempster who once again proved my point that it should be he and Marquis picking up the last spots on the Cubs rotation. He was lights out today going 5.1 IP, 1H, with 7K’s! Lieber’s pitching in the nightcap and the game just started so it will be interesting to see if he steps up with his own claim on the prize this evening in response to Dempster’s day. Lee finally showed some life today hitting his first home run of the spring. Having Lee hit his the day after Ramirez finally went yard is nice to see. Maybe the two of them are finally ready to get ready for ’08. But honestly, could Gallagher have looked any worse today? I’m sure he didn’t impress any Baltimore scouts adding to futher delay this ridiculously prolonged trade scenario.
I must say, besides it being a pleasure to see our offense start to get off the ground with Lee and Ramirez, it was also good to see that Fukudome had an outfield assist. The simple fact that he can make a play like that the day after getting hit in the neck is a good sign of his ability to bounce back from injuries/play with pain, etc. And keeping with the Japanese theme, apparently Zambrano had his name transcribed into Japanese and the symbols for his name translated into “to hunt”, “the road” and a few together that figuratively meant something to the effect of “ripping his clothes off and dancing on the mound”. Zambrano’s road starts could be very entertaining if all of that is true. Watch out Papelbon…this season your river dance has nothing on the Big Z Shuffle.
Great game today aside from Hart’s poor performance…all eyes on you Lieber! Go Cubs Go!