Travis Wood gave the Chicago Cubs an amazing effort in his first start of the season. Wood shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went six innings without giving up a run. The Cubs had an easy victory in the bag until Carlos Marmol came in to close out the game in the ninth, holding on for a 3-2 win.
Marmol was wild as usual and he gave up two runs making the game close and nerve racking. Cubs fans are in for quite the ride this year is manager Dale Sveum doesn’t find someone else to close. The Cubs have a few different options for a possible closer including Kyuji Fujikawa, James Russell and Hisanori Takahashi. All three of these options would be better than Marmol. The Cubs need to find someone who can throw strikes consistently. I don’t care if the closer gives up hits or even home runs. Sometimes batters win the battle, but for a close to come in and walk people is unacceptable. Sveum should know this, and if he doesn’t correct the situation quickly, the Cubs offense will need to start putting up massive offensive numbers to build in a cushion going into the ninth.
Most of the Cubs offense yesterday came from a Nate Schierholtz two-run home run. I would like to see the Cubs drive in runs the traditional way by moving runners into scoring position and then getting key base hits. If the Cubs live and die by the home run, I am not sure they will have any consistency until temperatures warm up at Wrigley.