You see guys like Jumbo Diaz and Kevin Gregg in their bullpen and then Jason Marquis starting last night and wonder how the Cincinnati Reds are supposed to win any games.
Marquis last posted an ERA+ of 100 or better in 2009, when he went 15-13 with 4.04 ERA (4.10 FIP) for the Colorado Rockies.
Maybe the Reds were impressed by his 4.05 ERA in pitcher-friendly San Diego last year, but his peripherals tell a very different number.
Anyhow, Marquis was beaten around last night by the Chicago Cubs, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings of work.
Anthony Rizzo had his first homer of the season. Cubs win 5-0, taking their second straight series and re-claiming first place for the time being.
Travis Wood (W 1-1) went 7 shutout innings for the Baby Bears, allowing 3 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 7. He’s got his ERA down to 2.31 after that performance.
Cubs’ reliever Neil Ramirez left the game after 3 pitches with an injury. Cubs skipper Joe Maddon described the right shoulder injury as “nothing real positive” which, for the eternally optimistic Maddon, is really something. Ramirez, who has been a pretty solid pitcher out of the Chicago pen, was throwing his fastball at 90 mph – 5 mph slower than usual.
In 50 appearances, Ramirez had a 1.44 ERA with 10.9 K/9.
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In St. Louis, the Cardinals were 4-2 winners over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Lance Lynn needed 99 pitches to complete 5 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and a walk to go along with 4 strikeouts. He’s 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA.
He used up 4.5 pitches per batter faced, up from 4.0 in his prior game. The National League average this season is 3.8 pitches per batter faced.
Yadier Molina had 3 hits (.240) and Matt Carpenter had 2 (.345), while Jason Heyward picked up his 4th double of the year already. He’s on pace for 93 two-baggers, if you wanted to know. Only 96% more of the season left to play!
We knew this would be a bad season for Milwaukee – put together with a horrible farm system, being in a division with teams that do have good farm systems and are already better than them to boot, it might be a bad decade – but it got a little worse when Center fielder Carlos Gomez went down with a hamstring injury legging out a fielder’s choice in the 9th inning.
Milwaukee already lost Ryan Braun for a couple of games earlier. Through the first week and a half of play, the outfield has been snake-bit.
Gomez was quoted as saying: “I’ll have to wait until the morning and see how it is. Right now, it’s sore. Tomorrow is the day that we know if it’s going to be a couple of days or a lot.”
He’s expected to not play in today’s game.
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Finally, in Pittsburgh, the Pirates lost another close one in inter-league play against the red hot Detroit Tigers, who are now 8-1.
Alfredo Simon improved to 2-0, going 8 shutout innings for Detroit and allowing just 2 hits. He fanned only 2, with the Pirates failing to “hit ’em where they ain’t”.
Francisco Liriano had nothing to show for a good outing – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K. He’s 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA.
Rajai Davis’ solo shot in the 6th ended up the game’s only run.
The Bucs have now gone 19 innings without scoring a run and haven’t walked in four straight games.
Andrew McCutchen had one of the two Pittsburgh hits – he’s hitting just .207 this season. No Pirate in the top 5 of their order is currently hitting better than .235.
It’s pretty amazing to look at the league stats right now. The National League as a whole is hitting just .240, with the Pirates’ .207 mark the worst. (The Cardinals, at .248, are 4th in the NL – tops in the Central.)
Things are looking up, however, as Starling Marte has shaved his head in hopes of bringing some change of fortune. I can vouch that bald is beautiful. I think this will work.
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Thank you, Paul Daugherty. Daugherty writes about Reds manager Bryan Price’s misuse of the Reds’ bullpen weapon known as Aroldis Chapman. Price has been driving me a little bonkers all season long. I guess I’m just glad that I’m not the only one.
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Just one game on the scoreboard today, with the Cards and Brew Crew finishing up their 3-game set.
A St. Louis win puts them into a tie for 1st atop the division.
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|2-6||MILWAUKEE||Fiers (0-1, 9.00)|
|4-3||ST. LOUIS||Lackey (0-0, 6.00)|
|12:45 PM CT|
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|St. Louis Cardinals||4||3||0.5||W1|