Creeping Inexorably Toward A Worthwhile Sub-Heading.
Friday, August 29, 2003
Another very solid outing by a Cubs starter goes out the window, although some of the blame could be laid at the feet of Zambrano himself for his sixth inning throwing error which eventually led to the Cardinal's first run of the game. Obviously, there's no way to know how things turn out if he doesn't toss the ball into the dirt on Matt Morris' would be ground out, but it's reasonable to assume that the Cubs still have the lead in the ninth. To me, this is the crux of the game. Yes, Remlinger gave up the game tying homer to Kerry Robinson (Kerry Robinson ?!?!?), but at least Dusty left him in the game after he had a quick and effective eighth inning. The decision was defensible, and sometimes guys just throw a bad pitch.
My only quibble would be with bringing Remlinger into a tie game in the first place. He's walked a lot of guys, and given up a bunch of homers. In a game where one run kills you, I don't think he's a good fit. I have to bring up the name of Mark Guthrie again. He has been greatly underutilized to this point, making appearances in 54 games while only throwing 33.2 innings. He's being used like a LOOGY, when his career numbers make it clear that he is equally effective against all hitters. He's had better control this year, and given up homers at a lower rate. If the game is on the line, like it was last night, I'd much rather see him in the game than Remlinger.