The Cubs lost in Cublike fashion to the Atlanta Braves 6-5. The focus fell on the ineffective closer Carlos Marmol who gave up the game tying and game winning homeruns in the span of three batters. Going by Fangraphs, Carlos Marmol deserves the lion share of the blame for the loss, but is that really the end of the #narrative on this game?
The Cubs had the bases loaded with no one out in the top of the eighth inning. The Cubs had their 1-2-3 hitters coming to the plate. The moment that David DeJesus came up to the plate in the eighth inning the Braves had a 1.2% of winning the game. By the time Anthony Rizzo had struck out that percentage had climbed up to 3.7%.
The real big swing was to come when Kyuji Fujikawa came into the game. Fujikawa had been pretty dominant in his first appearances but the Braves touched him for 3 runs. After the fourth Braves run crossed the plate their chance of winning had climbed to 39.1%. That swing gave the more talented team much needed life they would need to claim the victory.
The typical response to all of this team loss talk is that this is the typical Carlos Marmol, neglecting the fact that walks haven’t been his undoing in the past two outings. Even if Carlos Marmol is toast, who do you hand the ball to in the ninth tonight? The guy that is next in line to take over for Marmol is the same pitcher that gave up 3 runs tonight. You want the steady Shawn Camp that managed to save 2 of his 6 opportunities last year? You want James Russell to face the Upton brothers in the ninth? Except Russell was already used, so too bad.
It is up to you how you dole out blame for this team loss, but the focus on solely the ninth inning is myopic at best. The Braves would not have been in the position to take advantage of Carlos Marmol in the ninth if they hadn’t been let up off the mat in the eighth.
The news isn’t terrible for all Marmol haters, though.
Sveum says staff will now talk about a closer change. Also pointed out Fuji didn’t pitch well either. Said other options Camp, Russell.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) April 7, 2013
Russian roulette, anyone?