Anthony Rizzo. MAN.
The last time I posted about the Cubs, I was pleading with Cubs fans to put the Rizz-Aid down. It’s beyond easy to want to find solace in a lost cause, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo was seen as the solace and the Cubs, the lost cause. I almost expected Rizzo to get off to a slow start, and the same fans who had clamored for his promotion, to jump off the top of the Sears Tower. Fortunately, Rizzo hasn’t been half-bad.
Anthony Rizzo through 7 games as a Cub:
2 HR, 5 RBI, .296/.321/.630
Missing from those numbers are Rizzo’s sound defense and 3 game-winning hits in his first 5 games as a big-league Cub. Also missing from those numbers is the Cubs record during his current stint: 5-2. No, I don’t think there’s reason to be excited for the Cubs just yet, but I suppose it is feasible to work oneself into a tizzy over Rizzo’s production thus far. Besides, that bum Starlin just ain’t cutting it anymore.
Carlos Marmol over his last 9 appearances:
7.2 IP, 13 K, 5 BB, 1.17 ERA, 5 SV/5 SVO
Now, I have no idea what the hell has gotten into former/present/possibly future closer Carlos Marmol of late, but I certainly like it. For his last 4 save chances, he’s been lights-out, not giving up any runs, only one hit and striking out 7 in only 3.2 innings. Perhaps all it took was Marmol losing his job 21 times and running out of creative ways to blow saves for him to finally get it together. Who knows. Better yet, who cares?
Marmol’s newfound productivity will either benefit the Cubs or another team in the future. I believe Theoyerleod still intends to move as many high-paid veterans as possible with eyes on the future. Marmol won’t exactly make chump change next year, and I wouldn’t mind seeing another fanbase suffer routine 9th-inning heart attacks whenever Marmol takes the bump. Even if the Cubs have to pick up a good chunk of Marmol’s salary and receive only a mid-level prospect in return, it would probably still be better than the alternative: Sticking with Marmol at closer through 2013. Still, I like Marmol. Lately.
The Cubs are in Atlanta tonight to play the third of a four-game set. The Braves evened up the series last night, winning 10-3 largely because Cubs starter Chris Volstad is the worst pitcher in the history of baseball. Tonight’s 6:10 CT tilt will be a matchup between Cubs lefty Paul Maholm (5-6, 4.84 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) and 22 year-old Braves righty, Randall Delgado (4-8, 4.52 ERA, 1.44 WHIP). Go. Cubs.