Last Saturday I addressed a worse case scenario regarding Kerry Wood’s final days with the Cubs:
Wood continues to struggle and the Cubs are forced to issue an ultimatum to ‘retire’ or accept his unconditional release from the club.
It would be a rather sad ending for a much beloved Cub, but the more Wood struggles, the more likely it becomes Kerry finalizes his Cubs career standing with family members behind home plate at Wrigley Field during a small ceremony held in early September.
No doubt that day is near. But I remain hopeful it’s one that comes next season rather than this one.
I obviously didn’t expect this day would come so soon and somewhat unexpectedly. But give Wood credit for taking a tough decision off the hands of Dale Sveum and the front office.
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In his 12th major league season with the Cubs, including his second year
in his second stint with the team. Originally selected by the Cubs in the first
round of the 1995 draft.
Has pitched exclusively in relief since the 2007 campaign, and is 15-19 with
63 saves in 86 chances and a 3.66 ERA (102 ER/251.0 IP) in 256 outings in
His 1,469 strikeouts with the Cubs rank third in franchise history behind Fergie Jenkins (2,038) and Carlos Zambrano (1,542).
Brutal loss Friday night/Saturday morning in Milwaukee. It’s just too painful to relive all the details.
The saving grace is Game 2 starts at noon today. No sense stirring over all the woulda, coulda and should haves from the 8-7, 13-inning loss–and there were many.
I’ve been asked several times this week both in person and via Twitter if Kerry Wood should call it a career and retire from baseball?
There’s no reason for over-reaction to the Cubs (1-4) start less than a week into a marathon long season.
However, there’s plenty of reason to be concerned with the Cubs shaky bullpen after five games.
Chicago’s ‘pen is sporting an (0-3) record with an unflattering 7.24 ERA.
In 13.2 innings of work they’ve allowed 11 earned runs on 16 hits, one home run and 12 walks vs. nine strikeouts. Obviously, that’s extremely concerning.
To make matters worse, the two go-to-guys, Carlos Marmol & Kerry Wood, have accounted for six earned runs and three blown saves.
Now that it appears the Cubs will sign Kerry Wood before Friday’s Cubs Convention, I’ll repeat what I’ve said many times before: it’s time to put Wood back where he belongs–in the closer’s role.
Although dominating at times, Carlos Marmol regularly struggled last season to find his command.
His bouts of wildness resulted in nine hit batsmen and a league-high 10 blown saves–figures which only reaffirmed my belief Marmol is a better set-up man than a closer–and put the Cubs on red alert for its closer’s position heading into the offseason.
Here’s my voting for the Cubs’ 2011 Cy Young Award.
1. Sean Marshall: Set the Cubs’ single-season ‘Holds’ record with 34. Allowed just 19 earned runs in 75.2 IP, arguably the Cubs’ 2011 MVP as well.
2. Matt Garza: His 10 wins are a poor reflection of his overall performance, nearly reached 200 IP (198.0), and 200 strikeouts (197), made 31 starts with a 3.32 ERA. Should easily have 3 to 4 more wins.
3. Ryan Dempster: Led the Cubs in both starts (34) and Quality Starts (21), topped the 200-innings mark (202.1), and registered 191 strikeouts.
4. Jeff Samardzija: Made 75 appearances, all from the bullpen, posting a 2.97 ERA and 8.90 K/9, won 8 games vs. 4 losses, got stronger as the season wore on.
5. Kerry Wood: Posted a 10.06 K/9, had 21 Holds, 1.29 WHIP, and 3.35 ERA in 55 outings.
1.) Zambrano is on the right track, for now.
2.) Which Cub teammate did Kerry Wood fight?
3.) Greg Maddux McNutt.
1.) Cubs fans have had every right to be angered with Carlos Zambrano. Not only did his immaturity squander some of his best years, but it squashed the Cubs’ clubhouse chemistry and regularly embarrassed the organization. All this for $91.5 million bucks?
I’ve been particularly hard on Z, given his dizzying bouts of silly business, to the point where I’d be fine seeing the Cubs trade him. But that doesn’t mean I’m rooting against him, either.