Game 11 – There’s Always One: Pirates 8 – Cubs 7

It seems like every season, the Cubs either start the year or acquire one dumbass reliever for reasons you can’t possibly fathom. They end up sucking for like two weeks to a month, and then are returned to whatever bargain bin or city dump they were found in while Theo and Jed ask each other, “What were we drinking that night?”

Last year it was Joe Smith, or even Joe Nathan if you want to nominate him. The former was in search of “funk” that Joe Maddon wanted, which was mistakenly interpreted as the smelly definition of the word instead of the weird. Two years ago I would nominate Jason Motte, who stuck around far longer than any of us wanted. Rafael Soriano would be another candidate, picked up in the wreckage of Motte’s implosion. Throw Phil Coke in there too if you want. If we go back any more years you’re just going to have a brain bubble.

It’s too early to say Brian Duensing is going to be that this year, except I was saying that in the winter when he was signed.

Brian Duensing sucks. He’s always sucked. He doesn’t strike anyone out, he really doesn’t have good control except for his brief appearances in the majors last year. He doesn’t even really get lefties out all that well, but was trusted with more than an inning today.

It’s pointless to tear our hair out (even though I don’t have any) over games and decisions in the second week of the season. There could be all kinds of reasons Maddon didn’t want to go to Uehara or Rondon or CalJu earlier today than Duensing. He just got burned.

Of course, none of this matters if Pedro Strop doesn’t lose Marte when he didn’t have to, and then got too chunky with his slider. Cutch had laid off two consecutive sliders before his homer, and I really would have liked to have seen a fastball after that. He got one past McCutchen earlier in the AB. But then again, you never want to get beat with your second best pitch. It was all unnecessary.

Other notes:

-After six runs it sounds strange to say the Cubs let Tyler Glasnow off the hook, whom once he stops trying to throw pitches through the building with runners on is going to be real good, but they kind of did. They didn’t even really threaten in the innings they didn’t score.

-Again, not even two weeks in but I’ll be happier when Willson and Javy look more competent at the plate. The former will. I’m hopeful the latter will.

-Jake was good enough today, just not as economical as you’d like. But it’s hard on a day like this, and he gave up a couple homers and at least one of those would never be on a normal day. Still more to be happy about than worried about with Jake.


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