Today's 13-3 Cubs loss to the Marlins was one-sided and dull, over by the fifth inning, so let's do two things instead of talk about the game itself.
- Write a good caption to the photo that's with this recap (that one's up to you)
- Discuss why Ramon Ortiz is still on this team instead of Chris Carpenter
Ortiz came into the game after Carlos Zambrano allowed two long home runs to Mike Stanton that put the game out of reach, and put the game even further out of reach, allowing a three-run homer to Logan Morrison.
Why is Ramon Ortiz even in major league baseball any more? Ortiz wasn't even good when he was good -- look at his career numbers -- he had one year (2002) when he was a little above average, and even that year he led the AL in home runs allowed (40). He did manage to get a World Series ring out of the deal; apart from that he's been bad, and except for 16 bad outings for last year's Dodgers, he had not been in the major leagues before then since 2007.
Maybe I should stop before I give Jim Hendry any ideas.
That said, there is one good reason to send Chris Carpenter to Iowa, even if Ramon Ortiz should be given the proverbial gold watch and be sent home.
Carpenter, who has a live fastball that occasionally reaches 100 MPH, is reportedly going to be installed as the closer at Iowa. Granted that the I-Cubs are in last place and haven't had all that many save opportunities (seven different pitchers, John Gaub, Scott Maine, Esmailin Caridad, Polin Trinidad, Marcos Mateo, Justin Berg and Carpenter, all have saves for Iowa this year), but the thought apparently is, if Carpenter can get accustomed to the role and do well, he'd be back in September and get some chances to close then.
If he can do well at that, the Cubs might have a tradeable commodity in Carlos Marmol this offseason. And who knows? The other Chris Carpenter -- the Cardinals starter -- is a free agent after this season. Maybe the Cubs could sign him and put two Carpenters on the pitching staff.
You might argue that Marmol's fairly expensive, and teams often develop their own closers. But Marmol was in the outfield before Saturday's game working on his mechanics, and if he can get back to last year's level, there would surely be teams looking to acquire him.
At least that's looking to the future, instead of wasting time on pitchers who were barely passable in their "primes".
Aramis Ramirez hit a meaningless three-run homer (his 11th in his last 21 games) to give the Cubs their only runs Saturday. Carlos Zambrano was pretty bad; he looked like he still might be favoring his injured back. The announced crowd of 40,709 had maybe 5,000 no-shows, but the bleachers were not sold out, likely due to the $81 price for the day, and many of those who did show up left early.
Perhaps the Cubs can split this series tomorrow. That'd be nice, considering Rodrigo Lopez has to face Cole Hamels on Monday.