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Wrap-Up: Chicago Cubs Vs. Philadelphia Phillies (4/30/2012)


Apr 30, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Rafael Dolis (48) delivers to the plate during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Cubs 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The game of baseball is certainly an interesting game. Like the other professional sports markets, the game of baseball makes is possible for analysts to look like geniuses at one moment and then look like fools a second later. If you needed any confirmation of this process, compare the pre-season predictions to the standings at the end of the season.

Bloggers are no different. The latest piece of evidence of my foolishness came on Monday. On Monday, I looked at the struggles of closer Carlos Marmol. I asked the question what the Cubs should do about Marmol’s continued struggles. One solution that I offered was that the Cubs should demote Marmol to pitching out of the seventh or eighth inning. A move that would create an opening for reliever Rafael Dolis to become the team’s closer. Among my arguments, I said that in a team that is building towards the future as the Cubs are, the wise move would be let Dolis progress through his struggles as the team’s closer than it would be Marmol. Dolis certainly put my words to a test on Monday.

For most of Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Philles, the Cubs trailed the Phillies 4 to 0. The Cubs finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning, before scoring three more runs in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game at four. Cubs’ reliever got the first two out of the bottom of the eighth inning, but then was pulled after giving up a base hit to Juan Pierre. Dolis then entered the game.  After giving up a base hit to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Dolis then allowed both Pierre and Rollins to score on a double by Placido Polanco.

The Phillies went on to the game 6 to 4 against the Cubs to force a split of the weekend series. Nonetheless, here are the rest of the game highlights.

What Went Right: Not much went right for the Cubs in Monday’s loss to the Phillies. Though, it was encouraging to see the Cubs’ offense overcome the team’s early deficit in the late innings. First baseman Bryan LaHair and Shortstop Starlin Castro led the charge. LaHair, who has impressed many with his early season performance, went 2 for 4 in Monday’s loss with a home run and 2 RBIs. Meanwhile, Castro was 2 for 4 in the game while driving in a run.

For the most part, the Cubs’ starting pitching staff has kept the Cubs’ in games during the early portions of the season. But Monday’s game is not the first time that the Cubs’ offense has shown up to erase a loss from the starter’s record. If only the Cubs pitching staff and the team’s lineup can manage to appear at the same game, at the same time.

What Went Wrong: Starting pitcher Chris Volstad struggled yet again in his start on Monday night. Volstad allowed four runs on 8 hits and 3 base on balls in 6 innings of work. After being one of the most impressive pitcher’s in Cubs’ camp in Spring Training, Volstad has been anything but impressive with the Cubs this season. Volstad’s leash can not be too long. Though with Travis Wood struggling with the Iowa Cusb and Randy Wells struggling in his recent stint at the Major League level, Volstad’s spot may not be in jeopardy as of yet.

What Was Interesting: Geovany Soto had another hit-less game on Monday as the catcher was 0 for 3. With Marlon Byrd no longer a part of the organization, Soto’s struggles have come into focus. There is bound to be a push from catcher of the future Welington Castillo. Castillo will likely be with the team for the foreseeable future, as Steve Clevenger is expected to be sidelined for at least the next three weeks with his rib-cage injury. Castillo is going to be given chances to crack the everyday lineup, and if he succeeds, the Cubs may have no option but to sit Soto in favor of Castillo. A move that would be a welcomed sight for the long-term future.