Look at him out there, week after week. Just flaunting it for the other teams. Filthy. Shameful. And it makes us mighty jealous that some contending team is going to ride that arm through the playoffs later this year. Good lord is Matt Garza talented. Why couldn't he be the pitcher we'd signed to a giant, long-term contract?
Something even more puzzling to ponder: let's check out these two pitching lines.
A: 7.0IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 10K, 12/22, 103/68
B: 6.1IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 10/24, 100/63
I'm sure you've figured it out, but out of those two fine lines, one is Paul Maholm's from Friday. The same Paul Maholm who just a couple of weeks ago was getting resoundingly beaten like a doe-eyed child in a Walker: Texas Ranger pre-credits sequence. And yet there he was on Sunday, doing a better job than Roy Halladay of shutting down a far better team. What's more, Rafael Dolis looked fucking impressive in closing out those last two innings. Of his 19 pitches, 15 were strikes. Having watched enough Neal Cotts in my lifetime to ensure screaming night terrors, I can't tell you how much I appreciate a guy coming in from the pen and not throwing the first 7 pitches way outside the zone.
Then, on the other side of the equation, we have lovable, hittable, Randy Wells. That was an ugly Saturday. I know that Twitter was much in love with his charming woolen hat and soulful guitar, but the one thing you're not supposed to do in the second game of a series against a contender is throw 5+ innings to your pen to sort out. Randy only lasted 78 pitches before Sveum said "ah, fuck it" and pulled that particular ripcord. And again, this was a team that found itself thoroughly befuddled by Paul Maholm the night before. Perhaps even more embarrassingly, Shawn Camp and Scott Maine looked positively deadly in comparison.
While I'm thrilled that we managed to earn at least a split with the Phils before Volstad even takes the mound, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we may soon be regretting not selling high on Carlos Marmol. Where we can at least point at Woody's duct-tape ligaments and the "gritty veteran" angle like he's some Nova Scotia fisherman, Marmol's throwing up arguably worse innings and just looking lost. Either that or Ty Wigginton scares the absolute holy shit out of him. Which ... come on, now. Let's look at this rationally, at least:
10 Possible Explanations for Marmol
3. Pirate Ghosts
4. Ran over an old Gypsy woman's cat.
5. During pivotal series, slipped on baseball and fell on arm that made him pitch super-awesome. Bonded with Gary Busey. Found out his glove used to be his mom's softball glove. Struck out Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds on floater-pitch. Presently shit out of luck.
6.Slept with every umpire's daughter, consequently has a strike zone the size of an Altoids tin.
7. Wants to be free to pursue his real love - interpretative dance.
8. Shared a soda with Kevin Gregg during 2009. Symptoms progressing rapidly.
9. Loves men in uniform. Consequently loads the bases with them.
10. Pulls off Mission:Impossible-style mask to reveal - GASP! - Will Ohman!
Volstad/Norris today, since the Cubs decided that Samardzija needed an extra day. Or that's the official line. But I've done some digging, and there's clearly something else at work behind the scenes.
My god ...
Gentlemen, this is what we've been training for all these years. It's the bro-off to end all bro-offs. BATTLE STATIONS, BRAHS!