The Cubs' push for pitching continues into September.
The reasoning? As the adage goes, you can never have enough.
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That was evident again Wednesday even as their ace, Jeff Samardzija, came apart late in his start only to be bailed out by a rare offensive outburst in a 9-7 victory over the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field.
Before the game, the Cubs made another surprise move, selecting the contract of 37-year-old reliever Chang-Yong Lim from Class AAA Iowa. Lim had been quietly rehabbing in the Cubs' minor-league system all year after undergoing his second Tommy John elbow surgery in the early part of the 2012 while playing in Japan.
The native of South Korea has pitched in his homeland and in Japan before coming to Chicago. The Cubs' quest for pitching -- any kind of pitching -- seems to know no borders, and for Lim, this seems to be a perfect landing spot.
"Ever since I was little, when it comes to baseball internationally, it's mainly the United States and Japan and Korea," Lim said through his translator. "Playing in Korea and Japan, where else could you play? Obviously here, (I) will have accomplished everything as far as playing baseball. I want to see what it feels like."
So what does he know about the Cubs and their history?
"Obviously the curse and the 100 years," he said.
That needs no explanation or translation.
The Cubs weren't done. Hunkered down in their office building, the baseball chieftains next claimed reliever Daniel Bard off waivers from their old team, the Boston Red Sox.
It's not clear what the Cubs have in mind for Bard, who is expected to be on hand Friday to throw for pitching coach Chris Bosio before he sees game action.
He was an effective reliever for the Red Sox in 2010 and 2011 before the Red Sox toyed with making him a starter. Bard, who has had control issues, made only 2 appearances for Boston this year, spending 16 games in the minor leagues and making no starts.
"This guy was arguably the best setup guy in baseball just a few years ago," said manager Dale Sveum. "Now he's healthy. We got a big power arm. Theo (team president Epstein) has a lot of confidence in him. He knows as well as we do this guy was one of the best, if not the best, not too long ago."
As far as the present-day pitching, Samardzija gave up a pair of runs in the second on a monster home run by Logan Morrison. With the Cubs ahead 3-2 in the sixth, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a grand slam off Samardzija, who escaped with no a decision as his ERA went from 4.13 to 4.29. He had a 5.28 ERA in July and a 5.54 ERA in August.
At 189 innings pitched, he's well within sight of 200 for the season.
"It's important for anyone," he said. "It's also important to have quality outings to get there, too. It's not always about getting to a certain number. It's about how you get there and how you finish. Obviously, you want to finish strong. If you cross that (200-innings) border, you cross that border. But, like I said, you want to do it the right way, for sure."
Carlos Villanueva picked up his second win in five days out of the bullpen as the Cubs got a go-ahead 2-run homer from Donnie Murphy in a 4-run seventh.
"That's one of those games we haven't had quite a bit at home," said Sveum. "Obviously, we scored early and (got) some home runs. (Ryan) Sweeney's home run to make it 6-4 (in the sixth) was a huge one, and obviously, to tack on. And the Murphy show continued. It was nice to hit home runs and big home runs late in the game, which we haven't done much of."