Cubs have more than their share of problems
Enough other problems cropped up for the Cubs on Sunday that booing Carlos Marmol seemed oh-so-Saturday.
In fact, Marmol was one of the only bright spots in Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have lost four in a row and five of six. Their record is 11-20, and they're already 9 games out of first place.
While Marmol isn't the least of the Cubs' problems at this point, he did work 1 scoreless inning Sunday and took a back seat for one day to some other glaring areas of need.
Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, the front office's four-year, $52 million acquisition in the off-season, fell to 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA as he lasted 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and 4 runs. Only 2 of Jackson's 7 starts have been quality starts.
Reliever Shawn Camp has been as ineffective as Marmol, but he has somehow escaped the scrutiny and the wrath of the Wrigley Field faithful.
Camp gave up 2 runs and 2 hits in 1 inning Sunday. He has an ERA of 8.03 and a WHIP of 1.86 as he has allowed 18 hits and 5 walks in 121⁄3 innings.
The offense was 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, making it 44-for-243 (.181) on the season. Second baseman Darwin Barney was 0-for-4, as his batting average fell to .159.
We'll take it from the top.
Jackson, who has had problems with the big inning all year, allowed 3 runs in the fourth inning and 1 in the fifth, running his pitch count to 86.
"He had three or four fastballs up in the zone right there and obviously got hit," manager Dale Sveum said. "He was better today. Guys put some good swings on balls. They got some groundballs, and he's a little stymied right now. He can't seem to … his groundballs seem to go through every hole, too. He was OK today."
Jackson acknowledged that the big inning has been the beginning of the end too many times.
"I felt pretty good today," he said. "I couldn't avoid the big inning. I felt like for the most part I was attacking hitters at a pretty good pace. I made them hit the ball today, and they did that."
After Marmol worked a 1-2-3 sixth following Saturday's rough outing, Camp came out for the seventh and gave up 2 hits and a walk.
"We're a team," Camp said. "We're actually going through a stretch right now; the bullpen's going through a tough stretch. Realistically, two guys are pitching well down there: (Kevin) Gregg and (James) Russell.
"We have to pick it up a little bit. It can get ugly real fast. It's May, and it's time for us to step up down there."
Sveum said Camp's situation is troublesome, too, along with Marmol's.
"He's really having a hard time getting anybody out right now," the manager said. "His stuff is flat, and nothing's really real crisp right now at all with him."
Barney is certainly not the only culprit on offense, but he left five runners on to end three innings. On the homestand, he's 3-for-21.
"It's not fun coming up in big situations and not coming through," he said. "When you've got guys with runners in scoring position, things just aren't falling.
"I put some good swings on balls in those situations and they end up right at guys. But other than that, I just haven't been executing my plan very much."
Cubs scouting reportCubs vs. Texas Rangers at Wrigley Field
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Pitching matchup: The Cubs' Scott Feldman (2-3) vs. Nick Tepesch (2-2) Monday at 7:05 p.m.
At a glance: This is the makeup from the April 17 rainout. The Cubs and Rangers split the two games that were played. Feldman pitched for the Rangers before signing with the Cubs this past off-season. The Rangers are the first-place team in the AL West. They topped the AL in pitching with a 3.02 ERA entering Sunday. Ian Kinsler is among American League leaders in batting average and slugging percentage. Lance Berkman was second in the AL in walks. The Cubs host three different teams on three straight days, with the Reds on Sunday, Texas on Monday and the Cardinals on Tuesday.
Next: St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Tuesday-Wednesday
-- Bruce Miles