Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kendall makes impact in first game

Jason Kendall made an impact in his first game with the Cubs. But not the way the team wanted.

Besides going 0-for-3 at the plate, Jason Kendall's defense was less than stellar.

In the fourth inning, the Giants were able to score the tying run when Kendall was unable to haul a throw made by Alfonso Soriano. While the ball beat Vizquel by a good margin, the newest addition to the Cubs couldn't handle the hop. Not only that, Kendall allowed two wild pitches and muffed a foul popup that opened the door to a two-run eighth inning for the Giants.

While Kendall was not statistically held accountable for any of his defensive miscues, it's clear that the reason why the Cubs are 13-5 when Koyie Hill starts is his ability to play defense well. Or at least effectively. Or at least not like Michael Barrett. Barrett cost us at least three games defensively and Kendall has already cost us one.

But you can't blame Kendall completely for this loss. After dealing with the bullpen masterfully of late, Piniella messed this one up. Badly.

I agree with the decision to lift Marshall after six innings. He was at 88 pitches and the plan was to bring Marmol in for two innings and Howry for the ninth. However, Piniella shouldn't have pressed the issue when Marmol needed 22 pitches to get out of the 7th. Instead, Piniella let Marmol start the 8th and had to be lifted when Bochy brought Bonds to the plate. Lou brought in Ohman, that was good. But he left Ohman in too long.

In any event, all four losses in July have come against lefties (Chico, Maholm, Youman, and Zito) and so something needs to be done. We talk about how we would want a left handed power hitter, but it seems like we're struggling with southpaw pitchers enough to consider adding another bat from the right side.

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