Sunday, July 8, 2007


Over the first-half of the 2007 season, the Chicago Cubs bullpen blew 12 saves, one more than the league average of 11. Scott Eyre and Bob Howry have blown four saves each, while Dempster has blown two. Cherry and Guzman each have a blown save as well.

The good news, though, is that the Cubs' opponents have blown 15 saves. To celebrate the times in which the opposing bullpen blew a lead, here are the blown saves.

April 9: Chad Qualls (Astros)
In the Cubs' home opener, Lilly allowed three runs in six innings, but departed trailing by 3-0. The Cubs got 2 runs off of Astros' starter Woody Williams in the bottom of the sixth before Qualls served up an RBI single to Jacque Jones in the bottom of the seventh, to momentarily tie the game at 3. The Astros went on to win that game 5-3 and Qualls got the win.

April 18: Oscar Villareal (Braves)
Villareal was the victim in a wild game played at Turner Field. In a two-run seventh inning, Derrek Lee doubled home a run to tie the game at 5-5 before scoring on a wild pitch. Villareal, however, would go on to win the game, as Scott Eyre would blow a save of his own in the bottom of the 7th.

April 22: Jason Isringhausen (Cardinals)
After the Cardinals hit Bob Howry for two runs in the top of the 9th to take a two-run lead, Mark DeRosa answered with a bloop hit down the right field line that plated both Barrett and Izturis. Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer off of Dempster in the top of the 10th however, continuing a disturbing theme: another win for the opposing pitcher that blew the save.

May 1: Jonah Bayliss (Pirates)
As the rains were approaching, the Cubs were in jeopardy of falling to 11-15 when the Cubs’ bats came through just in time. After the first two batters in the seventh were quickly retired, the Pirates looked like they were on their way to a rain-shortened 5-2 victory. Instead, six consecutive Cubs reached base to score four runs and re-take the lead before the storm hit. The Cubs finished off the victory the next day.

May 6: Chad Cordero (Nationals)
The Nationals looked like they were going to avoid the sweep at Wrigley when Chad Cordero entered the game in the 9th inning with a 3-2 lead. Ryan Theriot, however, came through with a clutch RBI single, scoring pinch-runner Jason Marquis, allowing Daryle Ward to be the hero in extra innings.

May 12: Geoff Geary (Phillies)
Eerily similar to Bayliss’ blown save on May 1, the Cubs scored in the top of the seventh to avoid another rain-shortened loss. Murton’s pinch-hit homerun brought the Cubs within a run and started a six-run rally. Ramirez’s RBI single later in the inning would tie the game. However, the Phillies put up a six-spot of their own in the bottom of the seventh to win 11-7.

May 18: Mike MacDougal (White Sox)
The Cubs were able to get to a then-good White Sox bullpen in the 7th inning. Down 3-1, Pagan’s two-out two-run triple gave the Cubs new life. The Cubs eventually scored again in the inning and twice more in the next inning to take the series opener against the crosstown White Sox.

May 19: David Aardsma (White Sox)
Former Cub David Aardsma was the victim on the very next day. With the Sox leading 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Soriano singled home Theriot to tie the game ahead of the dramatic pinch-hit grand slam by Derrek Lee. The Cubs won the series outright, taking the second game by an 11-6 final.

May 25: Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers)
Dodgers’ reliever Jonathan Broxton was on the mound when the Cubs rallied all the way from 5-0 to tie the game at 5. Back-to-back-to-back doubles by Soriano, DeRosa and Lee evened the score, but the Dodgers put together a late surge of their own to squeak by the Cubs by a run.

June 2: Tyler Yates (Braves)
Down 3-0, the Cubs stormed back. Single runs in the 5th and 6th innings allowed Ryan Theriot to score the tying run in the 7th on an error by Martin Prado. The Cubs bullpen, however, was unable to keep the club from dropping their sixth consecutive game, a 5-3 loss to the Braves.

June 12: Sean Green (Mariners)
Derrek Lee doubled to lead-off the eighth inning and scored the tying run on Barrett’s single before the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs. A fielder’s choice and a pair of strikeouts to Pie and Fontenot kept the Cubs tied at 3 before the Mariners pushed across two runs in the top of the 13th.

June 14: Brandon Morrow (Mariners)
Leadoff walks to Mark DeRosa and Mike Fontenot in the 8th inning came back to hurt Morrow, as Cesar Izturis plated both on a bloop double into left field, leading the Cubs to a 5-4 victory. This took Jason Marquis, who had allowed four runs on just two hits, off the hook for the loss.

June 21: Willie Eyre (Rangers)
The Cubs erased a 5-0 deficit by scoring four times in 5th inning and a Derrek Lee RBI single in the 6th inning to tie the game. A botched run-down play in the bottom of the 9th inning, however, helped the Rangers take the game and the series.

June 25: Brian Fuentes (Rockies)
After Eyre and Howry failed to hold a five-run lead in the top of the ninth, the game looked over. The Rockies had taken a 9-8 lead on Tulowitzki’s three-run homer, but given new life, the Cubs responded. Kazuo Matsui bobbled a groundball that would’ve ended the game, opening the door to Soriano’s dramatic 2-run walk-off single.

June 29: Francisco Cordero (Brewers)
A five-run first inning by the Brewers put Milwaukee in control of the game, but the Cubs just kept chipping away. The Cubs scored twice in the 4th and once in the 7th, paving the way for a three-run rally in the final inning. Derrek Lee flew out while representing the winning run, but Aramis Ramirez’s two-out blast sealed the victory.

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