7/30 Marshall law & more

Sean Marshall pitched another perfect inning on Thursday in the Cubs’ 12-3 win over the Astros, and extended his scoreless innings streak at home to 13 innings over 15 games. But he’s probably the happiest player on the flight to Florida because he’s getting some relief. With the addition of John Grabow, the Cubs added a veteran lefty who can handle late inning duties.

“It gives us options as a lefty, and a pretty good one,” Kevin Gregg said of Grabow. “He’s been around, he knows how to pitch late in games with the game on the line. It’ll be good for Sean to be able to take a breather every now and then. It seems like he’s been pitching every day. It’ll be nice to use each other to get some rest.”

Gregg has helped Marshall learn how to warm up in the bullpen. Relievers don’t need as many pitches as starters do.

“It’s a common mistake,” Gregg said of warm up routines. “I think when you first start in the bullpen, you don’t realize what it takes to get ready, especially for him. It’s a new aspect for him. A starter throws 30 or 40 pitches warming up. Some of us can throw 10 pitches before they get in a game.

“He’s taken to it well, and he gets ready real quick, if you watch him,” Gregg said.

Hart did the Cubs’ bullpen a favor by going six innings on Thursday.

“What he did today for us was that it put us all fresh,” Gregg said. “We’re all ready, we’re all 100 percent. We’re 100 percent in the bullpen now and to go on a road trip, that’s nice.”

* B.J. Ryan was to make his second Minor League outing on Thursday night for Triple-A Iowa. Ryan threw 11 pitches in one inning on Tuesday, and the radar guns registered 86-87 mph on his fastball.

“It’s way too early to tell when or if he’ll be ready to help us in the near future,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said.

* No word yet on who will replace Hart in the rotation. The Cubs will need a starter on Tuesday in Cincinnati. Tom Gorzelanny, acquired in the five-player deal, could get the call. He last pitched on Monday for Triple-A Indianapolis, and gave up two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.

* Mitch Atkins was optioned to Iowa after Thursday’s game. No corresponding move was made, but outfielder Sam Fuld was on the team charter to Florida and was expected to be activated before Friday’s game against the Marlins.

— Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

Not that it really should matter to Cub fans, but I just have to wonder how Pittsburgh fans feel about having nearly their entire roster of star playes like Grabow, Sanchez, Bay, McClouth, Wilson, Nady and others get shipped out of town. Here’s a headline from their website that tells it all.

“Pirates excited about landing Cedeno.”

What fantasy world are they living in? Are they gonna pass out game tickets at homeless shelters with free hot dogs and brown bag just to fill the seats?

My God. It’s just one jam job after another. The Bucs have been rebuilding and tearing down for the last 30 years.

NEWSFLASH for Neal Huntington. Pops Stargell and Roberto Clemente are DEAD. AL Oliver, Manny Sanguillen, Richie Zisk and Bill Mazeroski are a little past their prime and are NOT COMING BACK.

Dude, You may have considered your team a “shovel ready” project, but I don’t think major professional sports franchises qualify for any stimulus money. Although you may finish dead last in the division once again, you can always be reminded that the “Mendoza Line” was named after a guy who was once on your team. After this season you can always rename if after another guy on your team. You know, the one you’re so excited about getting.

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