Maybe Jose Contreras has the same problem as Kevin Gregg--a tired arm--and maybe like Gregg, he is not telling anyone about it, until it's too late. Contreras hasn't pitched many innings this year, but perhaps his age, whatever it might be, is finally getting to him.
Contreras didn't even make it to the 4th inning last night, walking 5 guys and hitting 1. The Sox won anyway, as thet eventually beat the tough LA Angels 5-4 in last-inning heroics by Scott Podsednik, who drove in Jayson Nix, who had doubled with 2 outs. But, Contreras' recent problems show Jake Peavy can't get well soon enough.
Meanwhile, the Cubs' solution for Gregg's tired arm, which cost them a win Sunday in Florida, is to use either Carlos Marmol, who got in trouble and then out of it (as is his way) on Monday when the Cubs beat the Reds 4-2, or Angel Guzman, who has shown mostly good stuff all year but gave up a 2-run homer in the 9th inning last night before closing out the Reds in a 6-3 victory.
I'm a bit worried about the whole Gregg situation because he is not a stranger to the DL. He is on a pace to give up more hits this year than in previous years, so he has been working hard for his saves, and he has shockingly given up 10 homers, the most of any NL reliever (though 3 of those came in his last 2 fated outings). Both Marmol and Guzman are too wild and emotional to close games on a regular basis, which leaves... newly-acquired John Grabow? Tom Gorzelanny, who pitched so well as a starter Tuesday? Sean Marshall? All 3 are lefties, but the Cubs suddenly have a surplus of southpaws that will only increase when Ted Lilly returns.
What about Ryan Dempster in a pinch?
The [Monday] Papers
6 hours ago