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Gregg competing to reclaim closer role

Posted by GameSetMatch on 22nd September 2009

Kevin Gregg will spend the final two weeks of the regular season marketing himself as a potential closer. His chances of keeping that job with the Cubs are slim.


Gregg is one of four free agents on the Cubs. He lost the closer’s job on Aug. 18, but he hasn’t been banished to the last spot in the bullpen. Last Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Lou Piniella called on Gregg to face Corey Hart, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. On Friday against St. Louis, Gregg came in with one on and two outs in the eighth of a tie game to face Albert Pujols. That’s not an easy task.

“I think he’s the greatest hitter in the game, hands down,” Gregg said of the Cardinals’ slugger. “Coming in with a guy on, having to face him late in the game, tight situation — you’ve got to make your pitches, you’ve got to do your thing. He’s good. That’s the bottom line.”


Click here to read the full article – By Carrie Muskat of MLB.com



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Cubs need to improve defense

Posted by GameSetMatch on 17th September 2009

Cubs manager Lou Piniella’s preseason expectations for his defense weren’t lofty. Still, the Cubs have not met those expectations.



“Leaving Spring Training, I didn’t expect to lead the league in fielding, believe me,” Piniella said. “But I expected us to be at least in the middle, possibly a notch above there. But we’ve been in the bottom tier for a good portion of the year, and that makes it rough on the pitching.”

Going into Thursday’s series finale against the Brewers, the Cubs are in the bottom three in the National League in both errors and fielding percentage. The team hasn’t fared much better according to an advanced statistic called Ultimate Zone Rating, which indicates that the Cubs are about 14 runs below average on defense this season. That mark is 12th in the NL.


Click here to read the full article – By Andrew Simon of MLB.com



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