Cubs win again, Phillies lose again, and man Marmol is throwing bullets


It was a slow day today, but a Friday afternoon tilt helped fend off the snoozes. Phillies-Cubs at Wrigley Field. Whenever they play I like to imagine them competing for a statue that looks like Manny Trillo. Weird, huh?

Anyway, it was yet another frustrating day for Phillies’ fans, as the Cubs win 4-3. Twice the Phillies had a lead and twice the Cubs tied it up, first on a bases-loaded walk to Ted Lilly of all people and the second time via a two-run homer by former Phillie Marlon Byrd.  By then the boys in gray and red had nothing left with which to answer, and Aramis Ramirez — who may have actually risen from the dead — hit a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth.

Carlos Marmol closed it down in the ninth, striking out the side. He now has 81 strikeouts on the season. Which is more than Jaime Garcia, Johnny Cueto and Wadry Rodriguez have, and they’re starters.  Mercy.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.