There are those who believe that any competent reliever can be put in a save situation and succeed. With their play of late, the Cubs are trying to disprove that theory. With two strikes and two down, closer du jour Shawn Camp failed to lock down the game by giving up a solo home run to Hunter Pence to tie things up at seven.
"I've faced (Pence) probably ten times and I've made that pitch a thousand times in my career," Camp said. "It's just a hanging breaking ball and he hits hanging breaking balls. In that situation, it just can't happen, it's unacceptable. It cost us the game."
Camp hung around for the tenth and things didn't get much better as he balked in the go-ahead run and let two more cross home as the Giants went on to win the game 10-7 in ten innings.
"My spike got a little caught and I froze up," Camp said of the balk. "Freak incident, first time it happened in my career."
Camp was disappointed that he let his team down after they battled back multiple times to take the lead going into the ninth. Manager Dale Sveum, who is now going with a closer by committee after Carlos Marmol failed to hold the job and Kyuji Fujikawa landed on the DL, said he wouldn't hesitate to go back to Camp in a similar situation. However, he hopes to have a firmer grasp of who will hold the closer role in the near future.
"Ultimately you'd like to settle on a single guy," Sveum said. "I think that helps everybody out in knowing their roles and all that. But obviously, right now we're still searching for that role."
Sveum wouldn't rule out putting Marmol back in the closer's role, saying that was always "part of the deal."
Marmol's clean eighth was his fourth consecutive scoreless inning since being removed as closer. However, Sunday's outing was his first 1-2-3 inning of the season.
Sveum is familiar with Loe as the two crossed paths when Loe pitched for the Brewers while Sveum was a bench coach with the team.
"Great guy, gonna get ground balls, sinkers," Sveum said of Loe. "If he gets enough rest, his sinker is always really playable in the big leagues."