Is the bullpen finally starting to show the wear and tear we expected? Or was it just one game?
Despite being handcuffed all game by Jason Marquis and the Cubs, the M's still led 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. But Chicago scored twice, the Mariners were unable to get anything going in the ninth and, boom, a two-game losing streak.
I'll answer my own question: It was just one game. Brandon Morrow struggled a little and was the victim of a flare down the left-field line. It was as simple as that.
Now, if tonight (5:05; FSN; 920-AM) in Houston, the same thing happens, we'll start to call it a trend. Felix Hernandez (3-3, 4.41 ERA), of course, could make that all moot by pitching a complete game.
The late Cub comeback overshadowed a decent outing from starter Jeff Weaver, possibly his best of the season. Weaver went six innings and yielded three earned runs.
Today's hot list …
• Morrow's inability to hold the lead, a rarity this season, was the lead to all the stories, beginning with the Times and continuing through the P-I and the News Tribune. From Chicago, you have two stories to read, from the Sun-Times and the Tribune.
• Times' baseball columnist Larry Stone spent Thursday's game with the Bleacher Bums.
• The P-I has this piece on Mike Hargrove.
• J.J. Putz's save on Tuesday took more guts than we may have known.
• And our question of the day …
• Will the bullpen be able to withstand the stress a not-so-successful starting staff is putting on it?