I want to feel bad for Kevin Gregg, I really do. But sadly, I can't. Gregg failed again on Sunday, less than 24 hours after he failed on Saturday against the Marlins.
Gregg blew two saves in two opportunities this weekend. I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I'm not. The two blown saves gave Gregg five on the season, in 52 games and 26 save attempts. The man blows a save basically once every five opportunities that he's given.
In the 52 games that he's appeared in this season with the Cubs, Gregg has given up 25 runs, including now 10 home runes, and walked 21 batters, while only pitching 49.2 innings of work.
Simply put, Kevin Gregg fails at being a closer.
As a Marlins fan, I shouldn't be one to talk about how bad another team's closer is, because the Marlins' closers aren't that great either. But Gregg makes Matt Lindstrom seem like an All-Star... okay, maybe not an All-Star, but he makes Lindstrom look good.
Kevin Gregg fails so much at being a closer that he actually became a Trending Topic on Twitter Sunday night after he gave up back-to-back home runs to Dan Uggla and Cody Ross, on consecutive pitches, to land the Cubs a 3-2 loss.
It's not like he's just having a down season, because last year, with the Marlins, he blew nine saves in 72 games, leading the league in that category, giving up just five more runs than he has allowed so far in 2009. In other words, he's been bad, but this season could still get worse for him, especially since after today's game, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he has no plans to demote Gregg from his closer job.
One fellow blogger even went so far as to say that Gregg is the new Eric Gagne (complete with the glasses), who blew seven saves in 17 chances last year with the Brewers. I think the analogy is fitting, except that Gagne was once considered one of the best closers in the game while he was with the Dodgers, and Gregg, on the other hand, has never been even close to that good.
Kevin Gregg has gotten to the point where, if I see him in a save situation, I'm honestly more surprised if he actually saves the game, rather than blowing it. I feel for Cubs fans, because, like I said, Gregg pitched for the Marlins last season.
Again, I want to feel bad for Gregg, but because he did the same thing for the Marlins last year, I can't feel bad for him, but I can feel bad for the millions of Cubs fans who are likely losing years off of their life every time they are forced to watch him try to close a game.
Ed. Note: A friend who attended Sunday's game told me that after the Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, that Marlins fans actually began chanting for the Cubs to put Gregg in the game come the bottom of the inning. That's how much Kevin Gregg fails, that opposing teams' fans are cheering for him to enter the game.