Harris: This Job Is Too Big For Quade

By Adam Harris-

(CBS) Mike Quade is a nice guy, a good talker, and is very personable. Frankly, I like him, but not as an MLB manager.

Many times this year he has performed incorrect on-the-field moves, whether it be with how he handles the pitching staff, who he pinch runs or uses as a defensive replacement, or how he manages the bullpen.

Last night’s loss against the Phillies was his fault and is a great example of how he mismanages in-game pitching decisions. The Cubs were up 2-0 heading into the 7th inning, and while I realize Matt Garza was cruising, I noticed he was approaching 100 pitches on a muggy, humid night in Wrigley where temps were 90-plus.

I was at the game and looked down the left field line to see that no pitcher was warming up to potentially relieve Garza if he got into trouble that inning. That is wrong, as someone should have been warming up from the very start of the inning, just in case Garza showed signs of weakness.

Some will say that showing confidence in your starting pitcher is a reason to not get anyone up in the pen in that situation. I think it is more important to put your team in the best position to win, and Quade didn’t do that.

Before the inning started, I would have told Garza that if he allowed one base runner I would pull him from the game. One base runner brings the tying run to the plate, remember, and with a tired starter out there, one mistake could cost the Cubs the lead.

Garza proceeded to get the first two batters out, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz. That is when Quade finally got Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall up in the pen.

That is too late. At this point Garza has to get the next guy out because the relievers are not warm.

Luckily, Garza induced a fly out to center field by Ross Gload ending the inning.

I thought, “Whew…that was close. Now lets see a reliever come in and start the eighth…right?”

No, that is not what happened. Quade trotted Matt Garza out to the mound to start the eighth inning with over 110 pitches thrown. Jimmy Rollins got a base hit to lead off the inning. That is finally when Matt Garza left the ball game and Sean Marshall came in.

Too late. Marshall proceeded to give up back to back hits, tying the game. Then in the ninth, he gave up two more runs and the Cubs lost 4-2.

This is simply bad baseball strategy. After Quade messed up the seventh, and got away with Garza squeaking by, he should have counted his blessings and let Sean Marshall start the eighth inning.

Relievers feel more comfortable entering the game as the first pitcher of an inning because they do not have anyone on base. I am not saying that the Cubs would have won if Garza didn’t face Rollins; I am saying that everything would have been different.

Both of these moves in yesterday’s game are a common occurrence this season with Quade. He left Randy Wells in too long a couple weeks ago against the White Sox, who ended up beating the Cubs in Wrigley.

These are baseball-101 moves that the Chicago Cubs’ manager doesn’t execute. It is frustrating to see him as an MLB manager, and I feel that the fans give him a pass because of the good job he did closing out last season and because the Cubs are not good this year. There appears to be apathy toward the situation.

Quade has not handled off-the-field matters very well either. He treated the Carlos Silva spring training issue like it was no big deal, and when Carlos Zambrano publicly threw his teammate Carlos Marmol under the bus, Quade said he would stay out of it.

Quade needs to demand more respect from his players, and his team. This is not Iowa anymore.

If this is a team “building” toward a future and a championship, then these little decisions by the manager mean an awful lot. I do not think Mike Quade should be the manager next year. This team must move forward and grow. The growth needed is beyond his ability to manage.

More from Adam Harris
  • Ozzie

    This may be the most idiotic article on baseball strategy I have ever read. Has Adam Harris ever played or coached? It sounds like the closest he has ever been on a baseball field is from sitting in the bleachers. I am not a Cub fan, but I can’t ignore the idiotic logic behind this amateur writer. I was first gonna comment on ranting about the 7th inning where the Phils scored no runs, yet that bothered him? After he said Garza was cruising and has record for going deep in games. But the winner is his logic that relievers like to start innings, ha they are f’n relievers!!!!! That is their job, to come in when guys on base!!!!! but to Harris, the game was over with a guy on first and up two runs……..there is just no logic behind this article and Adam Harris has no fn clue about baseball.

  • tom Sharp

    No one can coach this bunch of over-paid, under-talented losers! he only thing they know is that they ARE LOSERS!

  • Rick from Berwyn

    I agree and disagree with some things in this article. However, you failed to mention what I thought was Quade’s most idiotic move last night and that was failing to pinch hit for Garza when he led off the bottom of the 7th. This is basic National League strategy. You’re only up 2 runs, facing a potentially high scoring offense. Your pitcher has gone 7 scoreless, but got into trouble and was getting hit hard the previous inning. There was no reason that you let Garza bat for himself there (horrific hitter). Naturally, Garza K’s, Cubs get a couple of hits after 1 out, but can’t get them in. I don’t blame this game all on Quade, this team is just brutal across the board. Very few bright spots (Castro). I’ve never cared less about the Cubs in my life than this year, very disappointing.

  • Biff

    Early in the season Q was leaving guys in too long, now in July he is relying on Wood, Marshall and Marmol too much. They are tired, they are beat up. Right now Marmol couldn’t find a plate at an all you can eat buffet. Garza was cruising. The pen been blowing Garza games all season, I think he would have found a way to squeeze out at least 2 and give it to the closer (if we had one) for the 9th,, maybe even finish it up himself. I agree with Harris on one point, Quade, who is a nice guy should not be back next season.

  • Eric Martell

    Quade’s been slow with the hook all year. It was one day after Roy Halladay had to come out of the game early because of the heat, and here he is, letting Garza go too deep into the game. I like Quade in some ways, but he’s a brutal manager of the pitching staff.


      That’s exactly what I was thinking before I read your blog.

  • Meatless Meatball

    Okay, if we can get the screaming mouth-breathers to take a deep breath and relax, let’s look at the situation calmly.

    I agree that Quade is way out of his depth, Adam, but just because you got the end result right doesn’t mean that your evidence stands up. In fact, it reeks of Monday morning quarterbacking. I mean, had Quade’s strategy, whatever it was, worked, would you still be criticizing him today?

    I sure would. I think he’s been an abject failure as a manager, even given the fact that the team he’s managing stinks to high holy heaven. But that can’t justify some of the shoddy assertions you make here. For example, the idea that relievers feel “more comfortable” starting an inning than replacing a pitcher… well, yeah, that’s probably true, but why does it matter? A reliever comes in to relieve the starting pitcher. If the starter allows six runs with no outs in the top of the third, he gets replaced; if he allows twelve runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, he gets replaced. So, yes, a reliever might be more comfortable entering the game in a better situation, but that’s like saying a QB would rather play behind the Packers’ O-line than the Bears’: it’s an obvious statement that means very little.

    Furthermore, as you readily admit, Marshall promptly gave up two hits when he entered the game. Had Marshall not given up those hits, we have a different ballgame. Yes, some blame can be levied at Quade, but had Marshall done the job he entered the game to do, again, your article wouldn’t really hold water.

    Finally, I want to caution you against saying that Quade needs to “demand respect” of his players. I call B.S. on this because you spend 85% of this article outlining reasons why Quade deserves no respect, in your opinion. How can he command the respect of his players when the decisions he makes are so unrespectable? Besides, Quade hasn’t earned the respect of major leaguers. These aren’t the days when a guy got respect just for being the manager; respect must be earned. Quade doesn’t have the gravitas to earn that — this is true — but saying that he must demand their respect is simply unworkable in the real world.

  • Kevin

    Admittedly this team is bad but even from bad performers you will at least get a sense of fire and urgency from some players. What I have witnessed with this season’s Cubs is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. No passion, no fire and just a general phone it in, collect a paycheck mentality from the majority of the team. Watching these guys play is embarrassing and you know once their down there is no way this team will come back. Why? Because they do not care. I blame this lack of fire and caring from the manager who has let this culture of laziness and, dare i say, consequence free rewards, run a muck. This happened two years ago with Love and the Bears too before he realized his job was on the line. I think Quade realizes he’s in over his head and cannot gain the respect of his players. He’s too nice a guy in a profession of managing over-egoed millionaires.


      I, somewhat, agree. But, name the manager that can get to this lineup? Two runs scored in the first inning. By one of the youngest players in baseball. You had a 85% chance of losing based on that. Cold bullpen adds another 10%, but you still have the last at bat (and that fact hasn’t mattered at Wrigley for years). They have guaranteed money, they can’t be sent to Iowa, and Hendry can’t throw money at the mistakes like Boston and New York can.
      And, if Garza is going to be a Cub next year, those high pitch counts matter.
      Quade’s marching orders should have been to develop Castro, Colvin, Barney, and Soto. He was set up to fail.

  • Lou Sofianos

    Look, if Baker and Pinella couldn’t manage this team, were criticized, and run out of town by the fanbase and people like Adam Harris, what chance does Quade have anyway? Brenly described it best—dead ass team. Look at other bad teams, like the Orioles who got the big name in Schowalter. The Philles, Rick, are not a high-powered offense, so I didn’t bother to finish reading your comment. Adam, Brenly doesn’t even agree with you, so you’re arguments are homerish at best. Brenly said he would have done the same things. If Marmol’s not the closer anymore, what exactly was Quade supposed to do??


      Baker had players blaming the announcers, blaming everyone, and gave up.
      Pinella retired after two years into a four year contract, but didn’t tell anyone.
      When there was one dim glimmer that the ’10 Cubs could have started a run, Pinella rested some key players against the Astros.
      Fans and Adam Harris did not run Baker and Pinella out of town.

  • Bob Belke

    As a Sox fan who has to put up with Ozzie and his inability to handle a pitching staff. Leaving Humber in to pitch to Martinez because he had a hunch. With a well rested bullpen anybody else brings in Saleto make him bat right handed, but not Ozzie.

    It’s one thing having a manager making rookie mistakes with a triple A quality team, it’s another with a team thats supposed to win

  • Pat

    Worse yet, Quade did not pinch hit for Garza to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Garza (hitting .027) pathetically struck out to begin the inning and then the Cubs got two men on base with two outs. It sure would have been nice to have a pinch hitter start that inning considering Garza was absolutely gassed.

  • Adam Harris

    Appreciate all the comments and critiques. Yes Quade has nothing to work with, but at this point this franchise needs to evaluate every aspect of every person involved with it. Quade did not manage that situation well at all on Tuesday night, and has mismanaged in game bullpen decisions many times this year. Rollins might not have reached in the 8th if Garza did not start the inning. These are in game, baseball 101 decisions that need to be second nature to a MLB manager.

    If the Cubs would have won on Tuesday night I would have still wrote the article. Just because the end result might have been good, it doesnt take away from the move being wrong. Quade would have gotten away with a bad baseball move. The fact is that he didn’t and it helped blow the game.


      That is right. And, honestly, it’s about time a pitching coach was fired, or some other deflector shield (if not Mike Quade). It was limping right out of Mesa.
      If this heat wave breaks (doubtful), the players will lose saying “we just got used to the heat; we weren’t ready for the nice weather.”
      100 loss team is what we’re looking at.

  • Michael LeFlore

    We will see this weekend when frm Cub Carlos Lee comes in and does damage and Zambrano can’t come out of the 5th, then we will see Mike Quade do the same thing. For now it looks like Hendry stays and Quade leaves, but who knows they look to go young and Quade is a AAA manager like big Z says.

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