It was frustrating to see the Cubs lose the first two in Philadelphia and when they went down 1-0 on Sunday, pessimist that I am, I figured they would be swept in Philly, leaving them 6-6 for the year, but just 1-5 against good teams (Milwaukee and the Phillies) and 5-1 against not-so-good teams (Houston and Pittsburgh).
Now we can all agree that 4-2 is a good road trip, especially when three of the games are against a team, who, even without NL MVP Jimmy Rollins on the field, puts together quite a formidable lineup.
The Cubs' starting pitching obviously has to stabilize. Jason Marquis was one big hit from getting knocked out of Sunday's game much earlier than his eventual departure (5 IP, 2 runs). In comparison to Ted Lilly's third straight awful outing on Saturday night (4 1/3 IP, 5 runs), Marquis' effort was not so bad.
Rich Hill was officially banished to the bullpen for the Philadelphia series, though he never pitched in that role, and Sean Marshall, the obvious replacement if Hill were to lose his starting spot, was called upon both Friday and Sunday and looked good.
Marshall has appeared three times since his recall from Iowa and has not been scored upon. But no matter how well Marshall pitches, he is not going to be able to replace the two most struggling pitchers in the rotation, Hill and Lilly.
Maybe we're going to need all of that supposed pitching depth (Marshall, Jon Lieber, Sean Gallagher, etc.) after all.
Update: Gordon Wittenmyer reports that for now, Hill will become the nominal fifth starter and the first four starters will be kept on rotation with the fifth spot being skipped as the schedule dictates.