Writing About the Chicago Cubs and Looking at the Team’s Past
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I like saying that, even if it was just a two game series. Regardless, the Cubs took both games of a two game series against another team out of contention. Woo hoo.
The Cubs turned on the offense on Tuesday. Sean Marshall was solid through six innings and Henry Blanco had four hits and four RBIs in the 14-6 win. Jacque Jones and John Mabry both went yard in the blowout win.
Yesterday’s game was a pitchers dual and Rich Hill didn’t get a decision despite throwing seven solid innings. He struck out seven in the game and Freddie Bynum hit his fourth homerun of the season in the 3-2 win. The big shot though was a walkoff RBI single by Henry Blanco to finish up the game.\
The Cubs finish at home against the Rockies. Yawn.
At this point, the Cubs would need a miracle to get out of the cellar, but they are spending the final five games of the season in front of their home town fans. And the ones that show up will be the real fans so hopefully the Cubs put on a good show for them.
It’s strange that all three losses in this series were close while the one Cubs win was a blog out. The Reds took Friday’s game in a five rain shortened innings. Henry Blanco hit his sixth homerun of the season and Rick Hill had a mixed bag of a start. He struck out ten but he gave up four runs (three of which were homeruns) on four hits and two walks in five innings of work. Final was 4-2.
Saturday was the blowout win for the Cubs. Carlos Zambrano not only hit his sixth homerun of the year, but he threw a nice game as well. He won his sixteenth game and struck out seven in seven innings. John Mabry drove in three runs and Aramis Ramirez hit his 36th homerun in the 11-4 win.
Saturday featured the first of two one run games. Ryan Dempster dropped to 1-9 when he gave up two runs in the ninth. It was also his ninth blown save. Juan Mateo had a nice start. He gave up only one run on three hits but he walked four in five innings. Ramirez hit his 37th homerun and Buch Coats hit his first career homerun in the 3-2 loss.
This afternoon, Ken Griffey, Jr. burned us. His three run shot in the eight off of Scott Eyre gave the Reds a 5-4 win. A nice start by Wade Miller went to waste (five shutout innings) and Henry Blanco drove in two runs in the 5-4 loss.
The Cubs have Thursday off so they have two against the Brewers then three against the Rockies to close things out.
This time is was the Phillies. As the season plays out to it’s conclusion, the Cubs are playing for very little outside seeing how of their budding young stars might do. They’re not even playing in a series the rest of the way against a contender so the Cubs don’t even have to put up the front of trying anymore.
The Cubs actually got the bats going on Monday, at least Aramis Ramirez did. Ramirez went yard twice and he drove in seven runs in the game. It’s been a very solid season for Ramirez this year, unfortunately it’s been lost in the Cubs poor play overall on the field. Juan Pierre and Scott Moore also went deep in the 11-6 win. Sean Marshall was bumped after he gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings and Mike Wuertz picked up the win.
By Tuesday, it was back to the losing. Jamie Moyer shut down the Cubs and he was a little better then Wade Miller, who took the loss. Miller did strikeout eight guys in 4 2/3 innings so that’s encouraging. Matt Murton hit homerun number 13 and he had two hits in the 4-1 loss.
Wednesday was more of the same as Bret Myers did a number on the Cubs. Les Walrond walked five guy in only three innings and he took the loss. Aramis Ramirez drove in a run and scored in the 6-2 loss.
Next up is four against the Reds, who are pretty much out of it now.
Misery loves company and Reds fans have to be pretty miserable right now. They were on top of the playoff mix for a lot of the second half until an August decline and now they’re pretty much out of it after the Cubs squashed them over the weekend.
Things didn’t start well. The Cubs were shut out and held to five hits on Friday. Juan Mateo was throwing very well but he came out after three innings with some back problems. Carlos Marmol then came in and got shelled and gave up all four Reds runs in the fourth inning.
The Cubs returned the favor on Saturday and Rich Hill is looking better and better as the year goes on. He threw a two hit complete game shutout in which he struck out ten. Jacque Jones hit his 25th homerun of the season and Aramis Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs in the 4-0 win.
Yesterday was a beat down. The Cubs tagged Eric Milton for six runs in a start that he didn’t even get out of the first inning. In the meantime, Carlos Zambrano coasted to an easy win with seven shutout innings. Zambrano is 15-6 and while he won’t get much play for the Cy Young, he certainly should get some votes. The Cubs hit six homeruns, including two by Ryan Theriot. Jones drove in three runs in the 11-3.
Two more weeks left, and fortunately, it looks like the Cubs won’t be losing 100 games this year. They’re two games back of the Pirates for last place in the National League. Next up is the Phillies, who are another spoiler candidate.
This is the part of the season where the little things make you happy. The Cubs are bad, but they can still hurt you. And that’s what happened to the Dodgers this weekend. They’re not clinging to a razor thing lead in the NL West.
The Cubs made six errors on Tuesday, but they still won the game. A five run fifth inning was capped off by a two run double by Matt Murton. Cesar Izturis got it done in the eleventh when he singled home Juan Mateo in the eleventh. The Cubs used just about every player on their roster in this one.
Wednesday’s game was ugly. The Cubs were held to nothing on seven hits. Angel Guzman lasted only four innings and he’s now 0-6.
Thursday, the Cubs bounced back though. Aramis Ramirez hit a huge three run shot in the seventh to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead. It was Ramirez’s 100th RBI of the season on the hit and Angel Pagan drove in two runs in the win.
Next up is three against the Red. Maybe we can bury them too.
Can this season please end.
On Friday, Angel Guzman dropped to 0-5 on the season. He was knocked around and didn’t even last five innings. Jaque Jones hit homerun number 23 and he scored twice in the 8-4 loss.
More of the same on Saturday. Wade Miller made his first start of the season and he got bounced after three innings. Matt Murton homered in the 7-3 loss.
At least Sunday’s game was close. Juan Mateo threw six solid innings but the Cubs only gave him two runs of support. Freddie Bynum hit a solo shot for one of the two Cubs runs in the 3-2 loss.
Monday was… a WIN??? Wow, the Cubs actually got the bats going and put eight runs up. Derek Lee was the man. He homered twice and drove in four runs. Rich Hill put together another nice start. He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He’s now 5-6 on the season.
Next up is three against the Dodgers. Maybe the Cubs can play spoilers. To someone.
The Cubs have lost eleven of their last thirteen, including six of seven to the former last place Pittsburgh Pirates. Right now, the Cubs are 4 1/2 games ahead of the Royals for worst team in all of baseball. At least we’ll get a good draft pick. The last time we had a #2 pick, we got Mark Prior. Oh, wait……..
On Monday, the score went to 5-4 in a hurry. Two innings in a hurry. Then neither team scored the rest of the way as the pens took over. Carlos Zambrano had one of his worst starts all season and didn’t even last two innings. Ryan Theriot drove in three runs.
Tuesday was another one run loss. The Cubs went down 5-1 early but they tied it up in the fifth. Neither team scored until the Pirates put the game away with a run in the ninth. Ryan Dempster fell to 1-8 and Juan Mateo lasted only four innings. Juan Pierre had three hits, two RBIs and a run in the 6-5 loss.
Finally, the Cubs procured a win on Wendesday. Derek Lee homered and drove in four runs and Rich Hill had a very nice start despite not getting a decision. He went 7 1/3 innings and he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks with eleven strikeouts. If Hill can get any kind of consistency, he could be a nice number two guy to Carlos Zambrano down the road.
Sean Marshall was knocked around this afternoon and he last only four innings. Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Marmol and Scott Moore all hit homeruns. It was both Marmol and Moore’s first career homeruns. Final was 7-5.
Next up is four against the Braves in a wrap around series. Hard to believe the Braves are kind of out it in September.
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