Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Cubs Spend a Weekend Losing in New York

Well I thought the Cubs would go into Citi Field and get stomped, and well for once this season they lived up to expectations. Since I wasn't around all weekend this will serve as a series recap rather than just one of today's game.

Friday night Carlos Zambrano was on his game and mowed down the Mets lineup for six innings, allowing only a solo homer to Cory Sullivan. The offense let him down though and he was pulled for a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and nobody out. Naturally no runs scored despite taking Z out of the game, and then Kevin Gregg came in to blow the game open. Typical Cubs game in 2009. Great starting pitching, pathetic offense, and then Kevin Gregg wins the other team the game.

Saturday the Cubs rode new father Derrek Lee to a 5-3 win over Nelson Figueroa who looked like Cy Young a week ago. Rich Harden gave up his standard homer in his typical five inning start that featured 10 strikeouts and way too many pitches. Lee hit two homers and Aramis Ramirez added a two-run homer of his own. The big thing to take out of this game is the continued success of Carlos Marmol as closer. He came in to get a four out save, walked the first batter (standard) and then got out of the eighth. He added a shutdown ninth that included two strikeouts. Hopefully Marmol continues his success in the closers role.

Today we were back to the same old stuff. Randy Wells was brilliant again giving the Cubs six innings of one earned run ball. It was another lost effort for Wells though who should be celebrating his 14th or 15th win rather than his eighth loss. It all went for nothing because today it was Mike Pelfrey's turn to pitch like Cy Young.

With the exception of Geovany Soto's two RBI doubles driving in Jeff Baker both times, the Cubs offense did nothing. Sam Fuld and Bobby Scales looked overmatched, Lee and Aramis can't do it all every game, and it was the bottom of the order who actually did their jobs. No matter what one part of the lineup does, the rest of the parts seem to fail.

I will take another moment to credit Andres Blanco for turning in another great effort. He was able to get a double at the plate which is always nice, but as usual it was his defense that took center stage. He took a ground ball hit up the middle, dove for the ball, caught it, lost it, picked it up and threw it from his back to Derrek Lee and got the runner at first. The video is here. Potentially the best play a Cubs shortstop has made in a long time.

There really isn't much more to say about this weekend. The Cubs were who we thought they were, a mediocre team that can't win series on the road. It gets even worse in a big ballpark like Citi Field, which is exactly the kind of place our offense gets even worse. Next up we continue on the road to meet the Pirates. A winnable series that probably won't be won. I'll have a preview up in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment