Tuesday, June 7

Gustavo goes "Zambrano" on the sleeping Cubs

Gustavo Chacin, this is your life.

Signed in 1998 by the Blue Jays as a non-drafted Free Agent, you drifted through the minor leagues, including impressive pit stops at AA-New Hampshire and AAA-Syracuse, before making yr debut against the Yankees (a debut you won, 6-3, thanks to 7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K).

And now, on June 6th, you continue to impress, blanking the lifeless, listless Cubs in a 4-1 wash. It wasn't a heavy defeat numerically, but listening to the game, it seemed as if 4 runs were actually more like 400, given the Cubs' inability to a. use their men on base and b. bring them home.

With 8 hits to Toronto's 6, it adds fuel to the adage "it's not what you've got but what you do with it." The Blue Jays finished scoring for the night in the 2nd Inning after an Aaron Hill RBI single and Reed Johnson 3-run Home Run, giving the Cubs their target for the following 7 innings.

What followed was not steady inroads into the 4-run deficit, but rather a dull and insipid attack that saw plenty of opportunities and plenty of unfortunate plays. With bases loaded in the 2nd inning after Koronka (6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) drew a 1-out walk, JH jr. promptly grounded into a double play. With runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out in the 9th, Macias did the same, bringing a tame rally to an end following Ramirez' lead-off home run in the inning. Chacin picked up the win after tossing 7 shutout innings (5 H, 6 K), and the Cubs limped into the clubhouse with the realization that despite their threatening talent, work must still be done to get the win.

The bullpen pitched well - the trio of Wellemeyer, Borowski and Remlinger threw 1-hit baseball for 3 innings (0 BB, 4 K) between them, and we can definitely take heart with Koronka's ability to regain his composure and not implode after yielding 4 runs in 2 innings. On offense, Barrett and Macias picked up 2 hits apiece, but it wasn't enough to beat a competent Toronto team with lots to play for in the AL East.

And so we come to today, where Adrenaline Rusch gets a crack at Josh "Fawlty" Towers. Rusch is and has been the best Cubs starter, so let's see if we can rally behind his arm and even up the series at 1-1. (The Cubs have won their last 4 series dating back to the Astros)

Tonight's Starters, Statistically:
TOR: RHP Josh Towers • 5-4, 2.48 ERA in 2005 • Has never faced CHC
CHC: LHP Glendon Rusch • 5-1, 1.96 ERA in 2005 • 3-1, 3.67 ERA lifetime vs. TOR


At 3:26 PM, Blogger DS said...

Yesterday was just a bad baseball day for me. I'm in St. Louis for the week and made it to the sox/cards game last night. As I'm sure most of you know, the cards tore up the sox. Then I get back to the hotel to see the cubbies lost as well. Hopefully we'll get the exact opposite tonight: Cubs tear up Toronto and the BoSox trounce the cards so we can continue to chip away at St. Louis' lead in the division.

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I love how you call the Cubs lifeless and listless, since they just came off of a 6-1 road trip. They just couldn't bunch their hits last night. And they started to come back in the ninth, they had a real opportunity to win it or tie it. With Todd Walker on deck and only one out, Jose Macias just couldn't manage a third hit for the night. That's a bit much to ask.

Anyway, I think they Cubs will do well on this homestand. I foresee home runs and RBIs for Lee and Ramirez. They're both looking good, and I think they are due for some big hits in Wrigley.

On a side note: Go Red Sox! For two days at least.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger JT said...

Lazlo --

when I said lifeless and listless, you know what I meant. Studying all the match reports and player quotes, they were all citing the extended journey back home as factoring into their sluggishness. Barrett was quoted, and although he said he wasn't looking for excuses, the late return back to Chicago from San Diego (after tomorrow, the Cubs will have played 20 games in 20 days, exhausting stuff) may have been a factor.

I'm not jumping ship of course. I just meant that it's ok to be tired after a journey like they one they've had.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger DS said...

Lazlo -- how about "go sox unless they're playing the cubs!" Having dealt with way too many yanks fans I'm always rooting for the bosox...

jt -- I know what you meant I think lifeless and listless was a pretty harsh choice of words.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger JT said...

Point duly noted. I was rather harsh, didn't intend to be.

Man, it's hard being moderate... hahahaha j/k.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger JT said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Now whudya think woulda happened if St. George had used that excuse with the dragon?

I mean, sure, if you're hunting Dracula and you're within sight of the castle, you've got a right to be tired and listless after a full week of stakin' vamps. But if you've got the beast dead to rights in his coffin, you go ahead and drive in the steak, come hell or high water. No excuses!

Poor old Frodo musta been sufferin' with achin' bones too, but did he fail to toss the ring into the burnin' ring of fire?

Come on, Cubbies! It's time to accept your mission. Kill the dragon, stake Dracula, toss the ring into the fire! This is Mount Doom! The world is depending on you to provide a miracle. Make the sun rise in Trannsylvania!


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