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