Rusch Wins! Rusch Wins!
With such a cute smile, how could you NOT love this guy?
Glendon Rusch has done everything the Cubs have needed him to do so far this year and more.
Starting the year in the bullpen, he was our go-to guy for long relief, as well as pitching some single-inning or shorter outings. Sure, he had a few games where he gave up a few runs, but every relief pitcher does, and he hasn't yet been charged with a loss in a single relief appearance. The only criticism you could make of his pitching in these games is that he seemed to have a habit of letting a couple guys on base each inning. However, he has consistently shown his ability to get out of a jam, and his ERA as a relief pitcher for the Cubs this year is an impressive 2.38.
Rusch as a starter for the Cubs has been even more impressive. His first start of the year was the only start in which he didn't pitch for the 5.0 innings needed to qualify for a win. This start was also the only game of the season after which Rusch recorded a notch in the 'L' column. It was against Philadelphia, and even though it has been his worst start thus far, he only gave up 2 runs in his 4.2 IP in that game. Even top tier pitchers like Pedro Martinez or Johann Santana can't say that their worst game of the year so far was that good.
He hasn't given up more than 2 runs in a single appearance so far this year, which includes his 6 starts. So even though he has a respectable 3-1 record in as a starting pitcher, you could easily argue that his record would be even better if he had had some run support. Here's another breakdown of Rusch's starting statistics: In his one loss and two no-decisions, he gave up 2 runs per game in an average of 5.1 innings pitched. This makes for a pretty decent earned run average, but you could make the argument that a starting pitcher should be getting into the later innings of a game. However, in his last 3 starts he as earned the win each time. He has done this by pitching 8.0, 7.0, and 9.0 innings respectively, and gave up a total of 2 runs those 3 starts (1 run 3 starts ago, 1 run 2 starts ago, and of course, that CG SHO last night). You can't ask more from any starter in the big leagues right now, no matter who it is, so this leaves all of us in Cubdom with a nice tingly feeling inside!
Rusch still seems to have a bit of a habit of allowing a few extra guys on base than what you'd expect from a pitcher who's season ERA is 1.96 (!), but as was evidenced in the game last night he is pitching well enough to get out of his jams, and the defense has been fantastic lately, which of course helps. Rusch has even made some impressive defensive plays himself, such as his behind the back snag of a line drive last night, or gloving a trickler up the 1st base line and tossing it to Lee with his glove hand for the out.
So here are this feisty Cub's starting stats... have a bandaid handy, cause these numbers are sharp:
In 6 starts this season - 39.2 IP, 31 hits, 9 ER, 14 BB, 29 K.
The Breakdown - K/BB=2.07, WHIP=1.15, and the all-important, most used pitching stat of all.... ERA=1.84
Amazing stuff! Two other noteworthy notables which I will now note: Glendon is the team leader in wins (5) and also has only given up 1 homerun in all 6 starts combined! In fact, I just checked again, and he's only given up 1 homerun all year, relief appearances included!
So, Glenny ole buddy ole pal, without further adieu, on behalf of Kerry Wood and the rest of us here at Lingering Bursitis: WE SALUTE YOU!!!