Wednesday, August 17

Cubs acting like Cubs

Scrapping and clawing their way through 9 solid innings on the back of Maddux, the Cubs squeezed a win from the tightly-gripped talons of Andy Pettitte and the Astros in a 4-1 game.

Houston wasted no time in getting started - a lead-off triple from Willy Taveras and a ground-out RBI for Craig Biggio in the 1st - but the Cubs weren't about to let fielder's choices dictate this game. Maddux hit a bases-loaded, 2-out RBI single in the 2nd, A-Ram doubled to score MVLee after his single/steal in the 3rd, Rammy blasted a solo jack over the short left field porch in the 6th, and Korey rounded out the scoring with an RBI single in the 8th.

Greg pitched a superb game - 7 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K - and Kerry pitched a solid 8th (H, 2 K) before Dempster notched his 17th save of the year.

A less generic post to follow today on the Wild Card situation as I see it.

Starting Pitchers for Tonight
HOU: RHP Roy Oswalt • 14-9, 2.57 ERA in 2005 • 1-0, 3.60 ERA vs. CHC in 2005
CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano • 9-5, 3.17 ERA in 2005 • 0-2, 4.86 ERA vs. HOU in 2004

Corey is 12-39 lifetime against Royo with 2 home runs, and Carlos is feeling fiery of late, so look for a pitcher's duel. Or look for a high-scoring game where both starters are chased after 3 innings. Or, look for a blowout win for one side or the other. I predict the 1st option, and maybe the rough Astros run support for Oswalt will continue - how a guy can have 9 losses with an ERA around 2.50 is just mind-blowing.


At 10:07 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Cubs win! Cubs win! Zombrano does it again!

Zombrano calls his own shot in the dugout before the game! What a man!

Nomar, get well soon. We need that .350 average back in the line up.

At 1:32 AM, Blogger JT said...

Z is the saving grace. I was pissed when Dusty yanked him, especially considering what transpired (bases loaded with 2 outs after 3 pitches and 2 close-call plays in the infield), but thankfully sanity prevailed and we pulled it out. Winning 2 of 3 against the Wild Card leaders is definitely a good thing, and I still have to collect my thoughts on the plausibility of the Wild Card chase in general.

Also, I'm sure Nomahh will be back soon. I mean, he sounds like he wants the extra year in Chi-town, so why go down now with the injury? His HR tonight was solid, too.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Nomar will be back. He's day-to-day, and he says there is no reason he shouldn't be back in the lineup friday with the off day today. We need him back, because he's hitting. This way Neifi can be used as the ultra-utility man. He can rest Nomar, Walker, or Ramirez on any given day. All of our players have been played too much. Burnitz and Lee both need to get some time off too, and Holly needs some at bats. It could be that he might see some play against the Rockies. Then again, Lee might just catch up to Andruw while he is in the thin air of Coors.

Z is the second coming of someone, I just don't know who... I feel like I should be able to make some kind of comparison between el Toro and some ex-pitcher, but I can't. If he could stay focused, I think he could pitch a no hitter every other start. Also, I think he can throw at least 150 pitches before we notice any difference in his delivery or velocity, or movement, or anything. The only problem with Z, is sometimes I wish he would try to do a little less. Like when he popped up the bunt because he was thinking about a bunt hit instead of a sacrifice.

Mad Dog and Z have been the saving grace of this team. Maddux is coming on late, and you can even see on TV how much his sinker is moving. It's nuts. Z's looks almost identical, except with 15 extra MPH in velocity. Nasty. Prior will put up good numbers for the rest of the season. If we ever get him healthy for a whole season he'll be incredible. So far, all of his major injuries have been freak accidents. The Giles collision, the line drive to the elbow. The only thing that could have been mechanics related was the achilles problem last year. I wish Wood could start, but he is an imposing figure in the bull pen. He just looks mean when he's on a mound.

Corey has done a lot better recently, but last night looked to be a regression into past habits. I think a key with Corey will be that he is constantly reminded to do what he's best at, and not over congratulated when he hits a home run. It's nice to see, but not expected. We should expect bunt hits, singles, line drives the other way, and stolen bases. And he should know that is what is expected of him. I wish I knew what the coach-player relationship is like on the team, but unfortunately that remains a mystery.

I'm looking forward to a series against Colorado. A sweep would be great. I'm looking for Lee, Aramis and Walker to have a lot of success. Burnitz might come out of his slump for the series, since he should be much accustomed to Coors, and certainly has a swing to jack a few towering home runs, if he can make contact.


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