Pirates 2, Cubs 1...PNC streak ends
Tonight's game was pretty boring but I did catch the whole thing on WGN so I'll throw out a few comments. First thing: Ramirez did get a hit tonight but he still looks very uncomfortable at the plate. Not sure that is ass muscle is back to 100% but hopefully he'll warm up soon. The Cubs can't afford for their clean up hitter to hit < .200. If he doesn't get hot soon, have Murton hit 4th. Murt’s getting better every game and went 2-3 with a walk tonight. He would have been 3-3 if P-Burgh's 3rd baseman, Randa, didn't snag a line drive in the top of the 9th. Speaking of Murton, anyone else think he looks eerily similar to McGwire at the plate? He has a similar stance and he's starting look like he can hit like big Mac too.
Barrett got bumped up to 5th in the order but failed to do anything notable offensively. Defensively, he attempted to throw out two stealing. He got the second one but his first throw ended up well into center (big surprise there…).
As for tonight's pitchers, both did well. I expected Duke to do well against us (2 ER in 23 IP against the Cubs) but Williams surprised me. He went a solid six and only one of the two runs he gave up were earned. The unearned run came as a result of a couple of ugly plays in the infield, one of which was a Cedeno throwing error. Cedeno has been impressive so far unless he has time to think. He's great charging a ball and quickly getting it over to first but give him some time and he struggles. Anyway, let's hope Jerome can reproduce this kind of performance because who knows when our "star pitchers" will be back (side note: Wood threw 51 pitches today but I’m sure he’s still got quite a few more simulations and minor league rehab games ahead of him).
A couple of other random things: The Cubs turned three double plays tonight, always good to see. This loss ends an eight game winning streak at PNC Park. We've got Rusch on the hill tomorrow night (for a couple of innings at least...I don't expect him to last long) but with any luck we'll be able to start our next PNC winning streak and take this series.