Round 2 : Pittsburgh
STARTING LINEUPS --
Pittsburgh Pirates [7-20, Road 1-13]
CF - Chris "Tenderloin" Duffy [.195]
SS - Jack "Brisket" Wilson [.323]
3B - Freddie "Sirloin" Sanchez [.327]
LF - Jason "Filet Mignon" Bay [.276]
RF - Jeromy "Rump Roast" Burnitz [.219]
1B - Craig "Ground Chuck" Wilson [.282]
C - Ronny "T-Bone" Paulino [.280]
2B - Jose "Porterhouse" Castillo [.238]
P - Zach "Rib Eye" Duke [.143]
Chicago Cubs [14-10, Home 8-5]
CF - Juan "Masta Killa" Pierre [.258]
SS - Ronny "Method Man" Cedeno [.309]
1B - Todd "The RZA" Walker [.357]
3B - Aramis "Inspectah Deck" Ramirez [.200]
LF - Matt "Ghostface Killah" Murton [.288]
C - Michael "ODB" Barrett [.292]
RF - Jacque "Raekwon" Jones [.230]
2B - Jerry "U-God" Hairston Jr [.257]
P - Angel "The GZA" Guzman [.000]
STARTING PITCHERS --
PIT : LHP Zach Duke [1-2, 4.50 ERA]
CHC : RHP Angel Guzman [0-0, 5.40 ERA]
This was the kind of game that you feel embarrassed to watch, the kind of afternoon that makes you wince with each out and each run batted in by the visiting team. Today, it was Pittburgh's turn to outshine us, as the swing of the bat went clearly in their favour.
7 Pittsburgh runs came with 2 outs today, the hallmark of the Cubs' current malaise. Burnitz must have found satisfaction after his booming 2-run homer in the 3rd inning, and Guzman suffered through another erratic and difficult day. He never looked truly comfortable on the mound, and his early waywardness decided the game [5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K].
Zach Duke pitched well, getting substantial help from one of the best young infields in the game [SS Jack Wilson has incredible range, and the combination of Wilson and 2B Jose Castillo are a pleasure to watch in the field]. His complete game, 5-hit performance kept our tepid Cubbies well under control. Several players continued to struggle : Juan Pierre went 0-4 [.248], not seeing nearly enough pitches to have an impact. His patience at the plate is perhaps at a career-low, which is troubling for several reasons. When he gets on base, we play with an added spark. When he goes hitless, the runs never materialize. Jacque Jones also went hitless again [.219], and would have been invisible if not for a couple of solid plays in right. However, the weakness of his arm has never been more obvious, and I'm afraid as to what that will do to opposing baserunners. Be prepared for a million-and-one guys advancing from first-to-third on singles into Jacque Land.
Nothing more to say. I wonder how many more chances Guzman will get in the rotation, and I wonder what we can expect from the upcoming 2-game series in Arizona with Maddux and Rich Hill getting the starts.