Game 20 – Two outta Three ain’t bad
BOX SCORE – When you think about the fact that the Cubs were throwing two guys will next to no big league experience in this series, winning two out of three games is a great way to go. The bummer is that today’s game was definitely a game we could have won. Angel Guzman, who made his major league debut in this one, pitched pretty well considering the nerves were probably getting to him. If he was just a regular prospect, there wouldn’t be as much riding on the start, but because he was supposed to be a savior in 2003, the fans have waited awhile to see him in action. I think those nerves had a good deal to do with the 4 walks he gave up. Coming into the game, he had been averaging 4 K’s per BB. Today he didn’t have that.
Roberto Novoa came in and did a nice job in the 6th and the 7th, including wiggling out of a little jam caused by Pierre and Jones not having a clue whose play it was in right center that allowed a triple. One of the things I hate about the way baseball is scored by the official scorer is the fact that errors are not given on plays like that. Essentially, if you do not get to a ball, regardless of it you should have, you are not credited with an error. I think that mental errors like today or retard errors like Adam Dunn makes in the OF should be credited as errors in the scorebook. All you’re doing by not giving an error is hurting the pitcher and rewarding a bonehead play by the fielder.
Matt Murton had another big clutch hit in the 8th. It’s a shame it wasn’t a hit that led to a come from behind win by the Cubs. He is .294 on the season and I really think he’ll be a mainstay in this lineup for years to come. Just imagine what he’ll look like when his power develops.
Aramis Ramirez looked good today. He was patient at the plate and reaped two walks as a result. He hit the ball hard both hits he got. One went out and one was a rocket line drive to LF. Hopefully he’s starting to get locked in because we could sure use a big series from him against Milwaukee this weekend.
I’m not one to harp on guys that are struggling, and I’m not even sure the answer to my own question, but how long do you stick with a struggling Jacque Jones in RF? I think it’s too early to bench him at this point, but if you were Dusty, how long would you wait to get someone else out there? Pie is not an option because you are not going to simply bench Jones for the remainder of the year and that is what it would take for Pie to get the call because he needs to play everyday to continue to develop, especially from a plate discipline standpoint.
I was really surprised to see Scott Williamson struggle as bad as he did today. He’s been great all year to this point. Hopefully he’ll shake it off and come back strong because he was brutal today and it really cost us the win.
Is it just me or are you really glad to see Miguel Cabrera leaving town? He wasn’t outstanding this series, but to me, it seemed like he was on base or doing something tremendous all week. Good Riddance Miguel!!!!
So, to go back to the title, winning two games in this one is acceptable. Let’s use the day off to rest and regroup and come out ready for battle with a division rival this weekend.
Notes from Chris:
What’s with Jerry Hairston’s Jeckyl and Hyde routine? He seems to immediately follow up a good play (last night’s suicide squeeze bunt, beating out a double play ball today) with a really bad mental error (getting picked off first base with 2 outs, a steal of 3rd with 2 outs). I expect a little more mentally from a guy whose father was a pretty good ballplayer.
Joe floats the idea above of possibly benching Jacque Jones. So I was wondering, who does anyone see a better option? There’s no timetable for Pagan’s return, Michael Restovich has been a AAAA player his whole career and I think that Felix Pie needs some more time at AAA. I’d say we’ve got to ride it out with Jacque, what do you all think?
Felix Pie – went 1 for 3 with a single and is hitting .320 in AAA Iowa.
Rich Hill – pitched 6 innings of 2 hit baseball giving up 1 run and striking out 10 hitters. He has an ERA of 1.44 for AAA Iowa.