Cubs 9 Pirates 5
Just when I thought I had Dusty figured out, he goes and changes the line-up again…and it worked. The Cubs had 13 hits today and 7 were
for extra bases. Hariston had a good day going 1 for 3 with 3 runs scored and Henry Blanco added a 3 for 5 day with a home run and 3 runs scored. But it was the rookies that came through again.
Ronny Cedeno had another fine day in the field and at the plate. He went 2 for 4 with a RBI and a double. While Matt Murton hit his second home run of the season and went 2 for 5. I have been saying, these guys are playmakers and should be in the line-up everyday. Cedeno and Murton are going to make their share of mistakes, but the experience will play a big part in the Cubs’ success for years to come.
Nomar played well again today and continued to showcase his abilities for other teams in the off-season. Although Todd Walker has been a good pick-up for the Cubs, I will wonder if Nomar at 2nd in 2006 would be the best move the Cubs could make. With Nomar’s recent injuries, he cannot demand the high dollar contract that he could have a couple of years ago. With his recent play at 3rd, the Cubs would have a back-up for Ramirez, a back-up for Cedeno and the best offensive bat at 2nd base since Sandberg. The Nomar experiment at 2nd would not cost the Cubs a lot of money and could pay big…as in wins. This is not the last time I will bring this up…
Zambrano pitched well again today. Before the 8th inning, he only allowed 2 runs. Like Prior, Dusty left Zambrano in too long. Allowing Prior and Zambrano to pitch too many innings in September could come back to haunt Dusty in ’06. Dusty needs to find out what he has in his bullpen and if he cannot trust those guys, LET THEM GO.
Sunday – Jerome Williams(4-7/5.20) vs. Kip Wells(7-14/4.66)
The Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow and they need it before heading to St. Louis. Williams has been very inconsistant for the Cubs this year and needs to let his last start be a memory. The young Bucs cannot feel good about the last two games and the Cubs need to get on them early and finish them off mentally. They have done a good job the past 2 games at not playing to the level of their competition and need to keep that up. A win tomorrow would be a great lift to head to St. Louis and would get them to 4 games under with 26 to play. A winning record and a third place finish in the division would be a great way to head into the off-season.
If you play them…just beat the Bucs!!