Game Twenty-Two – Cubs 2 Brewers 16
Glendon Rusch took the hill on a very cloudy, rainy Wrigley Field on Saturday. Rusch was horrible and the Cubs’ pitching staff as a whole allowed 6 home runs to the Brewers. Rusch came into the game on Saturday second in the league in home runs allowed with 7 and left the game being the league leader with 11. Rusch threw 81 pitches in just 2 2/3 innings and allowed 7 runs on 6 hits, walked 3 and did not record a strike out. Rusch never looked comfortable on the mound and before the Cubs offense ever stepped to the plate, Rusch had dug the Cubs a 3-0 hole.
Rusch was not the only problem on Saturday; David Aardsma came in to relieve Rusch in the 3rd and was unable to slow down the very impressive Brewers offense. The Cubs offense was non-existent again and showed little patience against the Brewers’ Doug Davis who had allowed 9 walks in his last outing. The Cubs looked like a different team on Saturday and you could almost see it on their faces when Rusch spotted the Brewers a 3-0 lead in the first….”here we go again” was all but flashing, like miniature neon signs. The Cubs Faithful have been all over Carlos Zambrano about harnessing his emotions this season….but at least his has emotions, Rusch looks like he does not care. Rusch was removed with 1 out left to get in the 3rd inning on a very strange move. Rusch was scheduled to leadoff the bottom of the 3rd and Dusty apparently had seen enough, removed Rusch and brought in Aardsma. That move sealed the loss for the Cubs. Rusch has to be allowed to finish that inning, pinch hit for him in the 3rd and allow a rookie with questionable control to start the next inning without any pressure on him to get his club out of trouble.
David Aardsma has been called the Cubs closer of the future but on Saturday he was not very impressive. Aardsma pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 3 and struck out 2. Aardsma has a better than average fast ball, but he has control issues and allowed an RBI single to the pitcher, Doug Davis, a career .077 hitter….walked Rickie Weeks on 4 pitches and walked J.J. Hardy to score another run for the Brewers. The Brewers scored 4 runs in the 3rd inning….all with 2 outs.
Will Ohman came into the game in the 6th and the merry-go-round continued for the Brewers offense. Ohman pitched 2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and walked 2. Roberto Novoa came in to pitch the last 2 innings of the ballgame and allowed three walks, a wild pitch that allowed a runner to score from 3rd and 2 hits including a double by Brady Clark that scored another pair in the 9th….Novoa allowed 3 earned runs on Saturday and all four Cubs’ pitchers allowed at least 3 runs, with Glendon Rusch leading the way with 7.
The Brewers put runs on the board in all but 3 innings and most of them were of the crooked variety. Cubs pitching allowed 16 runs on 16 hits, walked 11, had a wild pitch and struck out 4. There will be days like this, but it seems like they are always when Glendon Rusch is on the mound. The pitching staff has to throw strikes and if hitting is contagious, then so is bad pitching.
The Cubs offense only collected 7 hits and scored in the 7th and 8th innings….led by Freddie Bynum. Freddie Bynum led off the 7th inning with a single to center and was forced at 2nd on a ground ball off the bat of Jerry Hairston. Hairston was safe at 1st and moved to 2nd when Henry Blanco drew a walk. Michael Restovich, who singled earlier in the game, doubled home Hairston and Michael Barrett, pinch-hit for Will Ohman, walked to load the bases. Ronny Cedeno grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
In the 8th inning with 2 outs Murton singled and scored on a triple to right by Freddie Bynum and Hairston was called out on strikes by an old friend of the Cubs Faithful, Angel Hernandez to end the inning. Does anyone remember the Angel Hernandez game?
When Jerome Williams performed badly last Friday night in St. Louis he was sent to Iowa by Sunday afternoon, how will the Cubs handle this very similar performance by Glendon Rusch?
Carlos Zambrano takes the hill on Sunday against Chris Capuano. Zambrano is looking for his first win of the season and the Cubs are looking for a series win against the Brewers and go to 4-2 on this home stand with 2 games left against the Pirates, before the Cubs head west on Wednesday to face the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Saturday’s game was for the birds just ask the ones that were in the outfield toward the end of the ballgame. Sunday is a new day….go get ‘em Z!!!