Nolasco Hanley’s the Cubs

Game Forty-Four – Cubs 1 Marlins 9

The Cubs road struggles continued on Monday night in Florida with a huge loss to the Marlins. Monday night’s victory was only the 4th home victory of the season for the Marlins and Ricky Nolasco, the former Cub farm hand and Southern League Pitcher of the Year for 2005, showed the Cubs and the Faithful what could have been.

Nolasco was brilliant and only allowed 1 run, a solo home run to Aramis Ramirez in the 7th, he gave up 4 hits, struck out 3 and walked 1, plus he hit the first pitch of the 4th inning off of Sean Marshall over the left field wall for his first career hit. Besides Nolasco, the Cubs were shut down by two other former Cubs, Renyel Pinto and Todd Wellemeyer, each only allowed a hit in 2 innings of relief. Sean Marshall could not make it through 4 innings and was pulled in the 4th with runners on 1st and 2nd with only 1 out. At that point Marshall had allowed 7 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks and struck out 2, plus the embarrassing home run to Ricky Nolasco and let’s not forget the 2 hit batsmen. Marshall only threw 67 pitches….35 for strikes and had problems again with his control and location. Michael Wuertz made his first appearance after being called up on Sunday and gave up 2 runs of his own on 3 hits in only an inning of work, plus the big 2 out double by Chris Aguila that allowed Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera to score to close the book on Marshall.

Cubs pitching allowed 7 more walks again, Hanley Ramirez was on base 4 times and scored 3 runs and recorded 2 RBI’s, but the damage done by Nolasco was unbelievable. Nolasco recorded his 3rd win of the season and 2 of those are against the Cubs. He was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s, 2 runs scored and a home run….it was his night, plain and simple.

The lone Cubs run came off the bat of Aramis Ramirez in the 7th, but the Cubs only recorded 2 walks and hit into 3 double plays. The Cubs have yet to figure out how to be patient at the plate and until they do, these type of loses will keep happening. Juan Pierre added 2 more hits, including a double. Jacque Jones went 2 for 4 and Aramis Ramirez added a single to go with his home run.

The Cubs only made the Marlins’ pitchers throw 111 pitches, while the Cubs threw 166….no wonder the Marlins won the ballgame.

Let’s hope Kerry Wood can rebound on Tuesday night.