26 And Counting

Game Eighty-Five – Cubs 0 Brewers 2

The Chicago Cubs were in Milwaukee on Thursday night for the start of a four game series that will conclude on Sunday. Maddux was on the mound against the magic man Chris Capuano. Against the Cubs Capuano performs his disappearing act and the Cubs runs disappear…like magic….or they never appear. One or the other Capuano is 3-0 against the Cubs this year and he has two complete game shutouts in his career….both against the Cubs….this year. Capuano has pitched 26 scoreless innings against the Cubs. And I am pretty sure he will have the opportunity to reach the 30 mark sometime this year. It is not like he is baffling one of the top offenses in the game, but it is still amazing that one pitcher has one team’s number game after game. I thought you were supposed to learn from a pitcher….and adjust. Like I have said many times before not this team, not this year. On to the game.

The game started like clockwork for Capuano as he retired the first nine batters he faced. Juan Pierre was able to single to left in the 4th. JP has been a bright spot for the Cubs the last three weeks. Pierre recorded two hits tonight and has his average up to .270, like Brian said earlier today I think he is going to have a big second half. I just hope he gets a chance. Following Pierre, Neifi struck out, D-Lee stuck out, Aramis singled to right and Pagan ended the threat as he grounded into a fielder’s choice ending the inning, Not much of a threat but I think we will take what we can get.

Maddux did not pitch a bad game, but when you have one bad inning with this club you might as well call the trainer and ice up the arm, your evening is done. Maddux gave up two runs on six hits in six innings of work. But that would be all the Brewers would need to shut the door on this erratic offense. In the bottom of the 5th, Gabe Gross led off the inning with a double to right. Capuano laid down a sac bunt and Gross went to third. Rickie Weeks doubled to left, he had two doubles on the night, Gross scores for the first run of the game. Jeff Cirillo walked and Geoff Jenkins singled to right to score Weeks. Maddux got Carlos Lee and the Brewer formally known as Prince to fly out to Pierre. Maddux got out of his only bad inning allowing two runs on three hits. Maddux was relieved in the 6th by Roberto Novoa. Maddux will go into the All-Star break with a losing record for the second time since ’91 and for the fourth time in his career. As much as Maddux deserves to finish with a winner, we let him go once I don’t want to do it again. That might be me being selfish, but I don’t like making the same mistake twice.

The play the puts the Cubs season in a nutshell, help I’m in a nutshell, was the DOUBLE to center by Aramis in the 7th. Aramis hit a shot to center; a shot he thought was gondola, so he trotted to first like he is hitting .380 with 29 jacks before the break. But the ball came up two feet short and Mr. Hamstring decided to turn on the gas or hamster powered motor and tried to run out a triple. Aramis was thrown out at third by a mile. If he was running out of the gate he would have been safe and could have been a scoring opportunity in a low scoring affair. But that’s the Cubs and that’s Aramis, and that is why changes need to be made.

The Cubs managed two more hits after that and one was an infield single by the always hustling Matt Murton. As much as I like Murton, I hope he is replaced by Carlos Lee next year. I would like to see Murton remain a Cub, but can he come off the bench and be effective? Only time will tell. But tonight the Cubs lost 2-0 and made Capuano look like Orel Hershiser….for the third time.

OK Dusty you have your horses, now please show us something….if not giddy up and get the hell out of town.

Until next time….but always GO CUBBIES!!!!

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt