Game One Hundred Twenty-Four – Cubs 5 Phillies 6
The Cubs out hit the Phillies but lost the game….what else is new? The Cubs continue to out hit the opposition on a daily basis and at the same time keep dropping games and are back to 18 games under .500. This team can hit, no doubt, look at the numbers they do not lie but what they cannot do is take pitches and increase the chances of pushing home runs despite themselves. Their team OBP is a joke and their average with RISP is beyond ridiculous. This team needs an overhaul in philosophy and leadership.
Rich Hill had another rough outing and took a step backward in his development but a throwing error by Ronny Cedeno led to 2 runs that was the difference in the game. The Cubs battled back with 5 runs in the last 3 innings but came up short in the 9th. Aaron Rowand left the game in the 8th after a violent collision with Chase Utley, appeared to sprain his ankle and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons. Jacque Jones and Aramis Ramirez were a combined 8-10 with 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. The Cubs had plenty of chances….16 hits and 10 left on base. The Cubs have shown a lot of improvement since the All-Star break, they have strung together a few wins, played much better as a team and have played their best ball of the season….however the old habits from this season have come back to plague the Cubs in recent days….reinforcing their place near the bottom of a mediocre league.
Rich Hill had problems with command again and left too many curve balls out over the plate. Hill surrendered only 2 earned runs (5 total) but walked 3 and those walks led to runs thanks to the Cubs defense. The Phillies scored twice on a throwing error by Ronny Cedeno, who took over at short when Cesar Izturis left the game, in the 4th. Hill walked Pat Burrell to start the inning; Aaron Rowand doubled and scored on a routine groundout off the bat of Abraham Nunez. Cedeno threw home, hit Burrell in the back, Burrell took out Blanco at the plate, the ball rolled almost to the backstop and Rowand scored from 2nd. Jimmy Rollins then hit a 2-run homer with 2 outs to cap the inning. The Phils scored 4 runs on 2 hits and 1 error in the 4th inning. Chase Utley added a solo shot in the 5th off of Rich Hill and Roberto Novoa gave up a lead off double to Burrell in the 8th and pinch runner Chris Roberson scored on a single by Nunez….a huge insurance run.
The Cubs could have easily given Hill an early lead that would have allowed him to settle in and just pitch, but they did not. The Cubs had a runner on 3rd with 1 out or less in 3 different innings. Jacque Jones and Aramis Ramirez had a huge nights and Juan Pierre extended his hit streak to 13. Matt Murton continued swinging a hot stick and had a pinch hit single in the 9th and scored on Jones’ 21st home run of the year. While every starter, except Cedeno, Pagan and Izturis recorded a hit, they continued to be unable to string those hits together….plus they did not walk once on the night, but the Phillies did 4 times….when will they get the hint?
The Cubs were beaten by their past…again.
Ryan O’Malley is scheduled to make his 2nd career start on Tuesday night and his first at Wrigley….will the luck of the Irish be on his side again? Former Cub and the newest Phillie, Jaime Moyer will have something to say about that.