O’Malley Exits Early….Cubs Drop 3rd in a Row

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five – Cubs 3 Phillies 6

Ryan O’Malley’s dream came true on Tuesday night….he got to start a game at Wrigley Field for the Cubs. After a rough 1st inning, O’Malley settled down and threw strikes, he did allow 3 runs on 5 hits but left the game with 2 outs in the 5th after throwing a pitch to Jimmy Rollins. Henry Blanco went to the mound immediately and was followed by Dusty Baker, Larry Rothschild and assistant trainer Ed Halbur. After some discussion O’Malley left the game and was later diagnosed with a strained left elbow. O’Malley is listed as day-to-day; he will be evaluated on Wednesday.

Jaime Moyer kept the Cubs off balance all night and did not allow a hit until 5th. Moyer was sharp, but most lefties have looked good against the Cubs this season. The Cubs cut the Phillies lead down to 1 in the 5th but Glendon Rusch and David Aardsma allowed the Phils to add 3 runs in the 6th to put the game out of reach. With the recent additions of Carlos Marmol and Cesar Izturis to the disabled list in the last 2 days, they have now had 12 different players on the DL this season and unfortunately it looks like Ryan O’Malley could be unlucky number 13.

When O’Malley left the game in the 5th the rest of the game lost all meaning. While no one was expecting O’Malley to be a savior, his story made this horrible season a little easier to take. If the Cubs could bottle his enthusiasm and spread it around to the rest of the team and the coaching staff, they probably would not be 19 games under .500. The most important stat from O’Malley’s outing was the fact that he threw strikes. Out of 76 pitches, 51 were over the plate and he only walked 1. He hit Ryan Howard but that was part of a rough 1st inning….just imagine the nerves. Hopefully he will not join the list of pitchers with arm troubles in the Cubs organization.

Glendon Rusch took over for O’Malley and gave up the first career single for Ryan Howard at Wrigley (0-16) and he scored on a double by Pat Burrell. Burrell advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Ryan Theriot. Theriot attempted to throw out Howard, the ball skipped past Blanco to advance Burrell. David Dellucci doubled to left to score Burrell, Dellucci just missed a home run. Dusty went to the pen for David Aardsma, Nunez singled to left to score Dellucci….the Phillies sent 9 to the plate in the 6th and the 3 runs off of Rusch was the difference in the game….3 runs on 3 hits in 2/3 of an inning. When are the Cubs going to get the hint that Glendon Rusch is just a waste of a roster spot and a rookie can have on-the-job training with the same results….losing is losing. Michael Wuertz struck out the side in the 7th; Bobby Howry and Ryan Dempster retired the last 6 Phillies to end the game.

The Cubs did manage 3 runs on 6 hits against Moyer but was unable to score against the Phillies bullpen. Juan Pierre extended his hit streak to 14 and stole his 44th bag of the season. Aramis Ramirez kinda stole 2nd in the 4th. On a 3-2 count, Ramirez broke for 2nd, Nevin struck out, Ramirez stopped in between 1st and 2nd but was safe because Lieberthal did not make a throw. Ron Santo said, “He stopped for a sandwich.” What a great line. The Cubs also committed 2 errors, both of the throwing variety….one by Theriot his 1st and one by Cedeno his 21st. Theriot also made the 3rd out of the inning at 3rd in the 7th with Aramis Ramirez at the plate. Did someone miss a sign, or did a rookie make a bonehead play?

After a very good road trip the Cubs have now lost 4 out of 5 and have only beaten the Phillies 5 times out of the last 22 tries over the past 3 seasons.

Angel Guzman is scheduled to take the hill on Wednesday night for game 3 of the series; the Cubs need a quality start out of Guzman….something he has yet to do.

Quote of the Day

"And if I have my choice between a pennant and a triple crown, I'll take the pennant every time." - Carl Yastrzemski
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