Game One Hundred Forty-Eight – Cubs 0 Reds 4
The Cubs were blanked again on Friday afternoon and were beaten by the long ball….same story different game. The Cubs could not get on track against Bronson Arroyo, he threw 8 more shutout innings against the Cubbies and gave up 4 hits, 3 walks and struck out 7. In his last 22 innings against the Cubs he has allowed just 1 run in those 3 games and improved to 4-0 on the year against the Cubs with another start on the horizon next week in Cincinnati.
Juan Mateo did not allow a hit in the 3 innings he worked and walked just 2. Mateo was very sharp but had to leave the game after his back tightened up. Carlos Marmol took over in the 4th and for the second straight day he gave up a 3-run homer, this time to David Ross. This marks the 15th time this season the Cubs have been shutout. Bronson Arroyo has become the right-handed version of Chris Capuano and of his 14 victories on the season, 4 have now come against the Cubs with 2 outings being of the shutout variety. Arroyo kept the Cubs off balance all afternoon and they could not take advantage of 3 walks and a wild pitch. The Cubs offense has been shutout 2 out of the last 3 games.
While Juan Mateo pitched very well, the alarming stat for this version of the Cubs is the amount of injuries this team comes down with on a daily basis. It seems everyday a new Cub gets injured and has to leave the game. On Thursday it was Ryan Theriot; Friday Juan Mateo. The Cubs have to address this “epidemic” in the off-season and figure out how to keep their roster healthy, game after game, week after week, etc.
After Marmol left, the bullpen was very impressive especially Les Walrond. Walrond gave up just 1 hit in 3 innings of work and struck out 5. Jae Kuk Ryu, Walrond and David Aardsma combined for 5 shutout innings, allowed just 2 hits, no walks and struck out 9. Those 3 young pitchers gave the Cubs ample opportunity to mount a comeback and beat the Reds, too bad Arroyo was on the mound. David Aardsma has been impressive of late and if he can continue to develop he could be a valuable addition to the bullpen in 2007.
Rich Hill is scheduled to take the mound on Saturday afternoon against Chris Michalak….let the “Battle of the Lefties” continue.