Game One Hundred Sixty – Cubs 2 Rockies 5
Carlos Zambrano was unable to reach either of his milestones and dropped his 7th game of the season. Zambrano was victimized by a 3-run 6th inning in which the Rockies scored 3 runs without the benefit of a hit. Zambrano walked 3, 1 intentionally, hit a batter and John Mabry committed an error.
The Cubs offense could not string any hits together and left runners in scoring position….the m.o. for the entire season. Juan Pierre led of the game with his 200th hit of the season, the first Cub to accomplish the feat since Ryne Sandberg in 1984 and the 4th time in Pierre’s career. Ryan Theriot and Aramis Ramirez had a good game but in the end the Cubs inability to take pitches and clog those bases and score runs from 3rd with less than 2 outs cost them another game. The difference in the game PERIOD was the Rockies ability to get on base by any means possible. The Rockies took advantage of Carlos Zambrano’s conrol problems in the 6th inning and scored 3 runs WITHOUT A HIT. How does a pitcher with Zambrano’s ability allow that to happen? But to make matters worse, no matter how many walks the Cubs’ staff gives up, their own manager cannot see how beneficial getting runners on base is. On Base Percentage or OBP has to make the catch phrase for 2007 and beyond.
There was a snippet on Cubs.com about Juan Pierre possibly having the lowest batting average in the history of baseball among players that have reached 200 hits in a season….why, it is called walks. Derrek Lee was 1-hit shy of 200 last season yet he led the league in average….why WALKS. Walks are not cool, they do not add anything to the multi million dollar contracts that some of these guys have….chicks do not dig walks, but guess what walks lead to runs which leads to wins….PERIOD. 3 of the 5 runs the Rockies scored were via walks.
Zambrano finished the day after 7 innings; he gave up 4 runs, 2 earned, on 3 hits, walked 4, hit a batter and struck out 9. Like the Reds game, take out the one horrible inning and he was very good as usual.
The Cubs aggressiveness cost them again on Friday afternoon. Ryan Theriot led off the 9th with a double, Aramis Ramirez was hit by a pitch and Jacque Jones swung at the first offering from Brian Fuentes and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat of a comeback. Fuentes was wild, he had been hit hard and even hit Ramirez, yet Jones swung at the first pitch….
The Cubs managed just 6 hits on the afternoon, 5 by Theriot and Ramirez. Ryan Theriot was a homer short of the cycle, scored both of the Cubs runs and continues to be a bright spot at the end of a long season. Aramis Ramirez was 2 for 4 and drove in both runs. Juan Pierre had the only other hit.
Juan Mateo is scheduled to take the mound against Jeff Francis on the last Saturday game of the season for the Cubs. Although Zambrano lost on Friday, the Cubs have to be pleased with the way he finished the season. Juan Mateo needs to finish strong and pick up his 2nd victory of the year. Saturday is the last game of the season on WGN.