Cubs 1 Marlins 2
Maddux pitched his 2nd complete game of the season today..but he lost. Maddux held the Marlins to 2 runs on 5 hits, but the other 2 hits cost him and the Cubs the game. Maddux plunked Juan Pierre to start the game and he came around to score. In the 6th he did the same with the bases loaded. Maddux hit Dontrelle Willis to give the Marlins the lead and Willis and company shut the door down on the Cubs.
With today’s loss, Greg Maddux’s streak of 17 years straight with at least 15 wins is in jeopardy. With only 33 games left and maybe 5 more starts for Maddux, he will have to win the remainder of his starts to keep this unbelievable streak going.
I think today was a great showcase of pitchers, however Willis is on his way up and Maddux is near retirement. Maddux has said if he feels he can remain effective, he will pitch again next year. Maddux and the Cubs have an option on his contract that he signed prior to the 2004 season.
The option states if Maddux pitches 400 inning in 2004 and 2005, then he can exercise the option for the 2006 season. According to my math, he is 9 2/3 innings short of that option kicking in. Maddux and the Cubs will have to make a decision on his future with the club very shortly. If he decides to stay, the Cubs could use his knowledge to help all of the young pitchers that will be on the staff next season. If he goes it will be an end to another era in Chicago…one without a pennant.
While I was listening to the game today, Dave Campbell mentioned that the Cubs pitching staff’s ERA is 1 run per game less when Henry Blanco is catching then when Michael Barrett is catching. This is very interesting and a topic I have brought up before. What is more important to the Cubs, a catcher that is hitting .289 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI’s or a one run per game difference on their staff ERA? This is another area the Cubs will have to address in the offseason. How many more 1 run games do the Cubs have to lose?
Sunday – Carlos Zambrano(10-5-3.03) vs. Josh Beckett(12-7/3.45)
Great, my favorite pitcher in the whole wide world…Josh Beckett. I really wish he would go pitch for an American League team, as long as it is not the White Sox, so the Cubs will not have to face him again. I saw enough of this (blank) in 2003 to last a lifetime. I hope the Cubs can at least win 1 out of 3 against the ‘Stinkin Fish’ and beat Jost Beckett. The Cubs played well today, just not well enough to win. Zambrano can beat these guys. Big Z has to have his head on straight and throw strikes. The Cubs hitters have to be patient against Beckett and let him beat himself. Get on him early and often. The pressure is off guys, relax and remember why you started playing this game to begin with…
Have fun…and win one!