Game Sixteen – Cubs 1 Cardinals 4
For the first time this season the Cubs lost their second game in a row and dropped to 4-4 on the current road trip with one game left. The story from Saturday was walks, walks and more walks….plus a hit batsman. Cubs’ pitching gave the Cardinals 6 free passes and Scott Williamson hit So Taguchi in the bottom of the 6th. The Cardinals had more walks than hits on Saturday and Albert Pujols came through for the Redbirds again with 2 RBI’s on a single in the 5th.
Glendon Rusch and the Cubs bullpen held the Cardinals to 4 hits, but the Cubs’ offense did not capitalize on a bases loaded situation with one out in the 3rd and there was the inevitable bad base running decision in the top of the 1st…. Glendon Rusch was sailing through the game until 2 outs in the 5th when Rusch walked So Taguchi with 2 outs. Rusch then walked John Rodriguez, who was pinch-hitting for Sidney Ponson. David Eckstein singled to center to tie the game at 1 and Rusch walked Hector Luna to load the bases. Scott Williamson came into the game with the bases loaded and gave up the single to Pujols that scored Rodriguez and Eckstein. Scott Rolen flew out to Juan Pierre to end the inning. Rusch threw 4 2/3 innings and gave up 3 runs on 2 hits, but the 4 walks that he gave up was the difference in the ballgame. Scott Williamson could not hold down the hot Pujols, who now has 26 RBI’s on the season and 6 in the last 2 games against the Cubs.
Scott Eyre pitched had a scoreless outing going 1 2/3 innings and only giving up a walk and showed little effects from the injury he suffered on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Bobby Howry pitched a perfect 8th.
The pitching was very good on Saturday with the exception of the walks but it was the offense that could not come through for the win. The game started with a ground out by Juan Pierre, who finished the day 2 for 4. Ronny Cedeno then singled to left ahead of Todd Walker. Walker promptly singled and Ronny Cedeno attempted to go from 1st to 3rd and was successful, but Walker attempted to advance to 2nd on the throw and was thrown out by a mile. Aramis Ramirez was unintentionally/intentionally walked and John Mabry popped out to short to end the inning. The Cubs had 2 hits and a walk in the 1st inning and could not score.
In the top of the 3rd, Glendon Rusch led off the inning with a single to center. Juan Pierre singled to right and Cedeno had a beautiful sac bunt to advance the runners and almost beat out the throw. Todd Walker drew a walk and Aramis Ramirez grounded out on a good play by Scott Rolen. Ramirez appeared to be safe and Dusty argued….Glendon Rusch scored and John Mabry ended the inning with a ground out to second. The Cubs had the bases loaded, with 1 out and only scored 1 run….the only run of the ballgame.
Aramis Ramirez was 0 for 3 on Saturday and left 2 runners in scoring position on two different occasions. Ramirez is only hitting .189 on the season and he has to start showing patience and discipline at the plate. Ramirez has to realize that until he stops swinging at bad pitches that is all he is going to see.
Glendon Rusch pitched his best game of the season and lost. Rusch has to improve on his control, don’t get me wrong, but he did not deserve to lose the game on Saturday.
Hopefully Maddux will be able to take the team under his wing and give the Cubs a winning record on this road trip.
Don’t sweep and then get swept….