Game Eleven – Cubs 7 Pirates 3
Updated – 6:54pm C.T. with Pagan Update and Roster Move – Cubs Call Up David Aardsma
The Cubs had several questions going into Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh. When will Juan Pierre start hitting? When will Aramis Ramirez start hitting? When will Freddie Bynum get his first hit as a Cub? How will Glendon Rusch pitch? The Cubs got answers to all of those questions and more.
Glendon Rusch clearly pitched his best game of the year. Rusch threw 6 strong innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits, struck out 5 and walked one. Rusch was in control and was ahead of hitters much of the game. The only bad inning Rusch had was the 6th when he allowed the 3-run homer to Craig Wilson. Rusch quit pitching and started thinking….with one out Rusch allowed back-to-back singles to Nate McLouth and Jack Wilson. Rusch retired Jason Bay and with 2 outs gave up the 3-run blast to Craig Wilson….for someone that was on the trading block, Wilson looks great at the plate….that was number six on the year for Wilson.
The bullpen shut the door on the Pirates and Will Ohman, Roberto Novoa and Ryan Dempster allowed only 2 hits and a walk over the last 3 innings of the ballgame. Novoa was very sharp pitching 1 2/3 innings and only allowing 1 hit and a walk.
Juan Pierre started the game with a single and stole second base with Freddie Bynum at the plate. Bynum recorded the first out of the ballgame and after a Derrek Lee ground out, Aramis Ramirez singled to left to score Pierre. Todd Walker kept his hot bat going with a 2-run homer in the top of the 1st and before Glendon Rusch took the hill he was given a 3-0 lead.
Juan Pierre led of the 6th with a single and was moved to 2nd on a single by Freddie Bynum, his first as a Cub. Derrek Lee then promptly doubled both home and moved to 3rd on a wild pitch with Aramis Ramirez at the plate. Aramis Ramirez then took the next offering from Matt Capps deep for a 2-run home run.
Pierre finished the day going 3 for 4, with 2 runs scored, a sac bunt in the 7th and his 4th stolen base of the season. Aramis Ramirez finished the day going 2 for 3 with 3 RBI’s, 2 runs scored and a walk. The Cubs offense was very efficient on Sunday scoring 7 runs on 10 hits and left 4 on base.
The Cubs had a good start to the road trip taking 2 of 3 from the Pirates and could end up with sole possession of first place in the Central if the scores hold up.
Glendon Rusch showed on Sunday why the Cubs wanted him back. If Rusch and Williams can continue what they started this weekend, the Cubs could have too much starting pitching when the other 3 come back (…thanks “Glooroo”)
In the two games the Cubs won in the series they scored 18 runs….with only 2 home runs….a very good sign. The offense is scoring and until Sunday without Aramis Ramirez and Juan Pierre. The Saturday night game they should have won….how many times does a team lose a game with allowing only 2 runs on 4 hits?
Let’s all get those coffee pots ready, it’s off to L.A. and Mr. Furcal.
CUBS WIN and a Happy Easter to everyone from all of us here at the CCO!!!
Update – According to a report from the AP out of Chicago, the Cubs placed Angel Pagan on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring and was replaced on the 25 man roster by reliever David Aardsma. Aardsma has pitched in 5 games for the Iowa Cubs and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 7 innings pitched. He has only given up 2 hits and struck out 11.