Game Two: Cubs 6 Reds 8
Updated: 6:02pm C.T.
The Cubs returned the favor from Opening Day on Wednesday….with handing the Reds the victory. The Cubs reverted back to the underachieving standards they set in 2005. The box score only says one error, but the box score does not count mental errors and passed balls. Glendon Rusch not only continued his poor pitching from Spring Training, he also continued committing the mental errors that plagued several of his performances in 2005. Rusch actually forgot to check on Ryan Freel before going to home plate.
The Cubs were put ahead by Aramis Ramirez 2-run home run in the first inning with Todd Walker on first base, the offense did their part….scoring 6 runs on 7 hits, but the defense and pitching were the main cause for the loss on Wednesday…. Glendon Rusch threw a total of 85 pitches in 4 innings of work and only threw 46 for strikes. The Reds knew Rusch was having control problems and took full advantage. Rusch walked 2 and gave up 6 hits, including 2 home runs. But it was the mental error that really hurt….how can a Major League pitcher forget to look a runner back….that just stole second base? Bronson Arroyo has Glendon Rusch’s number, not only did Rusch give up the home run to Arroyo, he also walked him. Arroyo’s home run was his first hit since October 2, 2001 while he was a member of the Pirates. Rusch was ahead of a lot of batters, but he ended up going 3-2 on most of them. No control….
After Dusty had to empty his bullpen on Monday, the only real alternative was Jerome Williams. Dusty needed to give his bullpen rest, game 2….2 appearances for Scott Eyre, Will Ohman and Scott Williamson….not good. Williams has the stuff to be a good Major League pitcher but lacks the confidence and consistency to be one. Williams walked 3 and gave up 3 runs, 2 earned, in 1 inning of work. Williams threw 28 pitches, only 12 were for strikes….UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Cubs pitching gave 6 free passes on Wednesday.
Will Ohman threw a perfect 6th inning….3 up, 3 down. Scott Williamson gave up a run on 1 hit in 1 1/3 innings of work, and the mental error by Ronny Cedeno cost Williamson and the Cubs that very important run in the 8th. Cedeno did not hold Freel at 3rd and he took off as soon as the ball was released by Cedeno. Cedeno did a nice job at the plate, including the 2 out double in the top of the 7th to get Mabry an at-bat. Cedeno actually turned the line-up over twice on Wednesday, but the ‘rookie’ mistake he made in the 8th….he has to learn from.
Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee and John Mabry all hit 2-run home runs….the offense has looked good over the first 2 games….it is the question marks with Rusch and Williams that came back to bite the Cubs on Wednesday.
Usually when your offense scores 6 runs on 7 hits….leaving only 1 on base, you win the ballgame. But with the mental errors, passed balls and the wild throw from Michael Barrett, you give a team extra outs and the opportunity to beat you and even the worst team in the league will do just that.
The Cubs have Thursday off and Greg Maddux is scheduled to start the home opener on Friday. Let’s hope they can put this game behind them and move on.
Interesting bit of news from Cubs.com: Speaking of pitching, neither Wood, Prior or Miller are close to a rehab assignment, but Wood is the closest….