Game One Hundred Twenty – Cubs 1 Astros 0
With Roster Move – Scott Eyre to the DL – O’Malley Selected from Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs swept the Astros at the Juice Box….repeating the Cubs swept the Astros at the Juice Box. Two rookies and Carlos Zambrano recorded victories against Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. The Cubs gave up just 6 runs in 3 games, shutout the Astros over the last 21 innings of the series and shutout the Astros in 2 of the 3 games. Granted the 2006 Houston Astros is not the 1927 New York Yankees but the Cubs Faithful has to be extremely happy at the way the pitching staff played throughout the series. The Cubs tied a season high with their 4th consecutive win and finished the road trip at 5-4 after starting 1-4.
Ryan O’Malley earned his first career victory in his Major League debut, threw 8 shutout innings, allowed 5 hits, struck out 2 and pitched around 6 walks. He stranded 11 Astros and made Irish Cubs’ fans everywhere very proud on Wednesday. Two rookie pitchers earned victories for the Cubs on Wednesday. Michael Barrett’s 14th home run of the season was the difference in the game. Ryan O’Malley, a Springfield, Illinois native, was signed by the Cubs on June 7, 2002 as an undrafted free agent. O’Malley threw 109 pitches, 60 for strikes and matched veteran Andy Pettitte pitch for pitch. While the Cubs recorded just 4 hits, 3 by Juan Pierre and the homer by Barrett, the Cubs recorded just 1 walk off of Pettitte but he made the one mistake to Barrett. O’Malley gave the Cubs what they needed a quality start and kept Dusty from having to go into the overworked and extremely tired bullpen. O’Malley showed a lot of composure on the mound, he did not pitch like a rookie making his debut; maybe the shock of the situation did not have a chance to set in. How many times have rookies crumbled until the pressure due to nerves, not O’Malley, he pitched a phenomenal game considering the circumstances. What a way to end the season series against the Astros!!!
O’Malley got the call at 6:45am on Wednesday morning, hoped in a car, was driven 130 miles to Minute Maid Park and beat the Astros and made Milo Hamilton very unhappy. He kept the hitters off balance all day and never gave in. A dream came true for a “Die-Hard Cubs fan”.
So as you are all reading this don’t worry about what may come next for him, don’t think about his next start or next season, think of the song “Centerfield”, think of Moonlight Graham, for one brief day Ryan O’Malley got to live the dream….enjoy Cloud 9 you earned it.
The Cubs have Thursday off and will open a 3-game series at Wrigley against the Cardinals on Friday. Carlos Marmol vs. Jeff Marquis….
Roster Move – Scott Eyre was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring injury he aggravated in the 8th inning of Tuesday night’s marathon and the Cubs selected left-hander Ryan O’Malley from the Iowa Cubs to take Eyre’s place on the active roster.