Game One Hundred Fifty-Three – Cubs 2 Phillies 6
Brett Myers dominated the Cubs for the second time this season. Myers threw his first complete game of the season and his first in over a year….August 20, 2005 against the Pirates. Myers gave up just 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 3 and struck out a season high, 12. The Cubs could not get the offense going for the second straight night while the Phillies were very patient at the plate, walked 7 times for the second straight night, the Cubs walked just 3 times.
Les Walrond took the loss and although he struck out a career high, 6, he also walked 5 and could not make it out of the 4th inning. In 4+ innings he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits….again more walks than hits and threw 76 pitches, just 39 for strikes. The bullpen struggled with the exception of Michael Wuertz. Jae Kuk Ryu and Roberto Novoa each surrendered home runs and Angel Guzman was less than impressive in the 9th, regardless of the result. It took 6 different pitchers to complete 8 innings for the Cubs on Wednesday….just 1 for the Phillies. The Cubs needed innings out of Walrond and were unable to get them. He started off strong striking out 6 of the first 12 he faced. He kept Henry Blanco on his toes all night. Both Walrond and Ryu threw a lot of pitches in the dirt. The Phillies recorded only 9 hits and usually that is not that bad, but when 6 of the 9 hits are for extra bases, there is a problem and combine that with walking 7, those factors usually result in a loss and Wednesday was no exception.
Hopefully the Cubs will benefit next season and beyond with all of their young pitchers gaining very valuable Major League experience. The only concern at this point is who they choose to use. Is Les Walrond a part of their master plan for 2007? At 29 years old, Walrond will turn 30 in November, his future with the Cubs is doubtful. The start that Walrond made might have been better served if made by Jae Kuk Ryu or Angel Guzman. And speaking of Guzman, with the talent he posses, could Guzman be the 2005 version of Rich Hill….he just has not gotten it yet?
The Cubs are playing out the string with a lot of questions surrounding this organization. The last 9 games of the season would be better served with an announcement they have reached a contract extension with Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez is the key to this off-season for the Cubs….period.
The Cubs are off on Thursday and will play their last 4 road games of the season in Cincinnati starting on Friday….Rich Hill is scheduled to take the mound on Friday and Carlos Zambrano on Saturday. With the Reds being out of the playoff hunt it would be great to see the Cubs finish strong and take at least 3 of 4 in the Queen City.