This image of Sam Fuld and Micah Hoffpauir colliding in the outfield sums up the Cubs 2009 MLB schedule perfectly. Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano each struggled in their final 2009 starts, as the Cubs dropped a double-header to the Pirates at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Guess that really sums up what a bad 2009 the Cubs organization has endured.
In the opener, Lilly gave up all 4 runs in the 1st inning. After that, he settled down and pitched 7 innings, giving up just a total of 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8. Lilly will end the year with 12 wins, a 3.10 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. The sad part was that the Cubs bats were silenced by rookie Charlie Morton. Just 5+ weeks ago, the Cubs lit up Morton for 10 ER on 7 hits in just 1 inning of work. How he goes from that to a complete game 4-hit shutout against the same team is mind-boggling. Just proves how inconsistent the Cubs have been at the plate in 2009.
In the nightcap, the team did not fare much better. Zambrano pitched just 6 innings because of a high pitch count (117 pitches). Big Z walked 4 and ended up giving up 4 ER and 6 hits. Zambrano suffered his 7th loss of the season, and it will be the 1st time in 6 seasons that Carlos does not end up with double-digit wins. Very disappointing from your supposed ace.
Esmailin Caridad had another perfect inning of relief work and now has a 1.56 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Carlos Marmol, on the other hand, continued to struggle when not in a save situation. Marmol gave up a leadoff home run in the 9th inning and 2 walks before recording the 27th and final Pirates out of the night.
Jeff Samardzija will make another spot start in the series finale against the Pirates on Thursday night at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are still stuck on 82 wins…