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Zambrano Rusty as Cubs Free Fall Continues on West Coast – Cubs 3, Giants 4 – 8/9/10 – AT&T Park

Posted on 10 August 2010 by Lou

Carlos Zambrano made his “much-anticipated” return to the starting rotation against the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Monday night.  At 1st glance, when I saw that Big Z had tossed 4 scoreless innings to start the game, I got a little bounce in my step.  Maybe Zambrano would be able to pitch well down the stretch.  Maybe he would even be so good that the Cubs might consider keeping him for the duration of his contract, or maybe another team would be more interested in agreeing to a trade for the hefty Venezulan this off-season.  I started to get excited.  But since I turned the game on with 2 outs in the bottom of the inning, I didn’t really get a full feel for how Zambrano was pitching.  And when I looked at the box score, my positive thoughts were quickly dashed.

Big Z was laboring as his control was atrocious.  He ended up making it through 5 innings with the score tied at 2.  He gave up both ER in the 5th inning as he ran out of steam.  He gave up only 4 hits, but he walked 7 batters and he threw 96 pitches in the process.  Not exactly what we were looking for.  I’m not exactly sure how he even lasted that long without giving up more runs.  The 2nd inning was a perfect example of sheer luck.  He walked Pat Burrell to start the inning and then gave up a hit to Pablo Sandoval.  Luckily Juan Urube grounded into a double play sending Burrell to 3rd base with 2 outs.  But then Big Z issued 2 straight walks to load the bases.  Only a Andres Torres strikeout allowed Zambrano to get out of the inning unscathed.  He issued 1 walk in each inning that he pitched and his leadoff walk to Torress in the 5th finally came back to haunt him on a Buster Posey double.  Zambrano then allowed another run to score on a wild pitch.  When you are wild, you’re going to throw lots of pitches and you’re going to get into loads of trouble.  It is a recipe for disaster and that’s exactly what happened to Zambrano.  Now I know it was his 1st start since June 25th so we have to give him a little time to get back into the starter’s mind frame.  But he doesn’t have much time – only another 8-9 starts the rest of the way, so he really needs to come out firing on all cylinders in his next start – time is of the essence if we want to show the rest of the league that Big Z still has some value.

Marcus Mateo – another young Cubs pitcher struggling in his major league debut – flirted with disaster in each of the 10th and 11th innings.  He gave up a single and a double in the 10th inning but avoided giving up a run when Colvin threw out Travis Ishikawa at the plate.  But in the 11th, Mateo didn’t get so lucky as he failed to retire a batter.  He gave up 2 singles and then walked Posey to load the bases with nobody out.  Then Burrell hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to deep center to drive in the winning run in walk-off fashion…

The Cubs offense was actually better than I thought it would be.  The team racked up 11 hits, but once again, clutch hits were lacking.  Starlin Castro, Xavier Nady and Marlon Byrd each had 2 hits.  Tyler Colvin, Byrd and Alfonso Soriano had the 3 RBI’s.  And hey, all 3 runs were earned, so at least we did something to deserve the runs, right?

Great match-up tonight in Game 2 of the series.  Ryan Dempster gets the honor of facing the 2-time defending Cy Young Award Winner – Tim Lincecum.  Yippee!

In any event, this is getting pretty ugly as the losses keep piling up.  The Cubs have now lost 4 in a row and 11 of 12 games.  Their record is 47-65.  They trail the Cincinnati Reds by 16.5 games for 1st place in the NL Central?!  This is a team that won back-to-back division titles in 2007 & 2008.  My how fast the might have fallen.  With the Reds stockpiling amazing young pitchers who continue to improve each year and with the Cardinals trotting out Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday day in and day out, it is hard to imagine how the Cubs will even compete in the division during the next few seasons.  The Cubs will wither have to get lucky and win the Adrian Gonzales sweepstakes this off-season or hope that their competitors suffer multiple season-ending injuries as the 2011 MLB schedule approaches.  WOW – is this going to be a frustrating few years.

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Weekend Recap — Rocky High Sweep – Rockies Outscore Cubs 31-14 in 3-Game Weekend Set @ Coors Field – 7/30/10 – 8/1/10

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Lou

What a horrible weekend for the Cubs in Denver this weekend – not sure it’s even worth it to re-live the debacle.

Friday – 7/30/10 – Cubs 2, Rockies 17 – A 12-run 8th inning turned a close game into an embarrassing laugher for the Cubs.  Sean Marshall gave up hits to the 1st 2 batters he faced in the 8th inning, but then got 2 strikeouts and 2 strikes on Carlos Gonzalez before Gonzalez stroked an RBI single to start the record-setting rally.  The Rockies set a major league record by recording 11 straight hits and they had 13 hits in the inning overall which was a franchise-record. The Rockies scored 12 runs to extend their 5-2 lead to 17-2.  WOW.  The Rockies batted around twice in the inning.  Troy Tulowitki, Clint Barmes and Melvin More each had 2 hits in the inning.  Every Rockies hitter got a hit in the inning.

Sean Marshall was charged with 5 ER on 5 hits in 2/3 of an inning.  Andrew Cashner faced 6 batters and did not record a single out – 6 hits, 6 runs, 2 home runs.  And Brian Schlitter mopped up the mess with 1 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks as he recorded the final out of the inning on an Ian Stewart fly ball to deep center field with the bases loaded.

Marshall had this to say — “It was dumbfounding as for us as it was people to watch the game.  You hate to be on the receiving end.  I don’t think it’s going to happen again.”

Manager Lou Pinella had this to say — “I’d never seen an inning like that.  We had two outs and two strikes on a hitter and they score 12 runs.  I’d never seen an inning like that.” The problem is Lou – it seems like you or another member of the Cubs organization has said that same thing about a dozen times this year.  The Cub sseem to invent new ways to lose on a daily basis these days…

Saturday – 7/31/10 – Cubs 5, Rockies 6 – After Derrek Lee’s game-tying 3-run home run in the top of the 8th inning, the Cubs thought their luck might change. Marshall even came in and pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the bottom of the inning, but interim Manager Alan Trammell opted to stick with Marshall to face the left-handed hitting Carlos Gonzalez instead of bringing in closer Carlos Marmol to start the 9th.  And that turned out to be a fatal mistake as Gonzalez crushed the 1st pitch he saw into the 3rd deck in deep right field.  It was a walk-off 6-5 win for the Rockies as Gonzalez used that home run to complete hitting for the cycle in his final at-bat of the game.

Tom Gorzelanny looked mortal again in the elevation of Colorado.  He pitched 6 1/3 innings, but gave up 5 ER on 9 hits and 2 walks.

Sunday – 8/1/10 – Cubs 7, Rockies 8 – Another poor start to the game put the Cubs in a hole on Sunday.  Carlos Silva only pitched to 4 batters because he was suffering from an abnormally high heart rate.  He had to make a trip to a Denver area hospital and did not make the trip back to Chicago after the game.  Silva recorded one out, but suffered his 5th loss of the season, giving up 2 ER on 2 hits and a walk.  James Russell did not fare much better, giving up 4 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and a walk in his 2 2/3 inning of work.  And while Carlos Zambrano tossed a scoreless 4th inning, he ran into trouble in the 5th inning giving up 2 ER on 2 walks and 2 hits.  He walked the first 2 men he faced in the inning and both runners scored.  Just like that – it was 6-0 after 2 innings and 8-0 after 5 innings.  Not good, when you are riding a 4-game losing streak.

The Cubs made it interesting in the late innings.  Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto each singled in runs in the 7th inning.  Alfonso Soriano cut the lead to 8-4 in the 8th inning with a solo HR.  In the 9th inning, Rockies closer Huston Street walked Lee and Soto with 1 out.  Marlon Byrd then triple in Lee and Soto and the lead was 8-6.  Soriano’s sac fly on a spectacular play by outfielder Nat Fowler plated Byrd to cut the lead to 8-7.  If Fowler doesn’t catch that ball, who knows how far Soriano goes on the play.  But with no one on base, Street struck out Jeff Baker to end the game.

One other bright spot for the Cubs — newly acquired Blake DeWitt had 3 hits in his Cubs debut.

All in all, it was a brutal road trip for the Cubs. After winning the 1st game in Houston, the Cubs proceeded to drop the final 5 games of the trip.  The Cubs are now 13 games under .500 at 46-59 and they trail the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals by 13 games…

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Thanks for the Memories Lou – Cubs Rally for Win over Astros in Support of Skipper – Cubs 14, Astros 7 – 7/20/10

Posted on 21 July 2010 by Lou

Thanks for the memories Lou – we are going to miss you – even though we know you already checked out midway through the “Milton Bradley saga” in 2009.  You led us to 2 consecutive NL Central titles and back-to-back playoff appearances for the 1st time in a long time, so we have a lot to be thankful for.  Even though the playoff sweeps and the awful last 2 seasons have been tough to bear, you are a good coach and a good man.

That being said, your team’s performance in 2010 has been so difficult to watch.  After losing to the lowly Astros on Monday night, the club fell behind 7-1 after 4 and a half innings before the team rallied for the win at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

Ryan Dempster was downright bad – 7 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks in just 5 innings.  He struggled with his control and made a whopping 113 pitches in one of his shortest outings in 2010.

The top of the lineup was raking again:

Tyler Colvin – 1 for 4 with 2 runs scored.

Starlin Castro – 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 1 RBI.

Derrek Lee – 2 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI’s.

But the real hero was Aramis Ramirez who hit 3 home runs and drove in 7 runs.  Finally!

Geovany Soto kept up his hot hitting as well – 2 hits including a solo home run.

Congratulations go to the Cubs bullpen as well.  Andrew Cashner has emerged as a legitimate major league pitcher – 2 scoreless innings in the 6th and 7th. Sean Marshall pitched a perfect 8th inning as did Closer Carlos Marmol.

The Cubs go for the series win on Wednesday afternoon with Ted Lilly on the bump…

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Cubs Bad Weekend in L.A. Continues — Cubs 7, Dodgers 9 Friday 7/9/10 & Cubs 7, Dodgers 3 Saturday 7/10/10

Posted on 11 July 2010 by Lou

On Friday night, the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 9-7.  Ted Lilly had one of his worst starts of the season — 3 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 2 walks.  Although the Cubs racked up 11 hits and made it interesting in the end, they still lost.  Marlon Byrd stroked 4 hits and had 3 RBI’s.  Aramis Ramirez had 3 hits , 1 RBI and 2 runs scored and he is finally over the Mendoza line @ .204.

On Saturday afternoon on FOX, the Cubs bounced back with a 7-3 win behind a strong outing from Tom Gorzelanny.  Gorzelanny picked up his 4th win of the season, going 6 innings and giving up just 1 ER on 6 hits with 7 K’s.  He now has a 3.16 season ERA – not too shabby.  Geovany Soto paced the Cubs offense with 3 hits and 3 RBI’s.  Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee each had 2 hits in the win.

We’ll have more on Sunday’s loss on Monday, but it is not looking good – down 7-0 in the 8th inning.  Vincent Padilla no-hit the Cubs until Castro doubled to lead off the 6th inning.

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Big Z Explosion Heard Round the World – Bye Bye Carlos – We Wish You Well! 6/25/10 6/26/10 6/27/10

Posted on 27 June 2010 by Lou

WOW – what a great way to kick of the weekend in the Cubs-Sox south side series.  Carlos Zambrano blowing a gasket, getting in Derrek Lee’s face.  D-Lee not backing down.  Manager Lou Pinella and coaches Larry Rothschild and Alan Trammell having to get in the middle of the near-brawl.  It was classic WWE Raw Madness – all right in your face in a baseball park on a beautiful Friday afternoon.  You couldn’t have asked for anything more.

As for the game, it was a typical Cubs loss – 6-0.  Bad pitching.  Even worse hitting – just 3 hits off of Jake Peavy and another number in the “L” column.  Yippee!  Let the sell-off begin…

The Cubs kept up their losing ways on Saturday – 3-2.  Carlos Silva pitched well — 2 ER on 3 hits and 1 walk.  But the Cubs bats didn’t get it done.  They only scored 2 runs off of Fast Freddy Garcia (a Derrek Lee single and an Aramis Ramirez opposite field home run that tied the game at 2 – did you even realize that those 2 guys were still in the Cubs lineup?!).  And Paul Konerko’s solo home run off of Andrew Cashner (who had been pitching so well) proved to be the game-winner in the 8th inning.

The Cubs managed to avoid the sweep with an 8-6 win on Sunday.  Ryan Dempster picked up the win – 3 ER on 9 hits and 1 walk in 7 innings.  Tyler Colvin batted lead-off for the 1st time in his major league career and he came through with 3 hits, 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored, including a 3-run bomb that gave the Cubs the lead for good at 3-2 in the 3rd inning.  Derrek Lee also had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s.  Geovany Soto had 3 hits, 1 RBI and 1 run scored.  Alfonso Soriano clubbed his 11th homer of the season.  And Starlin Castro got back on track with 2 hits and 2 runs scored.

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Cubs Top Pirates 6-1 – 1st Win in Pittsburgh in 2010

Posted on 08 June 2010 by Lou

It was a rare win for the Cubs over the Pirates on Monday afternoon – a makeup game from the game rained out last week.  Carlos Silva won his 8th game of the season without a loss, tossing 7 scoreless innings despite battling a flu all game long.  Silva scattered 4 hits and 1 walk during the outing and needed just 102 pitches on the day.  Sean Marshall earned a 2-inning save – his 1st of the season.

Marlon Byrd went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored.  Byrd has a 4-game hitting streak going – going 10 for 17 with 4 RBI’s and 4 runs scored during that hot stretch.  Ryan Theriot reached base 5 times with a double, single, 2 walks, and on a force play.  He scored a career-high 4 runs in the win.

With Reds and Cards losses, the Cubs cut their lead in the NL Central to 6.5 games.  Now the Cubs head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers where the Cubs pulled off a 3-game sweep back in late April.

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Oh What Might Have Been — 5-4 Loss to Phillies Ends Win Streak at 4

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Lou

It was almost a perfect end to a 2-game road trip in Philly, but then the Cubs woes with runners on 3rd base and less than 2 outs re-surfaced as the Cubs squandered a golden scoring opportunity against Jose Contreras in the top of the 9th inning.  The Cubs trailed most of the day today, but kept battling back to tie the game up on 2 different occasions.  But it wasn’t meant to be despite getting runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out against Contreras (who is subbing for injured closer Brad Lidge) in the 9th inning.  With the game tied at 4, Alfonso Soriano had a GREAT at-bat, fouling off pitch after pitch on a 3-2 count to eventually work a walk.  Mike Fontenot then singled up the middle sending Soriano hustling to 3rd base.  1st and 3rd, nobody out — easy run, right?  Not for this Cubs team.  Contreras made Starlin Castro look silly, striking him out with ease.  Aramis Ramirez then worked the count full after falling behind early, but swung at a pitch that my 3-year old would have known not to swing at.  The pitch was at least 2 feet wide of the plate and the Phillies catcher had to lunge to make sure it wasn’t a wild pitch, but Ramirez somehow tried to swing at the pitch at the last second.  Even with a 10 foot bat in his hands he probably would have missed it.  Then it was Geovany Soto’s turn to make Contreras look good.  He hit a lazy foul pop up that Ryan Howard snared for the final out, and instead of talking about another great come-from-behind win, we’re talking about how this team seems to lay an egg whenever they get a good scoring chance.  It is so painful.

This is an EXCELLENT Phillies team with an amazingly deep offensive lineup, so I’ll give the Cubs for being in both games of the series.  Holding the Phils to just 6 runs in 2 home games at the sand lot that is Citizens Bank Ballpark is a feat in and of itself.  But when you get chances like this, good teams win.  The Cubs are clearly just an average team at best.  The Cubs made it interesting.  After falling behind in the 1st inning on a Chase Utley home run, the Cubs answered with a Starlin Castro RBI single that scored Soriano in the 5th inning.  Ryan Dempster couldn’t fully get out of a 2-out jam in the 6th inning and eventually served up Jimmy Rollins 3-run jack to deep right field that gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead.  The Cubs could have mailed it in, but Derrek Lee immediately answered with a solo home run to lead off the 7th inning.  Then with only 1 out, the Cubs loaded the bases with a walk and 2 singles, but once again, the Cubs failed to take full advantage of the scoring opportunity.  Sure Tyler Colvin drove in a run with a sac fly, but someone needs to come through with a hit to break the game open in that situation.  Xavier Nady who has been so hot as a pinch-hitter lunged at the 1st pitch he saw, and just like that, the threat was over again.  Kosuke Fukudome forced the 4-4 tie with his lead-off solo home run to right field in the top of the 8th inning.  But then John Grabow had another poor outing and gave the lead right back to the Phillies.  He walked 2 of the 1st three batters that he faced and gave up Raul Ibanez’s game-winning single to right.  Fukudome did his best to throw out Utley at home, but his throw was just off the line towards the 1st base line and Utley slid in ahead of Koyie Hill’s tag.

Then it was time for disappointment in the 9th.

Ryan Dempster pitched well, but not well enough.  I feel like I say that for just about every start he has made during the last month. It’s gotta be frustrating for him being 2-5 with a 1.10 WHIP and a 3.73.  At the same time, he has already given up 8 home runs this year in 62+ innings pitched – that is simply too many.  If he cuts that home run number in half, Dempster is 5-2 and the Cubs are only 3 games out of 1st place in the NL Central.

Today’s loss was that much more painful given the near-perfect game that the Cubs played on Wednesday night in Philly.  Tom Gorzelanny threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings (just 3 hits and 2 walks) in the 4-1 win, but left after getting hit with a line drive.  The Cubs took an early 2-0 lead on an RBI single by Castro in the 3rd inning and an RBI single by Jeff Baker in the 7th inning.  John Grabow gave up a run in the 8th inning, but Carlos Zambrano saved the day by getting Jayson Werth to ground out on a sensational play by Castro to end the threat with the tying run on 2nd base.  Then Xavier Nady came through with another HUGE pinch-hit single that gave the Cubs 2 insurance runs with the bases loaded out 2 outs in the 9th inning.  That made the save chance for Carlos Marmol a little easier in the bottom of the inning.  Although Marmol walked Ibanez and hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch, he struck out Ross Gload and Shane Victorino to pick up his 7th save of the season.

I know we should be happy that the Cubs split with the Phillies, but the same trends that keep occurring just don’t make me feel confident about this team.  Poor clutch hitting is killing this team and preventing the club from taking bigger leads or any leads at all.  If the Cubs took advantage of some of these scoring chances, that would take a lot of heat off of the pitching staff.  And while the starters have been good, they must feel like they have to pitch a perfect game in order to get a win.  The close games is taking its toll on a young bullpen that has under-performed.  If Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol could pitch every day, it would be a different story.  But since they can’t, Manager Lou Pinella has to go to some of his other options.  Grabow is not getting it done and he has been a huge factor in the bullpen’s struggles.  After the last 2 days, Grabow now has 3 losses with a 2.12 WHIP and an 8.44 ERA.  If he wasn’t a veteran getting paid big bucks for a set-up man, he would have been sent down to Triple-A Iowa 2 weeks ago.

Ugghhh – I could go on and on.  Let’s hope the Cubs can nip this losing streak in the bud and get things going again in Texas over the weekend.  It won’t be easy, but it should be nice to be able to put Soriano in the DH spot and get a better defensive team out there with Tyler Colvin in the lineup for 3 straight days in left.  Can’t wait…

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Different Day, Same Old Story as Cubs Lose Again…

Posted on 12 May 2010 by Lou

It was a different day on the calendar for the Cubs, but the results were the same – another close loss as the Cubs offense could not deliver any clutch hits.  Randy Wells was the tough-luck loser this time around as the Cubs fell to the Marlins for a 2nd straight night, this time by just 1 run.

Let’s look at the numbers:

The Cubs have lost 7 of their last 8 games.  In 1 of the losses, the Cubs scored just 1 run.  In 5 of the losses, the Cubs managed to score 2 runs.  And in the 7th loss, the Cubs broke out and scored a whopping 3 runs.  What is going on with this team.  Right now, the Cubs have 5 starters who are hitting above the .300 mark — Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Starlin Castro.  But no one ever seems to come through with the clutch hit that breaks a game open.  The last time that happened was in the Cubs 14-7 win over the Reds 5 days ago when the rookie Castro had 2 big hits – a 3-run HR and a 3-run triple – to spark the win.  What makes it worse, the Cubs have been getting good pitching, but it seems like the starters and relievers have to be perfect or else the team will lose.  In the 7 losses, 2 have come by 1 run and 3 have come by just 2 runs.  That means a play here or a bounce that goes another way could result in a Cubs win instead of a Cubs loss.

But back to last night’s debacle.  Although Randy Wells served up early home runs to Cody Ross and Gaby Sanchez that gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead by the end of the 3rd inning, he rallied to keep his club in the game.  He ended up pitching 8 solid innings (save for the 2 home runs) and allowed just 1 walk and 1 hit from the 4th through the 8th innings.  He racked up 8 K’s and actually lowered his WHIP to 1.33 and his ERA to 4.57.

But for the 2nd straight night, the Cubs racked up more hits than the Marlins but couldn’t push across more runs as the Cubs didn’t score until the 6th inning.  Derrek Lee finally “broke out” with 2 doubles which drove in the Cubs first run in the 6th.  Marlon Byrd didn’t get a hit, but he did drive in the Cubs 2nd run in the 8th inning to pull the Cubs within 1 run of the lead.  Starlin Castro had 2 more hits in the loss and is still hitting .333.

Carlos Silva takes the bump today in the series finale hoping that he can do enough to help avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Marlins.

I’m at a loss right now.  I feel like I’ve written this type of post a thousand times already this year.  Couple that with the thousand times I wrote this similar post last year, and I’m starting to get a little sick of it.  Some teams know how to win.  Other teams don’t.  Until this team gets some confidence to know that they can win close games, we’re going to have a lot of these frustrating 1 and 2 run losses this year as the Cardinals continue to expand their lead in the NL Central.  Let’s just hope that Marlon Byrd and Castro keep up their good seasons so that we have something to cheer about…

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Aramis Ramirez Struggling

Posted on 06 May 2010 by Lou

Ouch – this is not a pleasant Cubs Fun Fact of the Day – Boy is Aramis Ramirez Really struggling.  He has really hurt the team, and Manager Lou Pinella finally dropped him to 6th in the batting order.  In Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss, Ramirez went 1 for 3 from the 6-hole, with 1 RBI on a sacrifice fly.  In Thursday’s night’s 11-1 loss, Ramirez went 0 for 4 in the 5th spot.  Ramirez s now hitting just .148 with an on-base percentage a tad over .200.  Ouch.  He has just 3 HR’s and 15 RBI’s on the season, but he has not clubbed a long ball since April 15th.  What is going on with the big fella?  I usually think of Ramirez as the Cubs most consistent offensive run-producer, but something is clearly off with Ramirez in 2010.  Ramirez opted not to have off-season surgery to repair his separated shoulder that sidelined him for 2 months in 2009.  Should he have?  Did the rehab he did in the off-season not work?

Whatever the case, the Cubs offense clearly depends on a healthy, productive cog in the middle of the lineup like Ramirez.  If that Ramirez does not show up sometime soon, we’re going to be very disappointed with another down year from the Cubs in 2010.

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Cubs Lose Another Close One to Pirates — 4-2

Posted on 06 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs lost another close game to the Pirates in Pittsburgh – 4-2 – on Wednesday night.  They look to avoid the sweep tonight as Randy Wells takes the hill.

Ted Lilly had another poor start – 6 innings pitched – 4 ER on 9 hits.  He now has a 1.35 WHIP and a 5.29 ERA.  Not good.

This time, however, the Cubs bats were limited by Charlie Morton who held the Cubs to just 5 hits and no walks in his 6 innings.  The Cubs scored their 2 runs in the 4th inning on a sacrifice fly by Aramis Ramirez and an RBI single by Mike Fontenot.  3 relievers then held the Cubs hitless from the 7th through the 9th innings.

Manager Lou Pinella has gotta be getting frustrated again – look for another Lou outburst if the Cubs get swept tonight…

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