Shutout again (Game Recap: Cubs 0, Pirates 2)
The Cubs failed to score yesterday, as Pirates Mike Lincoln, Joel Hanrahan, and Octavio Dotel combined for the shutout. Having said that, let's review the Cubs' best scoring chances from yesterday:
- In the second inning, Derrek Lee reached on a hit-by-pitch, and advanced to 2nd on an Aramis Ramirez ground out. Alfonso Soriano grounded out, and Koyie Hill lined out.
- Mike Fontenot singles to lead off the fourth. Marlon Byrd strikes out, and Derrek Lee lines into a double play.
(Through four, the Pirates faced 13 batters, one above the minimum.)
- In the fifth, Aramis Ramirez led off with a single. After a Soriano fly out and Koyie Hill strikeout, Starlin Castro hit a double, advancing Ramirez to third.
This was probably the best chance of the night. Castro's fast, so a base knock could easily have given the Cubs two runs. No pressure for pinch hitter Tyler Colvin, who quickly went down 0-2 after swinging at two decent-looking low sliders, fought back to 3-2, and then swung at another low slider. Hey, he battled, guessed strike on 3-2, was wrong, and missed. Sucks.
- Quickly: Fuk led off the sixth with a walk, but the next three batters grounded out; Aramis led off the seventh with a single but Hill GInonforceDP, and Byrd singled with one out in the ninth before Lee and Ramirez flew out.
The moral of the story: you need more than singles, a couple of walks, and some productive outs to score runs. (And apparently, some guys need more than a double to score from first with two outs -- I'm just sayin'.)
Tom Gorzelanny started the game, and his control wasn't top notch, but what can you expect from a guy who's spent the last month or whatever it's been getting rusty out in the bullpen? Regardless, he pitched 3.1 solid innings last time the Cubs called his number, and in last night's game he managed to post five shutout innings, with five strikeouts. Furthermore, his velocity chart at Fangraphs shows that he touched 95 last night, and managed to average something in the 93mph range. They say the team receiving the best player wins the trade, and if that's true, I'd happily give up Jose Ascanio, Kevin Hart and I think there was one more guy? for Gorzo 10 times out of 10. I hope he sticks around for a few years, he's a talented dude.
Andrew Cashner got a sort of tough luck loss last night -- unlucky in part because his team hadn't scored AT ALL before he came in, and in part because the two runs he gave up were unearned. He did allow a single and a double, so it's not like it wasn't his fault at all, but it woulda been nice if Aramis Ramirez could have avoided making an error, too.
Well guys, that's about all she, or, I, rather, wrote. At least Tom Gorzelanny is good!