I don’t know what it is, but the Cubs can’t hit lefties. They could not win and grab a share of first place against the idle Brewers and are now trailing them by a game. I believe that this series with the Phillies, then the Mets, Astros, and Rockies are going to determine the outcome of the Cubs season. Philly has the second-best record in the National League since June 3, and have won 9 of their last 10. With Milwaukee playing the Mets at home, the Cubs have to stand their ground.
Lilly Not Sharp
Ted Lilly had won six straight games and seven of his last eight, but was tagged for four runs and seven hits in five innings against the Phillies. It was his first loss since June 5. He never was able to get the feel for his curve ball and struggled all night. He gave up two home runs to two ex-White Sox; Aaron Rowand and Tadahito Iguchi. After beating the White Sox in the crosstown series five games to six, I’m sure Sox fans were loving this. Rowand hit a three run shot and Iguchi hit a solo shot. That was all the Phillies needed, as Cole Hamels allowed one run and three hits, struck out eight and walked two. Hamels retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, and also set down his last nine batters. The Cubs only managed one run, on a Ryan Theriot solo home run in the sixth. Theriot had two hits on the night and Aramis Ramirez had the other. No other Cubs had a hit. The Cubs are 1-5 against lefties this month, and 9-16 against lefties for the season. Somethings got to change. Since nobody, other than Soriano and Ramirez, had a hit, I am not going to get on Soriano, but after tonight’s 0-5 performance, I want to see what he does tomorrow. I also want to see how the Phillies bounce back after losing two more players to injuries tonight. The biggest blow for the Phillies came when starting right fielder Shane Victorino strained his right calf trying to beat out a double play in the fourth inning and will have a precautionary MRI exam on Tuesday. His replacement, Michael Bourn, stumbled over the bullpen mound chasing a Soriano foul ball. After laying on the ground for several minutes with the team trainer checking on him, he got up and stayed in the game, but was taken out in the seventh with a left ankle sprain. Bourn will gets X-rays on Tuesday. Victorino has an amazing arm and this the Phillies will miss him, but they have seemed to have carried on fine after losing All Star second baseman Chase Utley.
Nail Biting Time
It was tough having our number two starter lose this game. The Cubs need their 3,4, and 5 pitchers; Marquis, Hill, and Marshall, to win the series for them. That doesn’t make me feel confident, especially when they have to face crafty veteran lefty Jaimie Moyer on Wednesday. I will be at that game, so I will try to bring them some good luck. Let’s hope the bats come alive, especially Soriano’s and the pitching holds together. We need to get the offense going again.