Thread for Games 142, 143 / Cubs @ Reds
Update: We decided to try the losing thing all over again. A brutal, brutal, brutal 9th inning made possible by Kerry Wood's lack of control, Ronny Cedeno's inability to field a ground ball, and the offense's inability to take advantage of the myriad opportunities it had to crush a horrible team.
Good news—the Brewers lost and nearly got themselves perfect-gamed by Chris Young of the Padres, thus ending a 2-5 homestand which included a four-game split with San Diego. What's more galling: splitting four with the Padres at home or losing two of three to the Reds in Cincinnati? (There appeared to be so many Cub fans at the Great American Ballpark this weekend, I think these games should go against our home record.)
Update: The losing streak is over; the winning streak has begun.
Jason Marquis gave up just two ER over 7 1/3 Saturday night, and Cub hitters beat the Cub bullpen, 14-7.
Micah Hoffpauir started in right field, and Dave van Dyck writes that former Rookie of the Year candidate Kosuke Fukudome may want to get used to the view from the dugout.
If adversity really does build character, the Cubs are on their way to having a locker room full of Albert Schweitzers and Abraham Lincolns. Since August turned into September, the Cubbies, losers of six in a row for the first time since last June, are hitting .228 and the pitchers have a cumulative 6.32 ERA.
Saturday: Jason Marquis (9-8, 4.46; first appearance vs. Reds in '08) vs. Johnny Cueto (8-12, 4.65; 1-2, 3.66 vs. Cubs in '08)
Against the Astros last time out, Marquis whiffed a season-high 8 and allowed just 2 ER and 5 hits over 6 IP, though he took a loss. Cueto makes his first start since 8/24, when he suffered an elbow strain. Not coincidentally, perhaps, the 22-year-old Cueto is about to break his personal professional high for innings pitched in a season (155 IP so far against a previous high of 161.1 last year as he rose from 'A' ball to Triple-A).
Sunday: Sean Marshall (3-4, 4.03; 0-0, 6.00 in 3 IP vs. Reds in '08) vs. Aaron Harang (4-15, 4.24; 0-3, 7.27 vs. Cubs in '08)
Young Marshall fills in once again for Carlos Zambrano after the lefty had a bumpy 5 1/3-inning go last week against the Phillies (9 hits and 5 ER). Harang is 1-4 since his own visit to the Disabled List with forearm problems, but has a 2.84 ERA over his last three outings.