- Monday September 1st – Wrigley Field
- Game (138): Astros 3 – Cubs 0
- Record (85-53) – 1st place NL Central
The skinny: Last September 1st I was sitting two rows behind home plate at Wrigley Field for a game against the Astros.
I could smell Alfonso Soriano in the on-deck circle. He reeks of money.
Coincidentally, Jason Marquis was on the hill facing rookie left-hander Troy Patton (now with Baltimore).
Marquis tossed 6.2 innings of 2-R baseball and the Cubs edged Houston 4-3 to keep a 1.5 G lead over Milwaukee in the division.
Of course, the Cubs’ lineup looked a lot different than it did today: Ryan Dempster notched his 24th save, Bob Howry had a respectable 3.61 ERA, Jason Kendall was catching, Craig Monroe was in right field and Jacque Jones manned center.
Fast forward to today…Marquis goes 6 innings, allows 2-R, but falls 3-0 against the Astros.
Now, I’ve been hard on Marquis all season, but, despite any comments about the right-hander’s inconsistency, the Cubs just don’t score runs when he’s on the bump.
Take for instance Marquis’ lowest point this season – a four game losing streak from June 26th to August 1st – the Cubs scored one or fewer runs in five of his six starts.
No pitcher wins games with that kind of offensive output.
And although I wouldn’t mind seeing Samardzija replace Jason in the rotation, I hand it to Marquis for being a gammer: he’s lasted into the sixth inning in his last 10 starts while posting a (5-3) road record.
Yet, it’s the same old story for Marquis this afternoon: Cubs get shutout on four hits.
Granted, Roy Oswalt was hurling for Houston, but it’s not like the Cubs have been efficient at the plate lately either.
Since Soriano’s game-winning bomb Friday, the Cubs have strung together 27 consecutive singles without an extra base hit.
On the bright side, Jon Lieber is back after an extended trip on the DL; his return is a huge plus for this bullpen (2-3, 3.43 ERA).
And, Koyie Hill is back after his horrific off season accident in which he severely severed the fingers on his right throwing hand.
W – Oswalt (13-9) – Valverde (38)
L – Marquis (9-8)
- Notes: Here are the September call ups: IF Micah Hoffpauir, IF Casey McGehee, C Koyie Hill & RP Michael Wuertz.
- Also, pitchers Angel Guzman & Jon Lieber were both activated from the DL.
- Chicago has not lost three straight home games since August last year: Mets (0-1), Cincinnati (0-2).
- Jason Marquis is (7-3) during day games and (2-5) under the lights.
- Esquire Magazine put together a list of the best performances singing the national anthem at a sporting event. Ron Messmer’s singing of the anthem at the 1991 NHL All Star game is in the top five.