Petco Park | 2:20 | Maholm vs. Jason Marquis | Box
It is over in Wrigley. Paul Maholm was ineffective, as was Jason Marquis. Aramis Ramirez hit a pair of three run bombs. Xavier Nady drove in three with a pair of RBI ground outs and a solo homer.
Ramirez’ second homer put the Cubs up for good. It came after Freddy Sanchez dropped a double play flip from Matt Kata. Jack Wilson missed the game to be with his wife, who just gave birth, and Cesar Izturis left the game with an injury. I don’t know if Sanchez’ general lack of familiarity with Kata played a role in the dropped toss or not.
Buccos have now lost seven in a row.
It would be nice to avoid a 90 loss season. It doesn’t seem likely. After being swept by the Padres, the Pirates invade Wrigleyville and the first place Cubs.
Jason Marquis goes for the North Siders. Don’t look now, but he is durable and somewhat effective. This is the fourth straight year that he has reached 12 wins. Last season was a bad one for him in terms of his ERA. But, he is better than average this year.
Marquis is 2-1 against the Pirates in 2007. That includes his second career shutout. He has a 2.91 ERA against the Pirates in 2007. He is 8-3 with a 4.01 ERA in Wrigley this year. For his career against the Buccos, he is 5-5 with a 3.63 ERA. All-time in Wrigley he is 9-6 with a 4.25 ERA. While the majority of the Pirates lineup has struggled mightily against Marquis, Jason Bay has crushed him. Bay is 13-34 with four homers and 9 RBI. The rest:
Jose Bautista – 2-10
Jose Castillo – 1-13
Adam LaRoche – 2-17
Nate McLouth – 3-10
Xavier Nady – 2-11
Freddy Sanchez – 3-20
Jack Wilson – 7-37
If there is good news in any of that it is that Sanchez, LaRoche, Nady and McLouth have all gone yard against Marquis.
Minding the bump for the Buccos is Paul Maholm. He has beaten the Cubs twice in 2007 despite not pitching particularly well in either contest. He allowed 8 earned runs in 14-1/3 innings tossed. He’s coming off the worst outing of his career, though. He gave up more runs (10) than he retired batters (8). For his career against the Wriglies he is unbeaten in four decisions with a 4.94 ERA. He is 3-0 with a 4.74 ERA in Chicago, the only visiting park in which he has more than two victories for his career.
Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano have both homered off of Maholm. Ramirez is the only Cub with more than three career hits off him. Derrek Lee is 3-14 against him.
Buccos in Wrigley:
Jose Bautista – 6-34
Jason Bay – 21-101 with seven homers
Jose Castillo – 20-73
Cesar Izturis – 30-143
Matt Kata – 5-21
Adam LaRoche – 7-36 with three homers
Nate McLouth – 5-22 with three homers
Xavier Nady – 24-68
Ronny Paulino – 12-38 with three homers
Josh Phelps – no appearances
Freddy Sanchez – 18-62
Jack Wilson – 38-159
Thursday Night Thoughts
I’m in a hotel in Chicago right now as I write this. There isn’t high speed access in each of the rooms. So, I’m in the business center in order to access the WWW. Just a few moments ago a guy walked in and if it was 1974 I would’ve sworn it was former A’s third baseman Sal Bando. Thick black hair and a big bushy mustache. But he was wearing Cubs stuff.