Can’t say I’m surprised. Brandon Webb is an excellent pitcher, and keeps everything down. The Cubs don’t seem able to hit pitchers like him. One game story is here.
The story of tonight’s game, I think, was the Cubs’ inability to drive in runners. Twice they had a runner on second with nobody out (once with the top of the order coming up) and couldn’t do anything. Finally in the sixth they got to Webb a little bit, and he gave up two hits and two walks, to tie the game at 1.
Then Piniella took out Zambrano, who was in a nice groove, and inserted Marmol, so that Zambrano could pitch on Sunday with three days’ rest. First batter, Reynolds, hits a home run. It’s hard to criticize Piniella though. His management this year of both his bullpen, and his entire roster, has been excellent.
Of course, if they had more guys like Ryan Theriot, they might be able to do something against pitchers like Webb. Theriot doesn’t swing to hit homers, and makes contact frequently, and had their only RBI tonight, on an infield hit with the bases loaded. He is also an excellent baserunner, a very steady fielder, and the consummate team player.
Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker had no use for Theriot last year. He’s not managing, anywhere, right now, and has taken his pearls of wisdom to the broadcast world. Draw your own conclusions.
Tomorrow’s pitchers: Ted Lilly (15-8, 3.83) for the Cubs and Doug Davis (13-12, 4.25) for the D-backs.