Phillies 57-51 -4.0/-1.0
Cubs 57-50, 0.0 (tied)/-0.5
POTG: RP Rocky Cherry (2.1 IP, 2 H, BB, 0 R, 2 K)
Runner Up: Michael Wuertz (2 IP, H, 2 BB, K, 0 R), CF Jacque Jones (2 H, RBI), 2B Mike Fontenot (R, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB), 3B A Ram (2B, BB), 1B D Lee (2 R, 2 2B, RBI, BB), SS Ryan Theriot (2 H, RBI), LF Soriano (3 H, 2B, 2 R)
And this is why you wait till the last moment to put Kerry Wood back on the roster. Can you imagine if they had to try and get him thru multiple innings? As it worked out, the situation with Cherry was perfect – he pitched good, and the Cubs used him in this game for as long as they could, knowing it wouldn’t matter if how long he was unavailable. I didn’t list Eyre up there, but he did a good job, as did Cherry and Wuertz. It wasn’t going to win this game, regardless of Ohman’s performance, because the offense just couldn’t get all the way back, but they greatly improved the chances of the Cubs winning Friday’s game – Dempster, Marmol and Howry should be fresh, and Wood will be available.
It was pretty incredible to think the Cubs might come back and win this game, given the early hole, but the Phillies bullpen wasn’t looking pretty worn out by the end of this series and that helped a lot. The Cubs were just lacking the one big hit from cracking everything open, but to be able to rationally believe they had a chance from where they were is pretty noteworthy in itself. This team seems to be getting on base a lot and giving itself chances.
The lack of power is still very worrisome:
July: 374 (13 HR/last in the league)
All the doubles this month have them up to 486, but it’s 2 games.
It’s not a huge problem, because the Cubs did pretty fine for themselves for July, but it’s a place were they can improve and pick up ground.
2-2 thru one series. If they can win the next, they’re right at 4-3, and this homestand is a success.