The Chicago Cubs had no answer for Roy Oswalt and the Houston Astros. Oswalt, who has been the lone bright spot for Houston, stymied the Cubs offense all game. Oswalt shutout the Cubs through 7 innings allowing only 5 hits. Houston’s ace showed great command, walking 0 and striking out 6 Cub batters.
Trailing by 4, Chicago’s offense finally woke up in the 8th inning. Chicago hit a trio of doubles (Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Alfonso Soriano) to cut the lead to 1. It was too little, too late for the Cubs as Matt Lindstrom shut the door in the 9th to extinguish any hope of a Chicago walk-off win.
On the other side of the ball, the Cubs were looking to get another solid start from Tom Gorzelanny. Unfortunately, Gorzelanny had to be removed from the game after only 3 innings, after taking a rocket line drive to his throwing shoulder. Early word is that Gorzelanny is okay and is day-to-day.
Gorzelanny allowed 2 runs in his 3 innings of work while 4 Cub relievers combined for 6 innings allowing 2 runs. Sean Marshall continued to pitch fantastic. The Cubs reliever struck out the side in the 9th with that nasty curve-ball.
Alfonso Soriano dropped another fly ball to add to his league leading 3rd error in the outfield. Soriano is tied with the rest of the left fielders in the entire National League in errors. The Cubs will need to start answering questions justifying why Soriano is still starting. They claim that salary doesn’t dictate playing time, but clearly it’s keeping Soriano in the starting lineup.
If Gorzelanny doesn’t wind up on the disabled list, he might be headed for the bullpen when Ted Lilly returns to the starting rotation. Lou Piniella stated that when Lilly returned, that either Carlos Silva or Gorzelanny would be moved to the bullpen. Thus far, Silva has been the surprise of the season and has out-pitched Gorzelanny. With Gorzelanny in the ‘pen, Chicago will have a surplus of lefties.
The team may have t0 make a roster move, either through a trade or the farm system to bring in a power right-hander. Chicago was hoping Jeff Samardzija would be that power right-hander, but unfortunately the “Shark” has been a disaster due to his inconsistency.
Final Score: Cubs (5-6) 3 – Astros (2-9) 4
WP: Roy Oswalt (1-2)
LP: Tom Gorzelanny (0-1)
S: Matt Lindstrom (1)
The Cubs will go for the series victory tomorrow in the rubber-match. Ryan Dempster will throw for Chicago while looking for his 2nd win on the season. The Astros will counter with the incosistent Wandy Rodriguez (0-2).