Entering the road trip in Pittsburgh, many Cub fans were expecting a sweep. They got one. Except it wasn’t the one they were anticipating. The lowly Pirates and their payroll of roughly $34 million swept the Cubs in a big way. The Cubs only scored 4 runs in the 3 game set.
The Cubs looked to Randy Wells to salvage the final game of the 3 game set. Wells had a disastrous outing that lasted only 2 innings. Wells allowed the 1st 5 Pirates to score. Wells surrendered another 2 runs in his 2nd and last inning of work. Lou Piniella sent him to the showers after a 7-0 deficit. Wells walked 3, struck out 1 and gave up 5 hits.
The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Jeff Gray gave up 4 runs in his 2 innings of work while James Russell pitched 2 scoreless frames. Justin Burg wiggled his way out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th. John Grabow didn’t allow a hit in his scoreless 8th inning.
The Cubs mustered only 6 hits all night against 1 of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball. Chicago has a habit of making mediocre-bad pitching look like All-Stars. Xavier Nady drove in the lone Cubs’ lone run in the 7th.
The defense was awful as well. Chicago committed 3 errors during the game including 2 by Aramis Ramirez. Not only is Ramirez killing the Cubs at the plate, but it appears as if the baseball field is the last place he wants to be. Ramirez isn’t working with the Rudy Jaramillo and has no interest in hearing out the highest paid hitting coach in the game.
Sources close to the team say Ramirez has a friendly relationship with Jaramillo but when approached by the newest Cub coach, his response is and I’m paraphrasing “thanks, but no thanks.”
The Cubs have the 3rd highest payroll in all of baseball and are 3 games under .500. They have hit rock bottom and have no where to go but up.
Chicago will head to Cincinnati and will try to snap a 3 game losing streak.
Final Score: Cubs (13-16) 1 – Pirates (13-15) 11
WP: Brian Burres (2-1)
LP: Randy Wells (2-1)