The Pirates (21-31) have had their way with the Cubs (24-28) this season. That trend continued again on Memorial Day as the Cubs fell to 1-6 vs. the Pirates this season.
Chicago sent Randy Wells back to the mound on Monday just a couple days after his implosion vs. St. Louis. Since Wells only pitched to 6 batters on Friday, Wells was working on shorter rest but didn’t need his 5 days. Wells pitched much better this time around, not allowing a run in 5 innings.
On Sunday, Lou Piniella vowed to make changes to his lineup. There were changes. For example, Ryan Theriot was benched and Mike Fontenot replaced him. However, the lineup looked very similar to normal including the struggling Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez locked into the 3 and 4 holes.
The Cubs have struggled all year scoring runs especially with men on base. Monday was no different. Chicago’s offense was only able to muster 4 hits off of Pittsburgh’s pitching staff. The only Cubs’ run came in the 2nd when Geovany Soto grounded out which allowed Alfonso Soriano to score.
The Cubs’ bullpen took over in the 6th. James Russell surrendered a solo shot off the bat of Garrett Jones in the 6th. Jeff Stevens and Bob Howry combined 1.1 scoreless innings. The normally sure-handed lefty Sean Marshall (5-2) took the loss for the Cubs. Marshall allowed the winning RBI single to Bobby Crosby in the 8th.
Andrew Cashner was called up before the game and took John Grabow’s roster spot. Grabow was placed on the disabled list. Casher was the Cubs’ 1st round pick (19th overall) in the 2008 draft and has been lights out in AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa as both a starter and a reliever.
Cashner made his season debut in the bottom of the 8th with 2 outs. The exciting farmhand retired the only batter he faced and made it look easy.
Octavio Dotel recorded his 11th save by striking out Ryan Theriot and stranding Starlin Castro on 1st.
Ted Lilly (1-4) is scheduled to take the ball for the Cubs on Tuesday. The Pirates’ starter hasn’t been announced. Lilly pitched 7 quality innings against the Dodgers last week but didn’t figure in the decision.