They may not have beaten CC, but they effectively did in the first game of a four game set in Milwaukee the last week of July. The Cubs went on to hang Sheets out to dry and took the remaining two games for the four game sweep.
The series proved a couple of things: CC and Sheets aren’t a powerful one-two punch as many people believe. It wasn’t that the Cubs bats started to come alive or that they got lucky. Both pitchers made mistakes and it cost them. It also proved that the Brewers “ain’t all that” and that relying on the long ball will only get you so far when the opposing team’s pitchers are on the mark.
The majority of the Cubs runs scored over the series came from hits. Thursday’s game was the sole exception when Cubs hitters connected for four home runs, bringing in nine of the Cubs 11 runs..
No offense Brewer fans, solid pitching will only get you so far if your team can’t get clutch hitting. Your batters looked confused. They weren’t playing smart offense. And it cost you some Cubs pitching mistakes.
Rich Harden also got his first win as a Cub. And Dempster and Zambrano both improved to their records to 12-4 for the reason.
Who would have thought that the aces of the staff would be Dempster and Zambrano at this point. With Harden, who’s averaged nearly 10 strikeouts a game… this makes for a deadly combination.
The Cubs came back home on Friday for an eight game home stand. The lowly Pirates who traded a way some big names in July beat the Cubs 3-0. This was the Cubs first home game shut out this season.
The Cubs remain atop the Central Division with a 4 game lead over the Brewers and Cardinals. The Brewers have a .001 advantage over the Cardinals.
In other news, the Cubs did try to trade away Jason Marquis but were unable to find a buyer. WONDER WHY?????
I had heard rumors over the weekend that the Cubs were working to get Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from the A’s. Harden’s a good quality starter with a low ERA and the ability to strike out almost 11 per game. The Cubs don’t give up much in return with Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and catcher Josh Donaldson going to the A’s.
A nice way to match the Brewers CC Sabathia. A Zambrano-Harden combition is almost as lethel as a Sheets-Sabathia.
Here come the Cubs in 2008!