Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gorzelanny shines as Cubs coast

Tom Gorzelanny threw seven and a third innings giving up just one earned run against the Reds Tuesday night in his Cubs debut earning the win as the Cubs rolled 6-3. Gorzelanny piled up six strikeouts against just one walk, making me look like a fool in the process for my "Gorzelanny is garbage" comment shortly after he was traded to the Cubs.

Hey, I'll be the first one to admit I was wrong if Gorzelanny can keep this up, especially the K/BB. Facing a punchless Reds lineup, it's not as if he mowed down the '27 Yankees, though Gorzelanny did handle the Reds super star in the making Joey Votto with ease, striking him out twice; once on a fastball in the first and fooling him with good change in the next at bat as Votto went 0-3 against him. Gorzelanny's fastball sat comfortably at 88 mph, ranging anywhere between 85-90 during the course of the night. He also mixed in a lot of sliders at around 82 along with the change-up.

Kosuke Fukudome got things started with his first career lead-off home run, his eighth jack of the year. He has quietly had a bounce-back season, raising his overall line to .273/.388/.451/.839 after posting a line of .257/.359/.379/.738 in 2008. Improvement across the board but especially in the slugging department, raising his slugging percentage by 72 points, a trend consistent with other Japanese players (Hideki Matsui went from slugging .435 in his first major league season up to .522 the following year and settling in comfortably in the upper .400's ever since). Dome's 101 point raise in OPS is simply pure boo ya. Keep it up Kosuke.

The game was 6-0 to begin the eighth and looked to be in cruise control until the bullpen took over. My defense of the bullpen looks "shaky" as Marshall allowed a stranded runner score on a hit to Votto, the run charged to Gorzelanny. Then after Guzman finishined off the eighth with a strikeout, he was hit around in the ninth giving up a double and a homer, making the game look closer than it was. Just blips on the radar, nothing to worry about here, move along now. Yeah, yeah "shaky" bullpen. They'll have their justice.

Well, the Cardinals just rallied to win in extras, so it's still a tie for first place. Only a matter of time though. Until then, sing it with me now, "Go Cubs gooo, Go Cubs goooo..."

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