Chicago Cubs 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 1: Gorzelanny Sharp in Wrigley debut

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2009

Lastings Milledge? Brian Bixler? Steve Pearce?

Seriously, I had to rub my eyes and think about it a second to confirm that the Cubs weren't playing the Indy Indians, the Pirates AAA affliate. Quite a few of these guys I saw on my last stop at Victory Field, and they weren't any good there.

So call me unimpressed at the Cubs 3-1 win over the Pirates Saturday, given the level of talent on the field. It's expected that you take two of three at home from teams like this; honestly, at this point, you're almost obligated to sweep, given the circumstances.

So perhaps if I see something closer to another 17-2 victory, I'll have kinder words tomorrow for the team in general.

But I do have a couple of kind words for some recent acquisitions—Jeff Baker and Tom Gorzelanny.

I would have preferred trade deadline acquisitions with a bit better track record, but Jim Hendry is proving yet again that his evaluation of major-league talent is very good. Excluding the Aaron Miles debacle, of course.

Gorzelanny was sharp, certainly more so than I expected him to be this season. Ball stayed down, breaking ball worked, and he didn't try to do too much. I'm troubled by the three walks in five innings of work, but he struck out eight, and from a lineup of guys who know his stuff pretty well. A

nd it's still a much better walk rate than we've seen from him over the last season and a half, which is encouraging.

And Jeff Baker? Well, it's amazing how quickly a player can be relegated to "Who?" status, as is the case with Mike Fontenot. After yesterday's 2-4 day, inlcuding a solo homer, I'd look for Baker to keep that second base job full-time for about as long as he wants.

How much confidence does Lou Piniella have in him right now? Baker batted fifth, and still produced.

Good stuff, especially against a good pitcher in Pirates starter Zach Duke. Now, hopefully they'll finish the job Sunday and sweep this team out of town.


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