Tom Gorzelanny deserved better.
Despite having almost no stuff nor command in the first three innings, in which he walked three, hit a batter, and allowed a home run to a hitter (Ryan Hanigan) who had seven career HR in 541 PA before today, Gorz settled down and at one point, retired 12 straight Reds and kept his team in the game. His seven-inning, four-hit, three-runs-allowed appearance was the Cubs' 66th quality start of the season (second only to the Giants) and Gorz's ninth QS in 16 games started.
The Cubs got nothing off Bronson Arroyo and two Reds relievers and were shut out by the Reds 3-0; Cincinnati now leads the Cubs by 14.5 games and is 8-3 against the North Siders this season.
The Cubs, in fact, have been horrific within the NL Central this year. They're 20-33 inside the division and 27-29 against everyone else -- this, after going 47-32 against NL Central teams in 2009. It's completely inexplicable. Admittedly, this team isn't as good as last year's bunch, but even that flawed team managed to win at least 10 games last year against everyone in the Central except the division-winning Cardinals). Why the turnaround inside the division but not outside? Last year's Cubs were 36-46 against teams not in the NL Central and look like they'll play about that way again in 2010. It's ... weird.
About the only real criticism I can give of today's effort is this: with runners on second and third and nobody out in the fifth inning, you have to, just have to, score at least one run. I realize the pitcher is due up -- not sure if a squeeze is the right call there, but even if he makes an easy out (which he did, striking out), you still have a good shot at one run with the top of the order up.
Tyler Colvin needs to learn situational hitting in that scenario. Hit a ground ball to the right side, you've got a run. Hit a fly ball medium-deep to the outfield, you've got a run. Instead, he popped up, and apart from a slight bit of excitement with a couple of walks off Francisco Cordero in the ninth inning, that was it for any sort of offense from the Cubs on a beautiful, low-humidity afternoon with the wind blowing in and the occasional fair-weather cloud covering the field.
Admittedly, it's getting difficult to write these recaps with the team having no realistic hope of getting back in the race. All I'd really like to see is some good effort and maybe a few wins like the one on Wednesday. There was good effort from Tom Gorzelanny today. The offense, not so much. They'll try it again tomorrow behind Randy Wells.