Inside Pitch: Ramirez Looking Ahead

Aramis Ramirez

Aramis Ramirez is not looking back. He is looking ahead.

Ramirez opened a three-game series at Philadelphia on Monday night with a two-homer, seven-RBI night, bringing his season totals to 35 homers and 110 RBIs.

Those numbers are respectable, and with an "out" clause in his four-year contract this winter, he could find some huge money on the free agent market.

But many Cubs fans gripe that those numbers are tainted and that he was a non-factor in April and May when the Cubs lost Derrek Lee to an injury and went into a downward spiral.

"I don't think about that right now," Ramirez said. "I can't even remember what my approach was in April. I have to take it from here. I can't think about April."

And he said he is not thinking about the "out" clause either. He has two more years remaining on his deal that will make him more than $11 million per year. The Cubs and Ramirez's agents are rumored to be in the preliminary stages of renegotiating his deal.

REPLAY: After scoring 22 runs in the previous two games, the Cubs offense went back into a funk, scoring just one run in a 4-1 defeat to Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.

Matt Murton's 13th homer of the year provided the only offense the Cubs could muster as they fell to 62-90.

NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Wade Miller, making his third start since coming back from elbow surgery, pitched just 4 2/3 innings against Philadelphia on Tuesday night but allowed only one earned run and struck out eight. He also walked four batters, which helped jack up his pitch total to 92.

--SS Ronny Cedeno kept his career-high hitting streak alive at 13 games in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Philadelphia.

--RHP Juan Mateo, who left Friday's game with back trouble after three innings, is scheduled to make his start against Philadelphia on Wednesday. If he isn't feeling right before the game, RHP Angel Guzman will be on call to make the start.

--SS Cesar Izturis continues to miss time because of a right hamstring injury, and manager Dusty Baker is not sure when he will be able to return to the starting lineup.

--RHP Ryan Dempster, who has allowed 12 runs in an 11-appearance stretch, has been advised by manager Dusty Baker to cut down on the use of his slider. Baker feels an inconsistent slider has led to many of the closer's woes, including missing the strike zone.

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