Inside Pitch: Rusch Faces Uphill Battle

Rusch recovering from blood clot

Glendon Rusch is not ready to call it a career just yet.

But the Cubs left-hander knows it will be a steep uphill climb to return to action after he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his right lung two weeks ago and spent a week in a hospital.

Rusch, who has another year left on his contract, said Tuesday that he will be on medication for a minimum of six months and possibly as long as 12 months.

The worst-case scenario is that he has to miss the 2007 season, but he is not thinking about retirement.

"I haven't gotten that far yet," Rusch said. "I would hate to make any decisions until I know what it's going to do in the future. I would love to play longer, but we'll see what happens."

REPLAY: The Cubs took a lead that even their recently leaky bullpen couldn't blow. They had a 10-3 lead over the Brewers after six innings and hung on for a 14-6 victory Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. In their previous two games, they dropped 3-2 and 5-4 decisions when their bullpen faltered in the late innings.

Henry Blanco had a career-high four hits and four RBIs. Jacque Jones had three hits including a homer, Matt Murton reached base five times and John Mabry homered. Sean Marshall (6-9) picked up his first victory since July 5.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • LHP Sean Marshall, who had not completed five innings in his previous three starts, gave up three runs in six innings against Milwaukee to earn his first win since July 5. He is hoping to land a spot in the 2007 rotation after making 24 starts this year.

  • LHP Rich Hill, who likely worked his way into the starting rotation in 2007 after pitching well in August and September, will get his final start Wednesday night against Milwaukee. In five September starts, he has averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings.

  • 3B Aramis Ramirez sat out a start Tuesday because of an injury to his right quadriceps muscle. The Cubs are not sure how long he will be out.

  • 3B Scott Moore started Tuesday night in place of Aramis Ramirez, who has an injured right quadriceps. If Ramirez is out for the next few games, Moore will get the call. He had been a third baseman for Double-A West Tenn this year but has played some backup first base since being called up at the beginning of the month.

  • RF Jacque Jones, who missed all four starts of the Cincinnati series because he spent the first three days to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter, started Tuesday against Milwaukee and homered in the third inning -- his 27th of the season, tying a career high.
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