Well, we weren’t going to win every single game, but it kind of felt like we would. The Cubs saw their six game winning streak come to an end at the hands of Rockies’ sinkerballer Aaron Cook. Those red hot bats finally cooled, that great defense had a costly error, and a real weakness of the team was exposed. I am still happy with a split against Colorado. Everytime you roll through that lineup, it is full of great hitters. Helton, Holliday, Atkins, Hawpe, Tulowitzki. Just scary, and the Cubs still won the first game and came close to winning the second game. The Cubs just need to bounce back against the Nationals.
Jason Marquis gave the Cubs a quality start, going seven innings, and giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo home
run to Chris Iannetta in the seventh inning to pur the Rockies ahead 2-1 in the seventh. Nice to see Marquis have a quality start.
“I feel like I’m taking a step in the right direction,” Marquis said. “I’ve been working hard between starts to be as consistent as possible. I’m trying to be real aggressive in the strike zone and make good pitches.”
On the flip side, Cook was able to cool off the hot Cubs’ bats. Therior, Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome, and DeRosa all went hitless. When your 2-6 hitters don’t get any hits, you aren’t going to win many games. Yet, even with such a bad offense day, the Cubs were still very much in it and had a chnace to win the game. Down 2-1 in the top of the eighth, the Cubs looked like they would pull off another miracle win. Geovany Soto started out the eighth with a single and Ronnie Cedeno came in to pinch run. Felix Pie, the only Cub with multiple hits on the day, hit a single up the middle to put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Daryl Ward drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Mike Fontenot hit a groundball towards second base, but he hustled to first to break up the double play. With the game tied and only one out and Derek Lee on deck, Ryan Theriot hit the ball right at first baseman Todd Helton, who doubled off Fontenot to end the inning. Wednesday night, Theriot gets it past Helton for the game winning hit and he’s a hero. On Thursday it ended a potential big inning for the Cubs.
With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs big weakness so far was exposed.
The Cubs starters, other than Zambrano, have struggled to get past the fifth inning. Lilly, Hill, Dempster, and Marquis have only been going four or five innings, putting a lot of miles on the Cubs bullpen. Every one of the Cubs bullpen staff has pitched ten or mroe innings. Not only that, but two of them are really struggling, Kevin Hart and Michael Wuertz. Wuertz was second in the league in stranding inherited baserunners last season, behind his teammate Carlos Marmol. This season, Wuertz has ptiched 10.1 innings , given up 12 hits, seven earned runs, and three home runs. Hart came up late last season and looked impressive, making the playoff roster over Jason Marquis, but this season he has struggled. Hart took the loss today, but it wasn’t entirely his fault.
In the bottom of the eight, Hart gave up a leadoff double to Holliday. Atkins grounded out to short, moving Holliday to third. Lou then had Hart intentionally walk Brad Hawpe to get to Troy Tulowitzki. Hart did exactly what he was supposed to, get Tulowitzki to ground into an inning ending double play, but Theriot dropped the exchange from Theriot, allowing the go ahead run to score. Ryan Spilborgh hit a two-out, RBI single gave the Rockies another run and giving the Rockies a 4-2 lead. After the game, Theriot admitted to rushing the play;
“Yeah, you’re trying to rush it,” Theriot said. “If you don’t turn it, they score. So of course you’re trying to do it pretty quick. But the bottom line is you gotta catch the ball first and see what happens.”
The 136 Million Dollar Question
Alfonso Soriano told reporters he won’t be going to the minors to rehab from his right calf injury he suffered on April 15th.
”Last year I didn’t do a rehab [assignment after a quadriceps injury], and this year I won’t do a rehab,” said Soriano, who fared well in his first on-field batting practice since last week’s injury.”
In his absence, the Cubs are 8-2. When he was leading off for the Cubs, they were 7-4. NOt a huge difference, but what the Cubs have enjoyed is Reed Johson’s presence at leadoff. Johnson is an ideall leadoff hitter, taking pitches, able to bunt, and has a high on base percentage. Johnson is hitting .311 with a .394 on base percentage. He also has a team first philosophy. When he is behind in the count, he chokes up on that bat and makes contact. He really makes pitchers work and is a pesky out. Soriano is an All Star, but people have always questioned if he should hit leadoff, especially since the leg injuries he
suffered last year. He swings at a lot of bad pitches and he is a very streaky hitter. When he’s hot, he can carry the team on his back, but when he’s cold, he looks really bad. So with Soriano coming off the DL on May 1st, what will happen to Johnson? Will he platoon with Pie, or is that a bad idea since Pie seems to be hitting the ball al little better lately? One thing that we know, Lou has to bat Soriano in the leadoff spot. He mopes when he doesn’t bat lead off and then becomes an automatic out in the middle of the lineup. Lou tried it earlier in the year and quickly pulled the plug on that experiment. Lou told reporters that as soon as Soriano is ready, he is back in the leadoff spot;
”We want to make sure that he can do all the things that a leadoff hitter needs to do,” Piniella said. ”We don’t want to take any chances here early in the year, bringing him back too soon, and all of a sudden we’ve got another problem on our hands. But, yeah, when he comes back, he’ll go to left field and lead off.”
You know Cubs fans aren’t going to tbe happy with this, but there is a reason that Lou is 14th on the all time list for winningest managers. I know that somehow, someway, he will do the right thing.
The Cubs need to get a new winning streak started on Friday when they head to the Capital to face the Washington Nationals. Despite a new ballpark, the Nats haven’t been too impressive. The Nats will throw three lefties against the Cubs. That means Johnson will lead off for those three games. Ryan Dempster takes on lefty Odalis Perez. Dempster hasn’t lost a game and Perez hasn’t won a game. Perez has pitched well and has been a victim of horrible run support and bad defense. Zambrano will take on Matt Chico in the second game of the series and Lilly will square off against John Lannan for the finale. Let’s get back to our winning ways!
Ladies and gentleman, if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m going to be honest with you, I really thought the Cubs were going to lose this game. No one gets this lucky. No one gets this many clutch hits. Sooner or later the breaks stop going your way. I wasn’t that disappointed, with the Cubs having won five in a row. But wait!!!! The Cubs were having none of that, came back, and stole a game from the Rockies. The Cubs won an unbelievable ballgame tonight, 7-6 in extra innings to become only the second team in MLB history to reach the 10,000 win milestone. If this is one of my beautiful Cubs dreams, don’t wake me up! Let me sleep!!
I don’t even no where to start. How about the Cubs hitting to triples, one from Fukudome and one from Lee? How about Lee and Soto having four hit nights. How about that homer by Soto in that second? How about Rich Hill and the Cubs leading 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth before giving up five runs and going through four pitchers?
Could you believe that the Cubs had the bases loaded in the top of the seventh with only one
out and one runner already in, before DeRosa lined out and D-Lee was doubled off second? That should have been the ballgame. All momentum should have gone to the Rockies. The Cubs should have just hung their heads and given up? But no, this team has fight. After Bob Howry set down Holliday, Atkins and Hawpe in order in the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs had one more chance to win it. Derek Lee started off the inning with a single. Then to the surprise of Len and Bob, every member of Cubs nation, and Derek Lee himself, Lou pulled him for a pinch runner, Felix Pie. No pinch runner was needed as Aramis jacked one to deep left center off of Manny Corpas, who blew a game the night before, to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead.
Kerry Wood came in to close it out, and looked phenomenal, getting Tulowitzky and Torreabla out on consecutive strikeouts. But then Rockies manager Clint Hurdle put in long time Cubs nemisis Scott Podsednick into the game. Podsednick killed the Cubs when he was a Brewer, killed the Cubs when he was with the White Sox, and now he was standing at home plate against Wood. I knew he would score. Podsednick singled and scored the tying run on a Spilborghs double. Ok, now the Cubs really should have lose. The closer comes in, blows the game after the Cubs took the lead in the ninth, and again Colorado has the momentum
Then, in the top of the tenth, Kip Wells took over for Corpas. Soto singled to lead off the inning and was lifted for pinch runner Mike Fontenot. Cedeno bunted to move Fontenot into scoring postition. Daryl Ward came in to pinch hit for Wood and was intentionally walked. With one out, Reed Johnson worked the count, but popped out to short left field. With two outs and his Canjun twin on second, RyanTheriot hit a single down the first base line, scoring Fontenot. Just to make things interesting, Carlos Marmol had to pitch the 10th and face Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, and Garrett Atkins, with Mark DeRosa playing first base!! No sweat for Marmol as he retired them in order and the Cubs win.
This was an amazing game and I am just going to soak this up. My brother was at the game and will email me photos soon. Jason Marquis will take the hill tomorrow against the Rockies in a day game, 2:05 start.
What a glorious day! What a glorious weekend. Crawly Senior and I had the pleasure of wattching the Cubs pound Pittsburgh 13-3 on Sunday, completing their second straight sweep of the Buccos. Not only that, but St. Louis got crushed and Eric Gagne blew a save for Milwaukee, putting the Cubs in first place!!! Hey Hey!! The Cubs offense is just clicking on all cylanders, as the Cubs hit 29 runs in the weekend series with the Pirates. The starting pitching is still not where it needs to be, but I am sure enjoying this April a ton more than I did last season. Listening to sports talk radio, I heard people wondering if this team is real or not, claiming that they are just beating teams with losing records. Look, the Cubs didn’t make their schedule and not only that, they are winning the games they are supposed to, something that hasn’t happened over the last few years. All I am saying is that I am happy that the Cubs are in first place.
There are many things that excite me about this team. I love the 1-2 punch of Reed Johnson and Ryan Theriot. In the bottom of the fourth inning in Sunday’s game, Johnson was hit by a
pitch. Theriot was up next, showed bunt, but the pitcher threw two pitches out of the strike zone. With a 2-0 count, Johnson was running, Threriot hit the ball to the right side of the infield, and Johnson scored from first with Theriot advancing to second when Nady’s throw to home plate was late. The Cubs are also a more patient team and that is allowing them to score more runs. Do you realize the Cubs are second in MLB in runs scored, third in hits, fourth in total bases, have the fifth highest in average, second in on base percentage, and second in on base plug slugging percentage? How about the Cubs being fourth in the amount of walks drawn? Still feel like that clogs the bases Dusty? The Cubs are also seventh in stolen bases. Lou Pinella and hitting coach Gerald Perry have turn this team from a bunch of hackers into a disciplined hitting team.
Do I think all is well in the world of the Cubs? No. Are starters are struggling to get past the fifth. Are bullpen is again giving up too many walks. Questions remain on where to bat Soriano when he comes back from his injury. Will our left handed starters begin pitching
better? Is Kerry Wood going to stay healthy? These are all areas of concern for the Cubs,
but at the end of the day, there is only one stat in baseball that matters most: Wins, and right now, the Cubs keep racking them up. Now, the real test comes for the Cubs. Starting Monday, the Cubs have a two game series with the Mets, then fly to Colorado for another two game series. They travel to Washington for three (that one shouldn’t be difficult), then they play three with Milwaukee at home, travel to St Louis for three, Cincy for three, and then come back to Wrigley to fave the hottest team in baseball in the Diamondbacks and one of the toughest pitching staffs in San Diego, who will play in a four game series. The Cubs then have three more games at Wrigley, than go to Houston and Pittsburgh. When the dust clears on May 22, I believe this will really tell if the Cubs are for real or not. If they can stay close to the top of the division after this schedule, I like our chances.
Us Against The World
So, apparently Cubs fans are the most hated, obnoxious, and racist fans in baseball. All week, Cubs fans have heard how horrible they are from all sides.From old man Marty Brennaman’s crabby rant, to ironically the most hated and obnoxious columnist in Chicago, to jealous Brewer’s bloggers , people have been taking shots at us from all sides. That’s fine that we’re the target of all their jealousy and rage. Real Cubs fans know that there are no better fans in baseball. Are there idiot Cubs fans? Absolutely. Are there obnoxious Cubs fans? Of course. Are there racist Cubs fans? Unfortunately. Just like their are idiotic, obnoxious, racist fans in every ballpark in every city in the United States. Are there no drunk stupid fans in Milwaukee? OOOOhh, of course not. Everybody goes to Brewers games in suit and ties and keeps score. In fact, they don’t even sell beer at Miller Park. And there is absolutely nooooooo racist fans in Cincinnati. Everyone knows that Cincinnati is the most tolerant city in the US. So to all those haters out there, keep hatin’. Cubs fans piss people off because we will go anywhere to cheer our team on, including other teams’ ballparks. Then we really get them mad when our cheers are louder than the cheers from the home team. They hate us because we have fun, we love our ballpark, and we love our team. Do we do
stupid thing? Yeah. Are we going to do stupid things in the future? For certain. But we’re going to keep doing what we’ve always done; root, root, root for the Cubbies! And most importantly, we will follow this team anywhere in the world, and if you don’t like it, learn to deal with it.
We are everywhere!!