Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thank you sirs, may we have another?

We all love a walk-off home run, a ninth-inning comeback, or a comfortable blowout victory, but wins like Tuesday's are still my favorite--solid starting pitching, quality relief, and offensive production from multiple players. The 6-2 win over the Padres puts the Cubs back at their high-water mark of four games over .500 for the third time this season.

Rich Harden gave the Cubs another quality start, going six innings and allowing just two runs (why he would throw Adrian Gonzalez--the only good hitter in the entire lineup--a pitch to hit with first base open, I have no idea) in the first inning and nothing else. It was the 18th quality start of the season for the Cubs, tied for third in the majors.

Milton Bradley pounded a Jake Peavy pitch out to straightaway center, a shot that may have hit someone who was buying a hot dog. It was measured at 450 feet, just 20 feet shorter than the longest home run hit in the majors this year.

As Bob Brenly mentioned on the broadcast, Bradley really seems to be finding the strike zone again. He was swinging at bad pitches early in the year, which is not the calling card of the man who led the AL in OBP last season. Bradley's average has now gone up in every game he's played since May 5, and while he's still hitting just .186, his OBP has been at least .325 in both April and May, and he's on a six-game hitting streak during which he's batting .303. He's starting to look a little more like the outfielder we paid $30 million for, and that's a good thing with Ramirez out and Lee and Soto still struggling.

Thirty-one-year-old career minor-leaguer Bobby Scales saw the bite Bradley took out of that pitch and decided he was hungry for his first major league home run. By hitting a pinch-hit solo blast, he made sure he didn't have to slide into any bases and repeat his patented dive-and-bellyflop move.

And finally, Kosuke Fukudome sneaked into the top 10 in NL batting. His 3-5 day moved his average up to .333 (10th) and his OBP up to .455, good for fifth in the NL.

Cubs notes
-The top teams in the NL Central are nice and cozy right now, as four teams are within 1.5 games of first place. St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and the Cubs all have either 13 or 14 losses.

-One of the coolest things in Tuesday's game was Soriano's RBI single through the right side of the infield--you just don't see him go the opposite way very often. In fact, that was just Soriano's second hit to right field this season.

-Though Zambrano is eligible to come off the DL Tuesday, the Cubs are planning to have him return next Friday in San Diego. That means Randy Wells, who will start Friday, will likely make one more start after that, though the Cubs could shuffle the rotation and have Marshall make an extra start (on regular rest) instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment