Saturday, June 20, 2009

Comeback Cubs

Friday: Cubs 8, Indians 7 (10 inn.)

What do you call an additional cup of coffee?

Wait for it ...


And the Cubs are all about it.

Down 7-0 with reigning Cy Young winner Cliff Lee on the mound, the Cubs scratched and clawed their way back to tie it, scoring four in the 8th (for the second straight game) and another in the 9th. And when Theriot's 10th-inning game-winning single took a bounce that the laws of physics couldn't possibly explain, it seemed that maybe the tide had finally turned. I was definitely excited when Lee pounded his second home run of the game to tie off Kerry Wood, but I would prefer the Cubs win the next two in 8 1/2 innings--I don't particularly enjoy seeing Wood get knocked around.

The Cubs have climbed out of four- and seven-run deficits in consecutive games. Friday's comeback was the biggest for the Cubs since this game from last year in which the Cubs beat the Rockies after trailing 8-0. One of the heroes from that game was, ahem, Mark DeRosa. (Even the Cubs' own Web site couldn't believe what happened: the headline for the game recap--even after it was over--was "Cubs can't dig out of early hole vs. Tribe.")

Speaking of DeRosa, it was really nice to see him get a standing ovation when he came to bat in the first. Too often fans boo a former hero simply because they've left town. DeRosa obviously did not make the choice to leave, and he deserves applause for the contributions he made while he was in Chicago.

What a boost to get a win in a game pitched by Cliff Lee when you consider that the weekend pitching match-ups favor the Cubs with Ohka (0-1, 4.24) facing Lilly (7-4, 2.94) on Saturday, and lefty Sowers (1-4, 5.14) battling Wells (0-3, 2.55) on Sunday. Something tells me Wells is in line for his first career win.

On the negative side, it was a tough day at the office for Rich Harden as he continued to get burned by the long ball. The two home runs he allowed gave him 11 on the season, the same number he allowed all of last year.

Good to see Jake Fox get a start at third base. He did fine defensively and was robbed on a grounder up the middle that would have scored a run had it sneaked through.

One complaint: Why did Lou take down pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot when Indians manager Eric Wedge brought in lefty Rafael Perez? Perez has allowed a ridiculous .436 average against lefties this season, and in general, you'd prefer to see Fontenot at the plate rather than Koyie Hill. In the end, it worked out as Hill reached on an infield single.

Okay, two complaints: Marmol will not--repeat, will not--be an effective reliever if he continues to walk people at this pace. With two more walks Friday, he has now walked 34 batters in less than 33 innings. He has survived to the tune of a 3.69 ERA by allowing just 17 hits, but you can't give away that many free passes and succeed consistently in the big leagues.

But enough of that. The Cubs are over .500 and have their mojo back, baby.

What the sell?

It's one step forward and two steps back with the sale of the Cubs. Sam Zell (who may still lose control of the Tribune Co.) is now talking to bidders other than Ricketts.

MLB notes

-Brothers Jeff and Jered Weaver will start against each other on Saturday. It's the first time since 2002 that siblings have opposed each other on the mound. (hat tip: Baseball Musings)

-The Padres are now down two starters as Chris Young joins Jake Peavy on the DL.

No comments:

Post a Comment