Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cubs are 10 over .500 at home; lineup changes forthcoming

Friday: Cubs 2, Brewers 1 (10 inn.)

The Cubs finally have something brewing after taking down the Brewers in their patented extra-inning, one-run fashion. If you ask me, that last pitch was a strike, but we deserve a few breaks after seemingly getting none in the first few months of the season.

Though Zambrano walked a bit of a tightrope, he got the job done on the mound as well as at the plate. With seven innings of one-run ball, Z lowered his ERA to 3.50. With a 1-for-2 day at the plate, he raised his average to .229 and, more importantly, drove in the only run the Cubs would score until extra innings. It was the 6-7-8-9 hitters who chipped away at Jeff Suppan, as Fox, Fontenot, Hill and Zambrano combined to go 5-for-13 with a run scored and both RBI.

Hats off (and I wish the Cubs would have taken those terrible red hats off) to the bullpen as Heilman and Gregg teamed up to toss three scoreless innings. Gregg got his third win, and the Cubs pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the Brew Crew. The Cardinals trailed 3-0 but brought Pujols to the plate with the bases loaded in the late innings, and lo and behold, the predictable happened--a grand slam. The Cardinals take over sole possession of first place, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs.

The biggest blemish on the face of this victory? Soriano returned to the leadoff spot and put up a meek 0-for-5. Piniella suggested there would be changes to the lineup today, and according to the Trib, Fuld will leadoff and Soriano will move down in the order. I wouldn't mind seeing Fuld in center with Fukudome in right--Milton Bradley did walk twice and single, but he also grounded into a double play and lost another ball in the sun.

I'll be at Saturday's game with Trevor Sierra, Khair Sadrud-Din (who supplied the tickets--thanks, Khair) and Ziggy Blackwell (who will be attending his first baseball game at Wrigley). All of a sudden there's rain in the forecast, but I'm holding out hope for a dry day.

Cubs sale

The progress continues.

Did you know ...

Hanley Ramirez leads the NL in batting (.344).

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