Tonight the Cubs were down to just Scott Eyre in the bullpen as Ryan Dempster came in to close in the ninth. The rest of the bullpen had been used up in the first eight innings as the Cubs play twenty games in a row without a day off; tonight however the Cubbies were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a come from behind victory over the Cards.
Todd Walker and Michael Barrett had back to back jacks in the first inning to give Rich Hill a brief lead but the Cards came roaring back with four unanswered runs. Hill was pulled in the fourth inning after loading the bases with one out – Michael Wuertz came in and shut the door to get the Cubs out of the inning. The Cubs were able to come back and take the lead, thanks to a timely E5 by Rolen with the bases juiced.
Then the drama came in the ninth. Dempster got hit hard, even on the outs. Cedeno made a great play on a ball hit deep in the hole and would have thrown the ball into the St. Louis bullpen were it not for a fine dig by Neifi Perez at second. Perez also made another fine play to nail down the victory, giving the Cubs their third win in four days. Dusty, however will have to make more judicious use of his bullpen pitchers than he did tonight.
Speaking of Dusty, Jim Hendry announced that Baker will finish out the year as Cubs manager. No surprise there, he’s been saying that all year long. Jim Hendry is a “stay the course” man and I won’t be a bit surprised if the Cubs go into next year with Mark Prior and Wade Miller as two of the five Cubs’ starters. I think it’s likely that Dusty will be back with a one-year contract but at this stage it’s only a guess.
Joe’s Take – I disagree about Dusty. I have a feeling that he will not be retained. Jim Hendry is smart enough to know that Cub fans do not want him back. He’ll appease both sides in this one. By letting Dusty finish, he doesn’t stab him in the back after giving him a vote of confidence all year. Then, by not bringing him back, he satifies the fan’s request.
Update – I hope you’re right Joe, I admit that my opinion is based upon mistrust and the fact that Hendry does what he wants to do and to heck with what the rest of Cubdom thinks. In unrelated news, Carrie Muscat reports that Greg Maddux now has a no trade clause – did I miss something? My understanding is that Maddux has a gentleman’s agreement, not a no trade clause.