April 21st, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
Chicago 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 x 6 10 1
W -  J. Marquis (2-1)   L - A. Reyes (0-3)  S – None
Homeruns: M. Barrett (2) R. Cedeno (2)

Box Score

Boy, this 2007 Cubs team sure is a roller coaster ride! Yesterday we all experienced the depths of depression as our beloved Cubbies dropped to 6-10. Today erstwhile National League whipping boy Jason Marquis pitched a masterful game through seven as the Cubs beat the Cards. Marquis now sports a 1.88 ERA – who would have thunk it!

I’ve been real apprehensive about Marquis, mainly because I heard that he didn’t listen to Duncan in STL or Mazzoni in ATL. Those are two of the best pitching guys in baseball, probably the two best. Last year Marquis got clobbered worse than any pitcher in baseball, with the possible exceptions of part-time pitchers Mark Prior and Glendon Rusch. I welcomed Jason Marquis’ signing with the same level of aplomb as I would the opening of a nuclear waste site in my own neighborhood.

Let’s all keep an eye on Marquis, he has a reputation for running out of gas. But right now I like the way he’s sinking his hard stuff, and he’s showing intelligence and pitching savvy insofar as how he handles the Pujols and Edmonds of this league. It’s truly amazing that the worst pitcher of our starting four is Carlos Zambrano, the starting rotation is sure getting the job done so far!

Michael Barrett showed some signs of awakening as he hit a clutch three-run homerun to ice the game; Ronnie Cedeno made another boneheaded play but atoned with a solo shot to give the Cubs their fifth run. Our Cubs will finish the STL series tomorrow in Wrigley Field; check tomorrow to see the pre-game review.


Joe’s Notes

Let me start this by saying how much I hate the fact that Fox has national broadcast rights on Saturdays. I can understand it if it really was a nationally televised game. In my mind, that means one game would be televised throughout the nation. If that really was the case, then it would be the only game scheduled in that time slot. Living in North Carolina, my Saturday schedule is a crapshoot. Some weekends we get the Braves, some weekends we don’t. Usually we don’t get the Cubs and today was no exception. Because of that, I had to watch the archive of the game on MLB.tv

Jason Marquis
At what point to we pat Jim Hendry on the back and say well done for getting Marquis and Lilly? I know it’s early, but no one could have expected the performances we’ve received from these two. I can’t stress that enough. I love watching both of them pitch. Today, Marquis had me worried early on, as he was forced to wiggle off the hook in a couple early innings and had to use a lot of pitches early. To get 7 innings of work in after being close to the 50 pitch mark in the 2nd inning, Marquis had to limit work the rest of the way and he did just that. Hopefully we can get a performance similar from Wade Miller tomorrow.

Ronny Cedeno
All the people that wanted to send him down to AAA because of his terrible play yesterday, Lou Piniella disagreed and placed him in the starting lineup today. Cedeno responded by hitting a HR and a double and made a couple nice plays in the field that made up for his error. He’s not an everyday player, but I don’t worry about it when he is in there. It was good to see him have a good game and get that bad taste out of his mouth right away.

Will Ohman
In the Chicago Tribune today, Phil Rogers had a buried quote that mentioned how the Tigers may be interested in Will Ohman.

“The best bullpens in the majors entering the weekend, based on ERAs, were the Mets (1.51), Padres (2.15), Dodgers (2.28), Pirates (2.31), Red Sox (2.52) and Cardinals (2.68). The last three qualify as surprisingly good. … The Tigers are worried their pitching staff is a little too right-handed these days. Don’t be surprised if they make a move for a left-handed reliever. The Cubs’ Will Ohman is among those they are studying. …”

If that’s the case, have at him. He’s all yours. Thankfully, Ohman pitched well today and didn’t send his stock further down the tubes.

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