Well you couldn’t have asked for a more exciting game for a beautiful Friday afternoon. I’ll go over the highlights and then ask for your thoughts on some things.
Hoffpauir got his second consecutive start in RF and made the most of it with a double in the first to score Fukudome who had walked. Ramirez singled him home to make it 2-0 Cubs.
The Cubs continued to take advantage of Walters’ shaky start when Fontenot and Theriot each singled in the second and Zambrano walked. Brenly and Kasper pointed out that in Zambrano’s 536 career plate appearances, he has walked 5 times. This was his first walk since 2006. They called this a “stunning development” and mentioned Zambrano has become much more patient. More on that later … you don’t often find the words “Zambrano” and “patient” in the same sentence! Fukudome’s sacrifice fly scored Fontenot. Cubs 3-0.
The third inning was the Cards’ best … Barden walked, then Shumaker singled up the middle which annoyed Zambrano because he barely missed getting his glove on it. Rasmus got an infield hit which left the bases loaded for Pujols. His sacrifice fly to Soriano scoring Barden gave everyone a sigh of relief until Ludwick hit the very next pitch for a home run deep into the left field bleachers. 4-3 Cardinals.
Walters settled way down for the next two innings and the Cubs made no progress. (Makes you kind of wonder if they should have left him in there for the 5th inning since he had been doing so well, but I’m glad they didn’t!) After the Cardinals added a run in the 5th making it 5-3, the Cubs added two in their half of the inning (Ramirez doubled to left scoring DLee and Soto’s single to right scored Ramirez). Tied 5-5.
The Cardinals added a run in each of the 6th and 7th innings on homers by Barden and Ludwick respectively. Ramirez added another RBI in the bottom of the seventh scoring Fukudome. Cards 7-6.
Aaron Miles walked while pinch hitting for Heilman, and Soriano hit his game winning home run in the bottom of the eighth. This followed three strikeouts and a fly out by Soriano earlier in the game. While almost everyone else seemed to have Walters’ number early, Soriano didn’t seem to be able to get it together. But he did, when we needed it the most!
Marmol walked Rasmus, hit Pujols and scared the beegeebes out of everyone before he settled down and finished off the ninth to get the save.
It was a great game. I’m excited to see if we can do it again tomorrow!
So, let’s talk about some things.
First, a disclaimer. I am a fair-weather Zambrano fan. I admit it. When he is doing well I am happy and enjoy watching him. When he is not doing well I tend to blame it on his hot-headedness and he annoys me. So which comes first, do you think? Does he have a bad inning because he loses his head, or does he lose his head because he has a bad inning? I’d have no problem with him getting disgusted with himself after he has a bad inning. But sometimes it seems that him getting disgusted with himself actually causes the bad inning. What do you think?
Next, how do you feel about St. Louis this year? Will they pose a thread in the NL Central? Will they be in it in September?
On a side note, Bob Brenly gave his first (of many) pieces of marital advice to Robbie Gould after the stretch in the 7th. Well, I should rephrase. He doesn’t give many separate pieces of marital wisdom. He gives the same piece many, many times. Enjoy you anyway Bob!
That oughta keep us busy for now. :-)