Today the Cubs totally annihilated the Astros and took the lead with a decisive 12-0 win over the Astros. It’s hard to say what was more dominant, the Cubs hitting or the pitching of Randy Wells; Mitch Atkins came in for mop-up action in the 9th and every single Cubs bench player saw action.
Lost to the Cubs today is center fielder Reed Johnson, who broke a foot on a foul tip. Johnson will miss an estimated 4-6 weeks. Expect Sam Fuld to return to the Cubs roster – Cubs catcher Koyie Hill is still pulling marathon man action behind the plate so a callup of C Chris Robinson is also a possibility. Robinson is hitting .321 with one error for Iowa so this move makes the most sense. It would also allow the Cubs to give Jake Fox time in LF, RF and occasionally at 3B and 1B in a backup role or late inning substitute. Now the Cubs must substitute Fox for another player when he pinch-hits because they are burning their backup catcher – this an unnecessary consideration for Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella.
The Cubs will enjoy a day off Thursday prior to starting a series against the dreaded Marlins. I always hate playing these guys for more reasons than 2003. They always seem to bring good pitching and we always seem to have critical meltdowns when we play these upstarts. Florida is third in the wildcard race, 2.5 games behind San Francisco. Everybody talks about Hanley Ramirez but I’m as concerned (if not more) with their outfield. It consists of CF Cody Ross (14 HR, 463 SLG,) Brett Carroll and Jeremy Hermida. All of those guys can hit an extra base hit and so can Cantu. Dan Uggla leads the team with 17 homeruns and we all know about their pitching staff led by Josh Johnson. The Cubs will play three games in Florida and none of them appears to be in danger of being blacked out – they will then enjoy another day off on Monday.