Any win against the Mets is a good win – I still have occasional nightmares about 1969. Today the Cubs put on a relentless hitting attack against a quality knuckleballer and defeated the Mets 7-6 on a day that was not favorable to pitchers. Starlin Castro increased his batting average to .319 (third in the NL) with a two for four; both Soriano and DeWitt also went two for four with a three run homerun each to pace the Cubs. Some highlights from today’s game:
- Top 1st: Wells starts out shaky by giving up a single to Pagan and a walk to Duda; David Wright makes Soriano look clumsy with a double off the wall to plate two. 2-0 Mets. Ike Davis singles to right and Wright holds on third. Arias hits into a force out at second but breaks up the double play and Wright scores to make it 3-0 Mets.
- Bottom 4th: Castro keeps hitting, now third in the league in batting average. Byrd and Nady single Castro scores 3-1 Mets 1 out men on first and second. Soto flies out to right Byrd tags and advances to third. Soriano hits a moonbeam three run homer to left 4-3 Cubs.
- Top 6th: Pagan singles and Duda doubles him in 4-4 Cubs. DeWitt shows us hands of stone on the relay throw but Pagan would have scored anyway.
- Bottom 6th: Ramirez walks, Nady singles. Men on first and second. Soto strikesout, Soriano flies out to center. With two out DeWitt homers to right 7-4 Cubs.
- Bottom 7th: Cashner throws a gopher ball to David Wright, 7-5 Cubs.
- Top 8th: Luis Hernandez homers to left 7-6 Cubs. Third homerun given up by Marshall in 67 innings pitched.
- Bottom 8th: Nady singles to reach but is thrown out on a bad baserunning decision by Nady when Soto lines to left. Soriano doubles to left with two out, that would have been a nice insurance run to have.
- Top 9th: Marmol comes in to save the game without the usual melodrama. Cubs win 7-6.
Today’s win makes the Cubs’ record 7-3 since interim manager Mike Quade took over the team on August 23rd. The team seems to be more upbeat and competitive now than they were under Piniella; perhaps it is coincidence but I don’t think it is. Quade is a good baseball man and could land the 2010 job if his remaining 27 games go like his first 10 have. This game was not without it’s share of awkward moments but the team stood fast and won the game. In other news Ryne Sandberg has won the PCL Manager of the Year; Darwin Barney and Brad Snyder were both named PCL all stars. The I-Cubs are tied with Memphis for the lead in the PCL North and begin a four game series with the Redbirds tonight. AA Tennessee has clinched a playoff berth in the Southern League, having won both the first and second halves. One assumes that we will not see much in the way of callups until both playoff hunts are decided; high A Daytona is 2 games out of first in their division in the Florida State League. Also in the news the Texas Rangers and former Cubs employee Mark Prior have reportedly come to terms on a minor league deal.