Cubs 1 – Padres 0
What Went Right
- Strike-out stuff: Zambrano was punching out Padres left and right, fanning 10 in eight shout-out innings. I always thought Big Z was nuts, but how could he possibly pitch in short sleeves tonight? I was cold watching him on TV. However, I still managed to force down a beer or two.
- Laying one down: Carlos Pena beat the radical infield shift and bunted down the third-base line for a hit. He even managed to get it down with two strikes.
- Late help: The bullpen rebounded from Sunday’s slaughter and pitched a scoreless 9th and 10th.
- Free baseball: Even in crappy weather, you have to love extra innings.
- Patience is priceless: Fukudome drew a base on balls to start the 10th inning rally. Soto reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored the winning run on a ringing double by Tyler Colvin. Great to see Colvin get a big knock!
- A fresh take: The Cubs television broadcast was blacked out in my town, so I got to watch and listen to San Diego’s Dick Enberg and Mark Grant instead. Overall, it was very entertaining. Enberg told a humorous story about a game he called when the Chicago Bears played football at Wrigley Field. Apparently, the Bears used to sell seats on the opposing team’s bench. Somebody needs to bring that promotion back.
What Went Wrong
- Cold bats for everyone: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it was an awful night for hitters (except for Colvin). Fortunately, the Cubs managed to scratch out just enough offense to win the game.
- The wind: Ramirez and Pena hit deep fly balls that may have sailed out of the park on another day.
- Jason Bartlett’s glove: The Padres SS made a great play to rob Fukudome of a single in the 3rd.
- My right ankle: It’s really been bothering me lately.
RANDOM THOUGHT ALERT! Anybody who knows me well knows that my mind wanders frequently. During tonight’s game I found myself thinking about intriguing players from the Padres past, and not just the obvious names like Tony Gwynn. Here are a few Friar favorites (including the years they spent in San Diego) in no particular order:
- Terry Kennedy, C, 1981-1985: Kennedy had a decent Strat-O-Matic card in 1982, so he’ll always have a special plate in my heart. During the 1980s, it was rare to find a left-handed hitting catcher who could contribute with the bat. Kennedy was no star, but he was a solid player in an offensively challenged era.
- Champ Summers, 1B/OF, 1984: Champ was at the end of the road in 1984, but I do remember him taking an active part in the legendary brawl with Pascual Perez and the Atlanta Braves that season. If you’ve never seen the footage, it’s worth finding on the Internet.
- Craig Lefferts, LHP, 1984-1987 & 1992: The former Cub was a serviceable reliever for many Major League seasons. Maybe the best thing about Lefferts was how he used to sprint to the mound when he got the call from the bullpen. I’m laughing out loud just thinking about it.
- Mark Davis, LHP, 1987-1989 & 1993-1994: Davis was a strikeout machine for much of his long career. During the late 1980s, he was a workhorse closer for the Padres. Twice he pitched more than 90 innings in that role, racking up 72 saves in those two seasons.
- Bip Roberts, IF/OF, 1986-1991 & 1994-1995: Little Bip was a fixture at the top of my Earl Weaver Baseball lineups for many years. Roberts was known for his speed and versatility, but he had a real knack for getting on base. (Imagine that—a leadoff man who gets on base. What a concept!) Bip topped the .375 on-base mark four times from 1989 to 1994.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Padres. The 1984 NLCS debacle is still a fresh wound for countless Cubs fans. And who can forget those turd brown uniforms? Still, the Friars had a few interesting players who resonate with me even today. I’m honestly not sure why.
Anyway, enough rambling. The Cubs got a great start from Zambrano and evened their record at 8-8. After two more games with the Padres, the Dodgers and Rockies come to town. How does a 6-3 home stand sound to you? Maybe some nicer weather, too?
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Carlos Zambrano (.570 WPA)
2nd Star – Tim Stauffer (.458 WPA)
3rd Star– Tyler Colvin (.432 WPA)
Official Recap Standings
Buddy 3-0 (1.00)
Joe 4-3 (.571)
Mark 1-2 (.333)
Chet 0-1 (.000)
Brandon 0-2 (.000)