Padres 7 @ Cubs 11
What Went Right?
- The Cubs broke their 12-game losing streak with a convincing win over the Padres. I could almost end the recap right there.
- Both teams got a lot of help from the wind. Wrigley was a hitters park today, with 35mph gusts blowing straight out to center. Seriously, I might have been able to hit one out today.
- After a couple of lousy weeks at the plate, the Cubs broke out the bats today. David DeJesus hit two triples. Bryan LaHair had three hits, including a double. Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney both hit homeruns. Starlin Castro had a couple of hits, including a homer of his own that he golfed from below his knee all the way past a fan in the last row of the LF bleachers. Even Reed Johnson got a pinch hit single before he scored on Castro’s homer.
- Alfonso Soriano had maybe the biggest day of all at the plate (at least for the Cubs). He started the rally in the bottom of the 4th, tying the game with a run-scoring double, and then coming in to score on Stewart’s homer. In the 6th he hit a 2-run bomb into the tree across Waveland Ave. to take back the lead. And he kept the insurance-run-laden 7th inning alive with a sharp grounder up the middle. These are the kind of days every Cubs fan likes Soriano. He picked an excellent time for his bat to come back to life.
- The bullpen got the job done. Randy Wells wasn’t his sharpest, giving up three doubles over almost two innings–but I’ll let some of the blame for that fall on the strong wind. Shawn Camp struck out the only batter he faced. And James Russell and Casey Coleman each pitched effective innings to seal the win.
- I really can’t say enough about the Cubs hitting today. They fought back from several deficits to retake the lead–there just wasn’t any quit in them today, and it paid off. And it wasn’t just one or two guys, either: Soriano, Castro, and Stewart had three RBIs apiece, and Barney and LaHair collected the other two.
What Went Wrong?
- Of course we’d like to have a day where they aren’t repeatedly forced to fight back from a deficit, but I’m not gonna hammer the pitchers today. Travis Wood did not have his best stuff, giving up four homers including two to Chase
HedyHeadley. But hats off to Dale for getting him out of there before he could surrender the lead again (it was tied at 6-6 when he left). On a different day I might be more inclined to gripe. But after 12-straight losses, there’s no such thing as an ugly win.
- The Cubs activated fan-favorite Carlos Marmol from the DL.
- To make room for Marmol, they sent the struggling Rafael Dolis down to the minors to get some less-dangerous work.
- Len and Bob mentioned that Steve Clevenger is tearing it up in his rehab stint, so expect the end of the Blake Lalli/Koyie Hill catching tandem shortly.