Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Is this truly bliss, or are we just sliding down a pole with razor blades at the bottom (again)?
It's hard to believe I have such a sense of celebration over a WIN that avoids a sweep by the Pirates AND finishes a 3 game series with a loss, but that's what we Cubs fans have been used to this season so far.
PIT 3 6 1
CHC 4 8 1
The Buckos have won their games against us by scoring in the first inning. This is still true, as they did not score in the first (they waited until the 2nd, thanks) and subsequently did not win. The key seemed to be 'don't let McCutchen hit safely'...he did hit safely but was subsequently caught stealing (1-3-4)and that was really the end of his offensive threat.
Soriano...flied out once, hit safely twice, scored a run, stole a base (going on a wild pitch, snagging an extra base in the process), drove in a run, and was walked. Nice! Derrek Lee with 2 hits, an RBI...Fukudome, a hit and a run, Byrd (2 for 4)...Fontenot was walked and scored the tying run on a wild pitch by Evan Meek (whom we had feared when we was "throwing up in the bullpen")...Xavier nady delivers his first pinch hit RBI as a Cub, and suddenly our offensive power is easily matched with our ability to cross the plate. Defensively, the most honorable mention has to go to Fukudome's amazing catch in the top of the 7th, robbing Ross Ohlendorf's potential extra-bases drive with 2 men on base; this would have blown the game to a 5-1 advantage for the Pirates had Fukudome not reached the ball as efficiently as he had. As for Ohlendorf, see my post about Latos...moments like these don't -and can't- happen in AL games.
Yes, even if only for one afternoon...the nicest W of all is one that was fought for valiantly, and after such a dry spell.
I want to also comment that this year's Pirates really don't look or smell like last year's Pirates...they aren't really playing like the cheapo AAA team they have been for the past few years, so maybe they have the advantage in 2010 games with us 5-1 partly because we aren't performing as well as we should be, but also maybe because they are performing a little bit better than others have expected them to. Like they stole some of that 'mysterious spoiler mojo' from the Brewers (who could use some this year so far).
Lilly looked fine, but I still don't know what the hell happened in the 2nd inning. Sean Marshall = YES, and hey Carlos Marmol is effective as a closer in a Save situation. Theriot sat out the game due to a sore elbow from being hit by Carrasco yesterday.
WGN-TV broadcasters Len Kasper and Bob Brenly did their broadcast from the bleachers (with a visit from Bleacher Veteran Tom Ricketts as well) and no, this wasn't the first time they've done it but the weather was beautiful, no homers to catch out there today, and all is well.