Saturday, August 29, 2009

False Hope Tour Begins

It appears that the Cubs are going to toy with a few people's emotions for the next few days. Today's 11-4 win over the Mets was the Cubs second win in as many days, and it appears that some may have found some hope. The offense looked real good against a real bad pitcher, and the bullpen was really good on a day where the Dumpster showed up.

The key hit in the game came in bottom of the fifth inning when Jake Fox came up with the bases loaded and two outs. The exact situation which has tortured the Cubs all season ended with Fox hitting his first career grand slam and turning a 4-4 tie into a 8-4 lead. Fox added to his outstanding day at the plate with a RBI triple late in the game.

Fox wasn't the only hitting star for the Cubs, Aramis Ramirez was a late addition to the lineup and it paid off big time as he added two RBI. The first came on a double in the third inning to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead and the second tied the game at four in the fifth. Milton Bradley had another outstanding game going 3-4 with a RBI double, two singles, a walk, and two runs scored.

It was the kind of offensive showing that we all envisioned when the season started. Constant pressure put on the opposing pitcher and big hits in clutch situations. The only Cub who didn't have a good game was Derrek Lee who went 0-4. Something tells me there won't be anybody upset at him for that.

Pitching wise Ryan Dempster didn't give a very good start. He allowed two runs in the first inning and two more right after the Cubs had taken a 3-2 lead. He was struggling with his command most of the day, and spent most innings pitching himself into and out of jams. Fortunately the offense was able to pick up the slack and Dempster had just enough  stuff to avoid serious problems.

The bullpen turned in two stellar innings from Aaron Heilman (probably his last Cub appearance) and a perfect ninth inning from Sean Marshall. 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs gain more ground in the wild card standings tonight, but don't let that suck you in. This team has been great at home all season, and we all knew that they would beat up on some bad teams. Any progress made at Wrigley will be quickly undone as soon as we are back on the road. 

Still there is nothing wrong with enjoying a real fun win in front of a packed house. Tomorrow Big Z takes the mound to try and complete the sweep. 

There is a bit of bad news as Alfonso Soriano's MRI results could mean his season has to end. While that may make some Cubs fans happy, the fact that Soriano has been playing hurt means he won't be as big a disaster in the future as some think. 

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