Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Milton Bradley beats Nationals

For all the things that have come out from Milton Bradley the past few days he deserves to be applauded by at least one Cubs fan. This is where you will get that Milton love. He hit a two-run homer tonight and added the go-ahead RBI fielders choice before the Cubs offense blew up in the eighth.

Rich Harden had a very bad start to the game, allowing the bases to be loaded before getting a single out. He was able to get out of that jam with only one run allowed. He settled down and was able to cruise through six innings allowing only one more run and striking out six. Angel Guzman and John Grabow were able to get the next six outs. Guzman was the winning pitcher and beneficiary of a rare Cubs offensive explosion.

Through seven innings it looked like the Cubs offense was going to disappoint again, with the exception of Milton Bradley, but it was just a waiting game tonight. After taking a 3-2 lead in the seventh, the Cubs put the game  to bed with a six run eighth. Koyie Hill capped a 3-3 night with a two-run double to give the Cubs a 5-2 lead. Derrek Lee drove two more in with a double of his own, and an Aramis Ramirez RBI single was the final blow to the Nationals.

Carlos Marmol did come in for the ninth, and I'd imagine the rain storm that started gave him some issues with his control. Still he loaded the bases before getting an out, managed to get two outs, and then a run scoring double. He was able to record the third out and seal the Cubs 9-4 win. 

During Koyie Hill's 20 something straight start streak he got a lot of crap here for his poor hitting, I stand by that criticism, but he is a nice backup catcher to have. Tonight's 3-3 effort was just another feather for Hill to put in his cap this season. He's thrown out baserunners and gotten the occasional big hit, something that can't be said for Geovany Soto. It seems to me that Hill has earned his spot on next seasons team as the backup, though I hope he doesn't have to split time with Soto like he has this year. Soto needs to have a comeback season in order for us to be successful in 2010.

Marmol didn't make any of us feel better about the closers spot, but I will hold off on writing him off because the weather was pretty bad when he was pitching. Angel Guzman did look stellar, and I have to wonder when he will become the main set-up guy rather than the seventh inning man. Grabow has sort of assumed the eighth inning role, which is fine because he's done a great job, so I guess I won't pine for Guzman to always pitch the eighth yet.

Good things tonight for the Cubs, always nice to get a win even if the season is over. 

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