Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cubs Offense Sets Record in Cubs Win

Of all the things the Cubs could set a record for getting eight straight hits to start the game probably wouldn't be the first one I would guess. Still the first eight Cubs got a base hit before Ryan Dempster's sacrifice bunt ended the streak. It was the first time a team did that since the Yankees pulled it off in 1990 against Baltimore. It was the third times the Cubs had been part of the feat, doing it against Pirates in 1973, and being the victims in 1975 against Philly.

The first inning included four straight singles from Theriot, Bradley, Lee, and Aramis making it 2-0. Jeff Baker then singled to load the bases again for Geovany Soto. Soto sent a double off the right field wall to make it 4-0. Fukudome added his own opposite field double to make it 6-0, Ryan Theriot's ground out to shortstop made the game 7-0.

That meant starter Ryan Dempster already had a 7-0 lead when he took the mound. Dempster was pretty good tonight, he was up to his usual tricks with the long counts, but only walked two in his 6 1/3 innings. Lou probably should have pulled him after six because two of his four earned runs allowed came in the seventh inning when he was clearly out of gas. Dempster added a RBI single in the top of the seventh to make his day successful on all ends.

The best development on the night was out of Soto though. He went 1-3 with two walks. Drove in two with that RBI double, and has put together two solid starts in a row. Lou needs to put him out there everyday again so that he can continue to get his swing back. Soto returning to form is key to the 2010 Cubs lineup being the top to bottom threat that it was in 2008. Koyie Hill might "win games" or whatever, but Soto being good actually does win games rather than Hill's made up winning games.

The bullpen did a pretty good job though Lou didn't give any of them much action. Tom Gorzelanny came in to get one out in the seventh before being replaced by Angel Guzman who was allowed to get two outs. John Grabow finished out the eighth inning, and recently called up Esmailin Caridad pitched the ninth inning to close out the game. Caridad gave up the only hit by the bullpen and that hit was retired by a game ending double play. That allowed the Cubs to finish with a comfortable 9-4 win.

There are some various injuries to update starting with Milton Bradley who strained his hamstring running home in the first. Milton left the game as a precaution, he was supposed to get Wednesday off anyway, and should be good to go either tomorrow afternoon or Friday. Sam Fuld's wrist is injured so he can only play the field for a few days, Andres Blanco's hamstring is hurt so he probably can't play until tomorrow. Finally Alfonso Soriano's knee really should have him shut down for the season but he wants to play so Lou might let him later on.

The final September call-up was made today as Jeff Samardzija joins the team after his start in Iowa yesterday. Shark hardly deserves the call-up based on his numbers, but the Cubs believe in him. Lou wants to get him some starts and I think that is a great idea. The more major league innings he logs the better.

As mediocre as the Cubs have been this season at least they are still miles ahead of the Pirates and can still beat them up no matter where they play. Tomorrow the Cubs look to get the sweep with Big Z starting against former Cub Kevin Hart. Hart hasn't been very good for the Pirates so the sweep should be easy enough.

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