Monday, September 21, 2009

Cubs Win Despite Dirty Play by Cardinals

Going into the bottom of the ninth I fully expected the Cardinals to win on their third walkoff in as many days, but the baseball gods had other thoughts after Matt Holliday's dirty slide almost ended the game in the ninth. Ryan Ludwick hit a double play ball to Andres Blanco, Blanco tossed to Theriot who made a bad throw to Derrek Lee signaling the end of the game. However the second base umpire ruled that Holliday was out of the basepath and that the runner at first was out.

This meant the game would continue and the Cubs were able to win in the 11th on a two-run homer by Jake Fox, no doubt a shot at St. Louis from the baseball gods. The Cubs added another run on a wild pitch by Brad Thompson to make it 6-3. Carlos Marmol came in and worked a perfect ninth to end the game and keep the Cardinals magic number at 4.

Carlos Zambrano came out and had a dynamite start on the same day fellow whipping boy Milton Bradley ended his Cubs career. Z went out and threw six innings of five hit two run ball. He did walk three, but struck out six, an effort that deserved a win. Still the Cubs bullpen didn't feel like giving Z a win as Kevin Gregg came in a blew the game for the seventh time of the season.

Sean Marshall allowed a hit to the only batter he faced and needed Aaron Heilman to bail him out before giving way to Esmilian Caridid. Caridad is close to clinching a spot in the bullpen next season, and hopefully gets a start before the season ends so we can see his entire repertoire.

One final note about the Cardinals. No doubt they are a good team, but manager Tony LaRussa's act is really bothering me at this point. Tony flipped out after Z grazed Brendan Ryan with a pitch early in the game dropping a few F-bombs and stalking around the dugout. I know LaRussa and the Cardinals consider Z to be only a notch above the devil, but he really needs to cool it. Z didn't even come close to purposely hitting Ryan and LaRussa didn't need to overreact like that.

Good, fun win tonight. Next up is another series against the Brewers, this time in Milwaukee. I'll have a preview up in the morning.

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