Game Recap: Cubs 11, Dbacks 5
It's sort of a nice feeling when your starting pitcher can give up five runs and the team still gets a win. I almost forgot what it felt like to watch the Cubs come back from any sort of deficit. Randy Wells went to 3-0 on the season but was in no way flawless today. Then again, with the wind blowing out it was clear it was going to be one of those days. Wells went six innings and gave up five runs on five hits. Most importantly, he didn't walk anyone and struck out eight on the day. Honestly, that's all you can ask of a pitcher on a day like today. Perhaps even more importantly, the bullpen contributed three scoreless innings... a luxury that hasn't been all that frequent this season.
Kosuke Fukudome started the Cubs scoring when he hit a home run to right field, giving him homers in back to back games for the first time in his stateside career. As frustrating of a month as it has been, Kosuke must be sad to see the month of April end as he hit .344 with 5 HR and 16 RBI on the month. I don't know if the power holds up, but if he can continue to make solid contact like he has been doing recently it would really add another dynamic to the club.
The real star of the day has to be one Alfonso Soriano. Some of you may remember him as the most booed player on the Cubs team (making him the only individual in Chicago that may have actually missed Milton Bradley). Today he went 2 for 3 with 4 RBI, three of which game on a game-changing home run in the sixth inning. Soriano ends the month of April with a .292/.358/.900 (SLG being the latter) line. To me the most surprising number on that line is the on-base percentage. At the moment, Fonzie is seeing the ball so well that he has been uncharacteristically patient at the plate. The end result is a fair amount of walks and much better contact when he swings.
Lou shut his critics up when he made Theriot sacrifice himself in the 7th inning (with a one run lead at the time) to set up what would be 3 insurance runs on the inning. Speaking of walks and Soriano, Fonzie drove in his fourth RBI of the day that inning when he took a bases loaded walk from Aaron Heilman (miss him yet?) after Ramirez had also taken a bases loaded walk earlier. To date, I am pretty sure Ramirez leads the league in the statistical category of "percentage of RBI driven in by means of a walk" with 15.3% rate. In the eighth inning Soto and Byrd won somebody $1000 when they hit back-to-back home runs. Happiness all around. HIGH FIVES EVERYBODY!!!!!!!
The Cubs end this April chapter of the season and march into May. To quote the great Marlon Byrd: "We're going to start swinging, it's just going to come around. April's over, so from what I've heard, the Cubs heat up in May. I think it's about that time." Let's hope he's right.