Game Recap: Cubs 4, Astros 2
The Cubs won't be starting the year 0-14.
Tonight's game is a series of stories that can actually be told from the perspective of two types. The first type is the following - and was inspired by the newly improved GROTA Shout Box.
Did you see how Derrek Lee went 0 for 4? Micah Hoffpauir went 1 for 1 with an RBI. Just sayin'.
Did you see how Kosuke Fukudome went 0 for 4? Time for him to take over Kosh's job as the head of the grounds crew.
Imagine what would have happened if Carlos had gone 4 innings walking 6, striking out 3, and surrendering 5. These guys would already be standing on the ledge getting ready to give up on the 2009 season. At least Cub fans are consistent.
The good news is that while a couple of the Cub regulars shockingly failed to get a hit - I know, we expected them all to start the year batting 1.000 - the game started with a splendid leadoff homerun by Alfonso Soriano. The offensive shower continued in the second inning when Aramis also cleared the bleachers with a blast.
In fact, the Cubs were far from overpowering tonight, but they consistently caused trouble for Astros ace Roy Oswalt and they seemed to make the game feel like it was far less close than it actually was. Even when Carlos Marmol walked Lance Berkman and faced a Carlos Lee who also served as the potential tying run (I believe the Cubs should walk Carlos Lee every freakin' time he steps up to the plate, by the way) it didn't seem too stressful. And while Kevin Gregg gave up an earned run in the 9th he notched his first save in as many attempts.
But maybe the best story of tonight was Carlos Zambrano. He threw 97 through 6. He walked 3. He seemed to get into minor bouts of trouble all night - including allowing the leadoff man to get on base in the first 3 innings of the game. But while he petered out by the 7th, leaving with 2 on and 0 outs, Carlos hardly looked like the Big Moose of old who had trouble getting through even the 5th inning of opening day games. Maybe it's an indication of things to come.
Anyway, if the Astros were going to win a game this series, it was this fist one. The Cubs pitching gets stronger while the Astros rotation thins and weakens. It's a glorious start to the 2009 season and I'm happy to say ... Cubs win!