Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Cubs 4, Astros 2

Cubs 4, Astros 2
It's become a tradition these past few years that when the Cubs win their first of the season, we say something like this:

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! 

Quick Links
Opening Day GameCast
Series Preview: Cubs vs. Astros

Superstition

Remember when Kosuke had a sweet opening day last year, and then a not so hot year? Just saying.

Well Kurt sense your in love

Well Kurt sense your in love with DLee lets see what he does over the next 20 games and then we can decide where he should be and fukudome should still start but start in the 8th we dont need him getting his swing back in the 2 hole!

Over the next 20 games,

Over the next 20 games, eh?

What if he was batting .200 with a .228 OBP and a .535 OPS?

Or what if he was batting .229 with a .325 OBP with 2 HR and 11 RBI?

I guess it'd be time to pull the cord on him then, right?

Bradley

Kurt, forgot to mention Milton. 0-3. Obviously he is going to tank now that he got paid. Should have signed Adam Dunn!! Seriously though, did you hold your breath when he made that awkward dive in the ninth complete with a cartwheel with his head?

Blue in the face

When he stumbled over 1st base. Ecks.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award