Series Recap - Cubs 11, Astros 6
The Cubs leave Houston with a winning record following an offensive explosion. Let's break it down...
8 of the team's 11 runs were scored in the first 2 innings of the game, and only 3 of those 8 runs came from a homerun - the result of a 3-run shot by Mike Fontenot.
Impressively, Soriano went 2 for 5, scoring 2 runs and stealing a base. More impressively, #2 hitter Kosuke Fukudome went 4 for 5, including a double and a homer, silencing his critics for at least one night. Fooky also stole a base (as a part of a double steal with Sori).
In fact, every Cub regular but Milton Bradley - we'll get to him in a second - got a hit. Lee went a meager 1 for 6 (Hoffpauir is shining his bat in anticipation), while Aramis collected 4 hits and 4 RBI.
About Bradley - he remains 0 for 2009, but he also remains amazingly patient. He worked every pitch count he saw last night and drew 3 walks. It may not exactly be what we're looking for in a cleanup hitter, but who cares? Bradley's discipline is part of the reason why Ramirez drove in 4 last night.
Ted Lilly! Why? Last year Lilly was a fantastic pitcher, except for when he faced the Reds and ignoring his first 4 or 5 starts. Last night Teddy Roosevelt got the least-earned win imaginable. He pitched 5 innings, striking out 3, walking 0, and serving up 4 - FOUR!! - homeruns, all but one solo-shots. Lilly now has an improbable record of 1-0 with an ERA of 9.00.
As far as the pen went, Dave Patton gave a very solid performance in his major league debut. He appears to be earning a high degree of man-love from Cub fans everywhere. Oh, and Marmol and Guzman pitched shutout ball in their innings of relief as well.
The Series Recap
If the Cubs can average 2 wins for every 3 games played, then they will come pretty close to the 110 wins I'm predicting they'll win in '09. A road series win, beating the 3 best pitchers of an opposing team that's dangerous but lacking the juice to stay competitive ... well, that's pretty awesome. The Cubs killed Moehler last night, chasing him in the 2nd inning, and amazingly they were able to hold Carlos Lee to a 1 for 12 (.083 AVG) performance. It may be the first time in his career that Lee didn't burn the Cubs at least once. The guy's got a career .306 AVG against the Cubs and has hit 27 homeruns against them - 8 better than his second best against-team total.
The Cubs roll into Milwaukee next on Friday. Maybe they will continue to announce their presence with authority there by thrasing the Brewers.
Current Record: 2-1
Position in the NL Central: Tied for 1st with Pittsburgh and Milwaukee
Best Possible Record: 161-1
Worst Possible Record: 2-160
On Pace For: 108-54
And a P.S.
We're 3 games into our experiment in this new format with better graphics and hopefully a little more interactionability (I know that's not a real word). I'd love to know what you think about the graphics and the content.