Game Recap: Cubs 7, Reds 3; Chicago keeps on rolling
Can you imagine the Milwaukee clubhouse earlier today? They must have been flying high, feeling good about themselves, exchanging high fives in the clubhouse as they pondered their inevitable playoff run. Then, the news breaks. Dick Harden is a Cub. Harden is younger than Sabathia, he's got better stuff, and I can only imagine the dejected expressions on the faces of the Brewers as they learned that the Cubs paid next-to-nothing from their current roster to get the trade done.
The Cubs, meanwhile, treated it as business as usual by making it look easy against the Reds tonight by scoring 7 runs and holding Cincy to 3.
On the pitching front, Ryan Dempster didn't have his best stuff - and, yet, he was able to hold the Reds to 2 hits in 7 innings. It was his walk total that almost killed him. The Reds did all their damage against him in the 4th, and it was all on walks as he issued passes to Griffey, Dunn, Votto, and Bako before getting out of the inning mostly unscathed en route to his 10th win of the season - which is about 7 more wins than I thought he'd have as a Cubs starter this year. Sometimes I love being wrong.
Offensively, the Cubs scored their typical 7 runs - something they've done in 14 times this season, a little more than once a week on average (and just under a quarter of their wins for the season). This was accomplished on 7 hits and 8 walks - Dusty Baker must be scratching his head as to how it happened - with 2 big hits coming from Ron Santo's "Little Babe Ruth," Mike Fontenot, including his 6th homerun and his 11th double. (Memo to Colin: if Ron Santo loves Fontenot, it's time to put the clamps down on your insistence that he sucks. Besides, as a bench player Fontenot is proving to be an asset, and he's been getting some big hits for the Cubs.) Seriously, Fontenot is a backup on pace for 12 homers and 23 doubles in just 270-or-so at bats.
Geo Soto continued to prove his qualifications as well. The starting All Star hit his 16th of the season for the Cubs.
And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Carlos Marmol came in to pitch in a tight situation and he came out unscathed. Against Phillips and Dunn, with 1 out and 2 men on, Marmol escaped by inducing a pop-out to third and a strikeout, in that order.
The Cubs will face one of Dusty's young arms tomorrow. It should be a fun game.
And next year, Dusty's young arms will look like this ...