Game Recap: Cubs 10, D-Backs 6, What the?
Perhaps the Cubs are confused by this all-or-nothing approach they've been taking to baseball as of late. They seem to score either 1 run or 10, with little compromise to meet that figure somewhere in the middle. Last night was a perfect example - after 2 games of offensive druthers, the Cubs scored often, and had a particularly impressive 8th inning in which they scored 6.
They did everything they needed to do. The Cubs delivered 10 base hits, including homeruns by Derrek Lee and Reed Johnson. Knowing that his play-time was about to get Duboised, Johnson went ballistic against the 'backs, going 3 for 4 with 4 RBI from his 8th inning Grand Slam. More importantly, the Cubs as a team drew 5 walks. At this point, it's safe to say that plate discipline has indeed been an important aspect of the runs this team has scored and the wins they've collected.
Oh, and did we mention that Soriano is back? He went 1 for 5 in his return, with a double. Don't get too excited, though. I will be shocked if he doesn't struggle for at least a week or too.
Meanwhile, Ted Lilly pitched 6 strong innings, allowing 6 hits, walking 3 en route to his 10th win of the season. His performance would have been for nothing had the Cubs not scored an awful lot of runs in the top of the 8th, as the D-Backs thrust the fork even deeper into Bob Howry, who gave up 3 runs in the bottom half of that inning.
Lou Piniella must have been at his wits end. The Cubs had a 4-run lead, he clearly was afraid that they'd somehow blow such a close score, and so he called on his super-arm, Carlos Marmol. Luckily, Marmol buckled down and was able to hold onto that fragile lead, although he gave up a double and a walk before he struck out Chad Tracy to end the game.
Series Recap: Another tough series on the road for the Cubs. It has become an epidemic for them, and it has to be concerning for any post season hopes. While it's certainly possible - if not likely - that the Cubs will get there, they have to have the ability to win on the road.
Maybe it's true that they have been stealing signs at home. Perhaps they've become a little too dependent on it. Or, maybe their hitting coach should do his job and help guys figure out how to hit. Just a few thoughts.
Current Record: 59-42
Position in the NL Central: 1st place, 1 games in front of Milwaukee
On Pace For: 95-67
Record needed to win 120: 61-0 - undefeated all the way, baby!