Game Recap: Cubs 6, Marlins 5; Daryle Ward Redemption Thread
About a month ago, the Cubs were a bad team on the road, the Brewers were surging, and Kerry Wood was nursing a blister from hell.
On this day, after beating the Florida Marlins, the Cubs are one of only a handful of teams with a non-losing road record, the Brewers are eating dust in the rear-view, and Kerry Wood is walking a line once trod by Rod Beck - albeit without the cocaine or hookers. Chicago has now won their last 5 games in a row, including a streak of 9 straight on the road dating back to July 23. Even more impressive, they've also amassed a winning streak of 1 game against Florida in Florida dating back to, like, 2005 or something. That's quite the impressive streak, and it truly examples how the most important win is the one that just happened, the most important game is the one that comes tomorrow, and the past, just like the future, should have no weight in the present. Or at least it aught to. If the Cubs can enter the playoffs with that kind of mentality, then dominance and victory shouldn't be too far off.
Anyway, the game looked pretty well over after Carlos Zambrano coughed up 4 runs in the 3rd, putting the Cubs behind the Fish 5-1. Chicago retaliated with 2 in the 4th off of a DeRosa 2-run homer, and that appeared to be the end of any offense for either team.
Carlos was not at his best, although he managed to buckle down and throw 6 innings on - guh - 119 pitches, 62 for strikes. He walked 5, struck out 6, and probably had a few miniature strokes while flipping out between innings. A solid 2-inning relief appearance by the underrated Chad Gaudin kept the game close, but nobody could have predicted that it would come down to the bat of one man who, having gone 4 for 40 as a pinch hitter this year, stepped up to the plate in the top of the 9th with 2 on and 1 out. Darryl Ward proceeded to hit a homerun, proving yet again that any goat can be a hero for a day. Cub bloggers everywhere, who have long been calling for Ward's release, are probably pleasantly silenced for one night. However, this blog will stick to its guns and insist that Ward leaves baseball for his natural second calling - using his massive posterior as a life-saving emergency floatation device for white water rafters who have toppled into the drink.
After Ward elevated the Cubs to their first lead since the 2nd inning, Kerry Wood stepped in for his first close save situation since his return from the DL. He made things interesting. He walked Haney Ramirez, he hit Cantu after wild-pitching Ramirez to second, and then he struck out Amezaga to end the game.
The Cubs are now 28 games over .500 and 5 games ahead of the Brewers, who play the Dodgers starting about 10 minutes from now. In all of baseball, only the Angels have a bigger lead over the 2nd place team. I'll leave you with that.