Game Recap: Brewers 5, Cubs 1
Milwaukee got off to a great start last night, winning a game they could not afford to lose. And while Cub fans have to be mildly concerned with the hemorrhaging by the bullpen, we just need to remember one extremely important detail - the guy who turned it into a route for Milwaukee was Chad Gaudin. If he's going to the playoffs, it will only be because he's bought a ticket. Lou Piniella probably can't get him out of the clubhouse fast enough right now. In fact, Gaudin has fallen so far so fast that he's actually turned Bob Howry - Bob F****ng Howry! - into a viable post season option.
Also used last night in the pen were Jeff Smardzija and Carlos Marmol - leaving Kerry Wood to fend for himself all alone tomorrow night when the Cubs are in a perilous close-and-late situation.
Offensively, while the Cubs were unable to strike, they did threaten a lot. The team accounted for 9 hits and 2 walks, including 3 from Mike Fontenot. Who ever thought that Lil' Babe Ruth would earn himself a playoff starting gig? Fontenot has his batting average up to .303 on the season.
Other big hitters last night - Jim Edmonds, who smacked his 20th homerun last night, and Ryan Theriot both accounted for 2 of the team's hits. The big point of concern happened in the middle innings when Geovany Soto hurt his hand fouling off a pitch. Soto - who I'm on the brink of nicknaming Hedwig, but I won't explain why - has had a sore hand at various points in the season, but he said after the game that he will be fine and not even being struck by a hail of bullets would keep him out of the playoffs.
By the way, Dempster wound up throwing exactly 80 pitches and lasting 5 innings. While he did not walk away with win #18, he was able to lower his seasonal ERA to 2.96.
The Cubs tee off on - er, square off with the fragile - uhm, invincible Ben Sheets today in an early game. If they want to deny the Brewers a trip to the playoffs, it's a game the Cubs really can't afford to lose.