Kurt can do an official game recap tomorrow morning if he wants... but for you night owls, I'll tell you all you need to know now*.
- Cubs Win, Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
- Cubs are in second place, .5 game behind St. Louis
- Alfonso Soriano hit another leadoff HR. I think Pat Hughes said it was the 51st of his career. Soriano has 4 dingers on the year already.
- The final score was 8-5. It wasn't pretty baseball.
- Joe Morgan still drives me crazy.
- Milwaukee walked in 4 runs with the bases loaded in fourth inning.
- Milton Bradley left the game with a strained groin in the fourth inning.
- Ryan Dempster got the win, despite struggling to throw strikes throughout. Dempster's line was 6 innings, 4 earned runs, 6 Ks, 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 win.
- Carlos Marmol pitched a perfect (and dominating) 8th inning.
- Kevin Gregg appeared for the fourth time in this young season. He allowed a home run to Rickie Weeks, and has allowed a run in every appearance this season. His ERA stands at 12, and he did not record a save, due to the four run lead he inherited.
- Oh... and then there was Reed Johnson's Catch (Capital Letters are Necessary... this was not a catch... it was the Reed Johnson Catch... the definitive Reed Johnson Catch). (The Video's taking some time to make it onto the interwebs... but we'll get a link to it tomorrow.) Long story short, Reed robbed Prince Fielder of a Grand Slam in the fifth. It was UNBELIEVABLE. For that, Reed Johnson is named El Mero Mero.
* I missed the first two innings, and was making Spaghetti for a while, so you may actually need to know more.
Reed Johnson will be filling a vital role this season. His participation will be crucial cog for the ’09 Cubs. He...must...BLOG.
That’s right, my favorite Cubs SWP will be taking over as team blogger with the departure of Mark DeRosa. So far, he’s off to a solid start as he’s promised to insult Mike Fontenot at least once in every post he makes. Glorious.
As for that other stuff he does on the field, I guess that’s fairly important too.
Around this time last year, I was a bit puzzled and confused when Jim Hendry decided to reach down into his big sack of tricks and pull Johnson off the scrap heap. Bringing in a guy who recently recovered from back problems didn’t sound like a good idea as back injuries are the ones that tend to linger on and on.
But as with most things baseball-related, I was wrong. Johnson was a solid producer off the bench with the bat (.303/.358/.420, 50 RBI, 6 HR) and the glove (providing one of the most amazing catches I’ve ever seen...too bad MLB made everyone take it off the Interwebs).
The versatility and gritty whiteness that Johnson displayed in 2008 should serve the team well this season too. While Reed will technically be declared a “backup” to Fukudome in centerfield, his role as a platoon member, late-game defensive sub and right-handed pinch hitter will be invaluable. I’d apply my SWP formula to statistically show you how important Reed really is, but the numbers would overwhelm you to the point of pulling out your torches and pitchforks and marching to Wrigley Field demanding Reed Johnson be a full-time starter. Plus I'm too hungov-, err, lazy to look it up.
But on a serious note, White Slice (as his teammates call him apparently) might be the one of the most complete and important bench players in all of baseball based on what will be asked of him by his manager. He is to the Cubs what Toni Kukoc was to the Bulls, but less European and with much more blogging ability.
Maybe Johnson doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, but like Hank White, he’d be one of those guys who you wouldn’t missed until he was gone.
As most of you are probably aware by now, while I am an American citizen I hang my hat in the lovely city of Toronto. That means that every four years - give or take - I get to see the Cubs travel to the Dome on what tends to be the anniversary of my relationship with my Canadian Fiancee.
I'm not a huge fan of watching the Jays play. Mostly, my problem with the team stems from the ballpark. What was once a glorious representation of the future of baseball parks everywhere, the Rogers Centre now strikes me as boring and empty. And maybe it's just the acoustics, but compared to Wrigley Field it's as quiet as a crypt out there - except, oddly enough, for when Reed Johnson appeared in the series against the Jays last year. When that happened, the Toronto fans roared in support.
Maybe it's just Canadian to remember that guy who used to wear your team's uniform and appreciate him always, or maybe the Jays fans realize what we were quick to learn in 2008 - Johnson is a valuable player who knows how to hit.
Like Edmonds, Johnson was a player that Jim Hendry picked from the scrapheap. He signed a deal in March, after having batted only .236 in 2007 thanks to a herniated disc.
He proceeded to hit the ball very well for Chicago. In 333 at bats, Johnson batted .303 with a .358 OBP. He hit 6 homeruns and 21 doubles, while posting an OPS of .778.
He also has award-winning facial hair.
Johnson will return in 2009. It's very likely that he'll share center field with Kosuke Fukudome, while also starting the odd game in left and right. He's never going to be an All Star, in fact he's the epitome of the Scrappy White Player, but the Cubs are a better team with him on their bench.
Oh, and it was his birthday on Monday. I just thought I'd point that out.
Via Gordon Wittenmyer's Twitter account. Aramis Ramirez is back with the team and will be batting cleanup; Reed Johnson was activated off the disabled list, with Eric Patterson being optioned to AAA Iowa to make room. Johnson will start tonight in left field.
Cubs do nothing against Hudson, and in the 9th Doggie Daddy hits a bomb to send it into extras.
The rested Kid K pitches 2 innings and strikes out 4 Bravos. Then we load the bases, they bring in a lefty, we bring in the Soulpatch, and he gets beaned.
Go Cubs Go...Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say?