Cubs Win!! (Game Recap)
Since I work evenings, I don't typically get to watch the Cubs games live but today was an exception and what a game it was.
Some observations from the game:
Pitchers: Ted Lilly settled down and got some help from his defense today. He has probably been the worst of the Cubs' starters this year but today, he was fine, only allowed 3 runs in the second to the bottom of the lineup of the Pirate juggernaut. He threw strikes, didn't give up a HR and stayed in for 7 strong. He even gutten thru a tough 7th inning where the Pirates loaded up the bases but failed to score.
Carlos Marmol may be the most unhittable pitcher in all of baseball. Having said that, did anyone notice that he had a .424 BABIP coming into today's game? Incredible. Marmol's control has been very good this year and today he made the awesome Pirate offense look like members of well, the Pirates.
Sean Marshall was excellent shutting the door in the 8th inning but here's the question, where was Zambrano? Wasn't this exactly the type of role in which he was supposed to used? I am so confused as to what Lou is doing with him.
Hitters: Alfonso Soriano is making me think that having him around for four more years might not be the worst thing in the world. OK, maybe not, but he's really hitting the ball well now and went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He stole second in the 7th and took third on a wild pitch with 2 outs (thank God he didn't get thrown out, the Soriano haters would have been out in force!). He skated around pretty bad in left field especially in that 3 run second but ultimately, it didn't lead to the Cubs giving up more runs. The more I watch him, the more he looks like Lonnie Smith to me out there.
Kosuke Fukudome made two great defensive plays in the 7th inning. The first one was on a throw that kept Stephen Pearce from taking third on a flyball to right. Len and Bob figured he'd take the base easily. I was following the game on CBS and they had Pearce on third but Fukudome probably would have thrown him out if he had tried. That play was fortuitous because the next batter was the pitcher and he pulled his bat back and lined a long liner to Fukudome that Kosuke had to take a weird angle to before catching it over his right shoulder. It was awesome and saved the Cubs as much as anything else that came after.
D-Lee and Aram look like they may be getting their swings back. Both hitters hit several hard balls today that were caught. Starlin Castro is a contact making machine. Watching him closely today, he has Theriot' approach combined with a better contact rate and more power potential. He is going to be good. I would not be shocked to see him put together .350/.400/.530 seasons in his prime.
It's good to see Nady come thru with the hit that won the game but there isn't much to say other than that. A decent hitter should have gotten that hit so it's no surprise that Nady lined the third or fourth mistake in the at bat to right field. I'd love to see Nady hit a little better because it's almost time for either Fuku or Byrd to move into a cold run and the Cubs can't really rely on Tyler Colvin all the time.
All in all. A good win and it's nice to see the Cubs pull out one of these close ones from time to time.