Thursday, May 20, 2004

Cubs Pull it Off

Carlos Zambrano looked a little weak in game two against the Giants last night. The Cubs were trying to come off an embarrassing shutout at the hands of Jason Schmidt who just eats up the Cubs. The Cubbies really needed this one to keep pace with the Astros.

Zambrano was throwing a lot of fly balls, which is never a good sight from him, but he still pitched well. When you see him going out there consistently giving up less than 3 runs, you wonder a bit when the Giants score three by the end of the third – especially when that includes a home run by Michael Tucker. Yes, Carlos Zambrano who has only given up two home runs all year gave up a homer to Michael Tucker – the very Michael Tucker that used to wear the Cubbie blue.

Sosa is still out. He’s going to go on the DL with a bad back, so the Cubs needed some extra pop from their lineup. Corey Patterson not only saw a pitch he liked (about 90% of the pitches thrown to him), but he was able to put a charge into it and took it out to right field. He brought the Cubs to within 1 run.

It was getting late in the game when Corey walked in the 7th and moved to third on a Ramon Martinez single. Jason DuBois sacrificed Patterson in with a fly to right on his major league debut – not a bad performance. I was worried it wasn’t deep enough, but Patterson is quick and the throw was horrible.

Pedro Feliz was thrown out at home in the top of the ninth when Jeffrey Hammonds grounded to Aramis Ramirez. Feliz ran over a yard off the third baseline trying to get in the way of Ramirez’s throw to the plate, but Ramirez threw a bulls-eye to Michael Barrett who made the easy tag. Feliz would have been called out anyway for running out of the baseline.

Moises Alou decided to end the game in the bottom of the tenth with a shot to left off a high fastball that missed it’s mark by a good two feet. It was a great ending to a “nervous” game for me. I did not want to see the Cubs fall to this poor team again and lose more ground to the Astros. The Cubs need to stay afloat until they can get their big guns back. Hopefully these injuries won’t be our proverbial Achille’s heal.

Notes:

The Farns was sharp - retiring the side. LaTroy wasn't terribly dominant, but he got the job done. Joe Borowski is looking better, although he wasn't locating his slider.