by Andy Paschen
Lot of late inning heroics here by both teams, but fortunately for this guy (two thumbs right here!) the Cubs eeked out more wins than losses in the series. Let’s jump into the nitty gritty.
Cubs win the series (technically it was a four game series, but mother Earth decided to change it to three): L-W-W
Cubs Series Record: 3-0-1 (7-4 overall)
- What Milton Bradley game was Milton Bradley? Thursday: Operation. Home plate umpire Larry Vanover tried to delicately call Bradley out on strikes when he pinch hit in the 7th. But Vanover must have touched the side when trying to remove Bradley’s angry bone, because the call sent Uncle Milty into a fury, and he huffed and puffed until Vanover kindly asked him to leave the game via ejecxt message.
- Coming to Barnes and Noble near you: Derrek Lee and the Deathly Fastballs. In the bottom of the ninth on Saturday against Ryan Franklin, Franklin threw fastball after fastball after fastball in Lee’s AB. Derrek Lee in 2005 would have ended the game then and there, but 2009 Derrek Lee wasn’t fast enough to turn on the 88-92 mph offerings Franklin was serving up with no 2nd pitch. Derrek Lee and Carlos Zambrano (there will be a post about this later in the week), your suns look to be beginning to set.
- “You just made the biggest mistake of your life.” — Alfonso Soriano’s arm is In the top of the 10th on Saturday Fonzi doubled up Chris Duncan at second with a lightning fast throw. It’s a good thing Duncan can hit, because he is just useless as a baseball player otherwise. And say what you will about Soriano’s outfield play, but do not test the man’s arm. Unless you want to have a post on FAIL blog.
- The Cubs were lucky to take two of three in the series. But the Cardinals were lucky not to get swept. Confused? The games this weekend we so close that really either team could have swept or gotten swept. Furthermore, the Cubs and Cardinals look like mirror images of each other: good hitting lineups that sock a lot of dingers, good starting pitching and not so good relief.
Thursday: D. Aaron Heilman blew the lead first, then David Patton promptly failed to keep the game tied for a combine line of 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB. Angel Guzman (El Pobrecito!) got tagged for a run in the 8th to quell and hope of a comeback.
Friday: A. Aaron Heilman did his job. Carlos Marmol made it interesting, but both of them left the game unscathed. Marmol closed the game out. Me thinks Piniella was scared of Kevin Gregg vs. Pujols with the game on the line.
Saturday: B+. Yes, Marmol did give up the lead when Yadier Molina raked a double down the line with a man on second in the 8th inning, but 5 innings of one-run ball against your hated rival with a number of big bats is worth a higher grade. Plus, the gutsy two inning outing by Kevin Gregg was his best outing of the year thus far.
Bullpen season GPA: 2.9 (B/B-) in 11 games. Thursday’s debacle cost the team any chance to make the deans list for the season.
Thursday’s Goat: David Patton. Walks’ll get ya, and Patton’s two base-on-balls lead to the winning runs crossing home plate for the Dirty Birds.
Friday’s Hero: Alfonso Soriano love going 0-3 with 3 Ks and then socking the go ahead dinger.
Saturday’s Hero: Aramis Ramirez was 0-5 coming into the 11th. But 1-6 with the game winner means he wears the hero’s crown.
Sunday’s Goat: Tlaloc, the Aztec rain god. Sunday night’s prime time game was washed out, ruthless punishment handed down from the mighty Tlaloc due to the recent lack of human sacrifice on his altar. Might I suggest an offering?
Hero/Goat season leaders:
Hero Squad: Finally, the logjam atop my subjective MVP calculator has been cleared. Soriano for MVP! – 2
Fontenot, Fukudome, Johnson, Lilly, Zambrano, Ramirez – 1
Goat Bastards: Still, I’m surprised that no one has stepped up to claim top spot in the LVP race. Neifi Perez would have locked this thing up last week. Bradley, Cotts, Fontenot, Gregg, Harden, Patton – 1
On Tap: Cincinnati (6-5) comes to town on Tuesday.