As I write this, the Cubs are up 11-3 in the middle of the 8th inning tonight against the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati was down by more than Ocho by the middle of inning numero Cinco and there was no looking back. What an unbelievable game. Zambrano looks amazing. 7 innings and only 2 runs given up on 8 hits and 5 strike outs. He even doubled and had an RBI. Now if only the rest of the starters could follow suit.
I didn’t really know what to expect with this being the first game with Soriano. 15 days. Wow. That is horrible. It’s unfortunate it happens on a move (the hop) that isn’t even necessary to field his position…and odd that it happened doing something he does game in and game out, fly ball putout after flyball putout. I like the fact that it opens up the opportunity to get the Theriot/Fontenot LSU double play combo on the field and it gives great value to Derosa’s existence on the roster. Still though, losing Soriano is huge and it will be interesting to see how it affects us over the next couple weeks.
Now, when I created the D Lee News and every other link list in the sidebar, I had the freedom of using them and adding to them anytime I wanted. Since the blog format change, they haven’t been working properly always so I haven’t been able to keep the D Lee News or the Pitchers/Beer section as I’d like. So let me say this, as for the pitcher/beer result for today’s game, it’s obvious, no? Zambrano, this tall, ice cold, frosty mugged beer is on us. You may be expected to stay off the soda and coffee…pull up to the bar with a bunch of bananas, a potassium pill and some pretzels my friend. This beer’s for you…and its on us.
As for the D Lee News…if you look at the archives or have been a regular visitor to Prose and Ivy since Spring Training…you’ll know how worried I was about Lee. He looked so amazingly bad in Spring Training, regardless of whether it counted, I really thought it mattered. Turns
out…I was wrong. Lee is having an unbelievable start to the season. Fukudome has totally stolen the show, but Lee is probably the biggest reason the Cubs kick things off at 8-5 (about to go 9-5 as they are now up 12-3 in the top of the ninth with one out, about to put this one away). Coming into tonight’s game Lee leads the team in AB, R, Hits, Doubles, HR, RBI, total bases, slugging %, and batting average (not counting Blanco who only has 8 AB on the season). Are you kidding me? No. I did not see this coming. And it is probably the second best surprise of the season. Fukudome is the first. He had another great game tonight going 2-for-3, scored twice, 2 RBI and walked twice. He’s hitting .353 on the season and leads the team in on-base percentage. Imagine this lineup when Soriano is healthy and hitting and Ramirez is hitting and in a timely manner and for power as expect, at that. Incredible.
For now though, Soriano is out and we’re looking to make due. Tonight was a great start coming away with the W. 9-5 on the season including a nice two game smackdown of Dusty in his return to Wrigley. Hard to complain about too much so far. A few pitchers need to pick up their game a bit and they know who they are, although I have no problem with the press harping on their struggles. Hopefully it will motivate them to turn things around and join the rest of the team on their level of extraordinary play so far this season.
A number of publications in the beginning of the season picked the Cubs to win the Central and many picked them to win the whole thing. I’ve been thinking about that (who hasn’t) for a while now and if that were the case…I was thinking about what it would be like to play the American League champion whoever they may be. Lots of thoughts on facing every American League team in the Classic. Those thoughts to be posted in the upcoming days…but let’s face it, if the Cubs are representing the National League in the World Series, bring on anyone from the American League…they could all be fun. Tomorrow, to kick things off: the AL East.