The Cubs improved to 43-16 at home with a 11-4 win over the Astros Wednesday. Cubs second baseman Mark Derosa connected for a grandslam in the bottom of the third and Alfonso Soriano followed with a three-run blast.
Jason Marquis scrapped by with the win after giving up four runs in the top of the third. Marquis is now 7-7 with a 4.73 ERA.
The Cubs are now 8-2 for the last ten games. The Cubs have an off day on Thursday before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for a weekend series. Lilly, Zambrano and Dempster will match up against Braden Looper, former Cub Todd Wellemeyer and the third pitcher will be announced later.
The Cubs are still atop the central division with a five game lead over the Brewers. They hold a 5.5 game lead over the Cardinals. The Cubs continue to hold the best record in the National League.
In other news, the team activated Kerry Wood on Tuesday. To make room for Wood the team designated relief pitcher Scott Eyre for assignment.
Some other stats:
Alfonso Soriano is hitting .395 with five home runs, 11 RBIs and 17 hits over the last ten games.
Mark DeRosa had a five RBI day on Wednesday. He hit his fourth career grand slam in the bottom of the third to put the Cubs ahead for good.
Derek Lee is struggling batting .268 in the last ten games. He went 0-for-4 during Wednesday’s game.
Aramis Ramirez isn’t fairing much better than Lee. Ramirez is batting .306 in the last ten games with 4 RBIs.
Kosuke Fukudome continues to struggle. He’s batting .265 in the last ten games.
Ryan Theriot after having a productive first half, Theriot has begun a backward slide. He’s batting .270 for the last ten games. He is currently batting .200 for the month of August.
Geovanny Soto continues to come out of his July slump. He’s batting .333 for the last ten days. However, he’s batting .235 in the last 30 days. He didn’t start on Tuesday or Wednesday, giving Henry Blanco a chance to get some work in.
Jim Edmonds is earning his place on the team. If there was to be a reflection back on the season of who has contributed to the success of the 2008 Cubs, Edmonds will be at the top of the list.Edmonds is .321 for the last ten games is batting .286 for the last (near his career average) 30 days. Don’t let the numbers fool you… he’s on par to have an average year. And for a guy who didn’t have much of a spring training, that’s a good thing.
Let me preface this by saying that I’m a duel Chicago baseball fan (sorta). While my true faith lies for the Cubs, I do have a soft spot for the White Sox. It goes back to the days of Carlton and when Ozzie wasn’t pompus and arrogant. But I digress, the Cubs-White Sox always brings about the agressive side in me. I dislike A.J. more now than ever before. Luckily, anything he did today didn’t really matter.
Guillen gets under my skin, especially when he takes potshots at European Cubs fans. He says they come to Wrigley to “tour” the field. It came across as an insult. (Luckily, I’m an American—but still. I have friends in Europe that are Cubs fans.) I can tell you why: historical significance. Unlike the Cell, Wrigely has some history. There’s something to be said. Unlike Comiskey, Wrigley probably will never fall prey to a wrecking ball (or dynamite).
Don’t get me wrong, Guillen is certainly entitled to his opinion. I just don’t agree with it.
(Personal note to self: Next year, go to a Cubs-White Sox game to live the riverly. Hopefully I can wave a World Champions hat in the faces of White Sox fans. )
Having said all that: I’m going to a White Sox game in July. They’re playing the Royals. It’s Harold Baines day. Should be fun.
Back to the Cubs-Sox series. After the disappointing road trip, I was feeling a bit worried. Then again, the Cubs are back at Wrigley and that’s always a good thing.
Just a quick recap. Zambrano was taken out of the game on Wednesday after experiencing some stiffness in his shoulder. Good news is, it’s minor. Bad news is, he’s missing two starts.
On other injury notes, Alfonso Soriano is well on the road to recovery and it looks like Darryl Ward is about ready to come off the DL.
The Cubs scored nine runs in the fourth inning and that was the team needed to beat the crosstown rivels, the White Sox 11-7 Saturday.
The White Sox went ahead early in the first with a two-run home run by Jermaine Dye. The Cubs would score in the bottom half, cutting the White Sox lead by half.
DeWayne Wise would follow in the fouth with a two-run shot. It was his first home run since 2004. Oddly enough, it also came against the Cubs. Wise was playing for the Braves at the time.
But the fireworks was just about to begin. The Cubs scored nine runs in the bottom of the inning. It what has to be a moment of oddity when Mike Fontenot came back around the second time in the inning, Cubs manager Lou Piniella pulled Fontenot for a pinch hitter.
Fontenot didn’t care. He figured it was strategy.
Piniella said in a post game interview that he didn’t realize that he done that to Fontenot. He certainly wouldn’t have done that had he known about the home run. Piniella chalked it up to being one of “those senior moments.”
Several Cubs players stated later they didn’t realize it was the same inning.
Jason Marquis gave up five runs on eight hits over seven innings of work. He struck out four and walked one. Kerry Wood got save number 19 after Carlos Marmol couldn’t close it out. Wood is now tied with Brian Wilson of the Giants in the NL for the lead in saves.
The Cubs called up Eric Patterson from Triple A Iowa to fill the spot vacated by Zambrano. Patterons went 3-for-5 with an RBI with a stolen base.
Jim Edmonds has proven to be the hidden weapon in the Cubs lineup. In Saturday’s game he connected as one-half of a four home run inning (all four home runs came as back to back. First time around was Edmonds and Mike Fontenot and the second one was Aramis Ramirez and Edmonds). He’s improved his batting average since coming to the Cubs in May.
While with San Diego, Edmonds batted .178. He’s average as a Cub is .311. His season BA is now .238. What’s impressive is that he’s improved his slugging average to .390. All around, Edmund’s has proven to be worthy acquisition.
He gives the Cubs a left handed bat that’s been known to be ratherly unfriendly to pitchers at Wrigley. He’s still got some good defensive ability. And he provides some veteran experience to the Cubs organization.
The Cubs have now gone back to back three times in the past two games. It helps when the wind blows out.
The Cubs go for the sweep Sunday. Ryan Demptser will go for win number nine. The White Sox send Javier Vazquez to the mound. First pitch is 8:05 Eastern. It’s the Game of the Week on ESPN.
When the Friars cut Jim Edmonds loose last weekend, talk immediately turned to the Cubs who are in dire need of a left-handed bat in the line-up. Late Wednesday, it became official. Former St. Louis Cardinal and former San Diego Padres center fielder, Jim Edmonds signed with the Cubs.
To make room for the move, the Cubs optioned a struggling Felix Pie to Triple-A Iowa.
Now, there’s going to be a lot grumbling about going for a guy who’ll be 38 in a couple of months. Going for a guy who’s having a rough start. Going for a guy who’s injured. However, I see this as a bonus for the Cubs.
One, they’re getting a veteran player who’s been a Cub killer at Wrigley. Ywo, he’s a left-handed bat. Right now, the Cubs only have Fukudome. Edmonds brings his ability to hit (and his bat is showing signs of waking up) and good, solid fielding ability. This is a chance for the Cubs to get someone now before the season gets deeper when the pickings might not be as good.
I look forward to seeing Edmonds in Cubbie blue. He could start in Thursday’s finale against the Padres.
The Cubs still hold a one-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs are 6-4 in the last ten games.
Former Cub Greg Maddux starts on the mound for the Padres. Ryan Dempster is looking for his 5th win for the Cubs. Game time is 2:20 Eastern.