Observations from a W against the Brewers
Cubs fans were treated to a fun slugfest last night, highlighted by four Cubs home runs, including a solo shot and grand slam by Derrek Lee. The crowd was loud, the team had fun, and the win drew the Cubs within 2.5 games of the Brewers. There’s certainly some opportunity this series.
? Sam Fuld had another high-energy, productive game for Chicago atop the order. He almost seems to be working at double speed: On his second-inning double, Fuld had to grab his helmet off his head as he was almost running too fast for it to keep up, and when he takes his lead off the base, his fingers, arms and legs all are in continious movement.
? Geovany Soto also seemed to be enjoying himself. As he waited outside the batter’s box before leading off the fourth inning, Soto spotted a loose warm-up ball skipping his way and swatted it back toward the field, to the amusement of everyone around the plate. When he stepped into the batter’s box, Soto tapped home plate umpire Lance Barksdale on the shin guard and exchanged a laugh.
And Soto followed it up with a hooking home run to left just moments later.
? Ryan Dempster’s kick save on the mound was an appropriate sports crossover for the native Canadian and hockey fanatic. Some pitcher deflections are nothing more than half-hearted reachers for up-the-middle grounders; Dempster’s was an all-out stop, field and throw.
After the play, the infield surrounded Dempster to make sure he was OK, but he waved everyone off as if it was no big deal. Of course, head trainer Mark O’Neal and pitching coach Larry Rothschild watched him throw a practice pitch to make sure …
? Even better was seeing Dempster be the first player to congratulate Sean Marshall as he returned to the dugout after striking out Prince Fielder with two runners on in the bottom of the seventh. Marshall had his curveball working.
— Sean Ahmed