Results tagged ‘ Marmol ’

Notes from a great win

It may have been near-freezing — the wind blowing in across rightfield was rippling jackets in the upper deck like flags — but the Cubs made every second worth it with last night’s 3-1 win. …

? How cold was it? The Dodgers were so unprepared for the 40-degree drop that most everyone but Joe Torre was wearing black MLB coats instead of their team’s. …


? The Cubs dugout already was chirping in the first minute of the game, when Sean Gallagher seemed to have a called strikeout of Juan Pierre. Home plate umpire Bob Davidson immediately took off his mask and yelled at the coaches that the pitch was inside.


When a ball deflected off of Gallagher’s pitching hand two batters later, Lou calmly talked with Davidson before returning to the dugout. But he also couldn’t contain a cheeky smile toward Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa, also known to have some animated relationships with umpires. …

? Davidson spotted a young kid between innings and walked over to hand him a ball. …


? Kosuke had a great game, reaching three times on a walk, single and double. Cubs fans obviously recognized the importance of his matchup last night with Hiroki Kuroda: In the bottom of the sixth, the fans were on their feet clapping as Kosuke drew a walk after falling behind 0-2. …


? Carlos Marmol was frustrated with his stuff in the eighth inning and ended up loading the bases before getting out of the jam. He had trouble commanding his slider, throwing just one for a strike to the first four batters. When Los Angeles’ James Loney swung at a 2-2 slider in the dirt for the second out, that seemed to be the turning point. He threw a couple good ones to Matt Kemp before inducing a weak grounder to short to end the inning.


Tommy Lasorda, MLB Ambassador

Before the game, I had the opportunity to talk with Tommy Lasorda for an upcoming issue of Vine Line. We discussed the city of Chicago, the progress of Japanese baseball considering last night’s Kuroda-Fukudome matchup, and managing against Lou when Lou was a player in the 1978 World Series. He was animated and said he always loves coming to Chicago, where he makes sure to hit the Italian food of Carmine’s on Rush St. first.

Jim Hendry also stopped by to talk to his friend of some 30 years, and the two had a lot of fun exchanging old stories and calling out each other’s repeat jokes. Lasorda also congratulated Jim on the job he has done with this team and said, “If we don’t win tonight, I sure hope you do.”

Tonight’s lineup

Closing out the series against right-hander Derek Lowe (2-5, 5.03):

Soriano, LF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Fukudome, RF
Soto, C
DeRosa, 2B
Johnson, CF
Zambrano, RHP

— Sean Ahmed

What a night

How about that for a win? The pitching and defense played about as well as they could to keep the team in the ballgame, and the hitters stepped it up to put the game away.

And look at who did come through with the big hits: Ronny Cedeno, battling for a significant role and following two bases-loaded outs, fights a ball up the middle to expand the lead to 4-1. Then Felix Pie follows with a beautiful, line-drive home run into the rightfield bleachers. Kerry Wood, like Carlos Marmol the inning before, was both efficient and perfect.

Michael observed during the game that this game could really send a message because of the quality of opponent. So far the Cubs have done very well against third-tier teams: 8-1 against Pittsburgh and Houston. They couldn’t have proved much more than they did in those particular games. But tonight was a different sort of test, and the team displayed an all-around effort to earn the victory.

They’ll have to keep doing it, too: After the Mets, the Cubs take on the Rockies, Nationals, Brewers and Cardinals … with only Washington being a weak team. There are some good tests in there, and some good opportunities for this team to keep proving itself.

Today’s lineup

Johnson, LF
Pie, CF

Lee, 1B

Ramirez, 3B

Fukudome, RF

DeRosa, 2B

Cedeno, SS

Blanco, C

Lilly, LHP

Nelson Figueroa pitches for the Mets. Strong wind blowing out today.

Two to 10,000

In first place and at 9,998 all-time wins feels pretty good right now, even as early as it is.