Cardinals vs Cubs: Bryan LaHair's Home Run Ties It, Soriano Wins It for Cubs 3-2
Bryan LaHair's solo home run in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at two after a dejected Cubs team watched Carlos Marmol blow a 1-0 lead in the top of the eighth by giving up a go-ahead two run home run to Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday.
The Cubs were able to escape a shaky 10th inning from relief pitcher Michael Bowden, and Alfonso Soriano provided the decisive blow with an RBI single in the bottom frame.
This was the Cubs' first winning series on the season.
Here is what we learned and the questions we have after today's game.
Was It Necessary To Bring in Carlos Marmol in the Eighth?
Dale Sveum was obviously trying to secure a win by bringing in one of his relief pitchers who is believed to possess one of the best arms in the game. It is hard to blame Sveum for bringing in Marmol in the eighth to ensure the Cubs' first series win on the season.
It has been nearly two weeks since Marmol has had a save opportunity chance, and it may appear Sveum was over-managing by trying to do too much by not trusting Rafael Dolis against Matt Holliday. His alternate plan backfired as Marmol gave up a two-run home run to Holliday.
Tony Campana Provides a Spark
As I have previously noted, I feel that Campana is the right mix for this team to provide a lift for this offense. On Tuesday, he went 2-for-4 and played a crucial role in the 10th inning.
He stole two more bases on Tuesday, and he has hit safely in every game he has played this season.
Bryan LaHair Shows Why He Should Always Start
Bryan LaHair tied the game up in the ninth inning with a solo home run to send the game into extra innings. If there is anything we have learned from this performance, it is that he is not afraid of the spotlight.
LaHair is among league leaders with a .375 batting average, and he is providing an offensive pop in the middle of the lineup the Cubs are desperately searching for.
Here's to hoping LaHair sees a majority of the playing time as opposed to platooning with Jeff Baker.
James Russell Has Been Stellar
After Sean Marshall was traded away to the Cincinnati Reds, many were unsure who would be the lefty that would be able to fill Marshall's shoes from last season.
Russell has made Marshall seem like an afterthought as he has been pitching lights-out so far. He has yet to give up a run, and he picked up the victory against the Cardinals by pitching a perfect 10th.
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