I leave for a few days, and the Cubs bullpen can get people out, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot are channeling the Bash Brothers, and the Cubs are riding high on a three game win streak after beating the Marlins Sunday 6-4.
Thanks for the memories
Before fans were treated to one of the better games of the season, the crowd of 40,457 enjoyed the retirement ceremonies of the No. 31 jersey, worn previously by Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux.
Both were on hand with their jerseys being hoisted down the left and right field foul pole, respectively.
I never saw Jenkins pitch in person, but Maddux was a special sort for me.
He was worth every single accolade, not only for what he did on the field, but for how professional he was.
I can't think of anything more Maddux than this comment made today:
"I always felt like it was a privilege to wear the uniform. Almost every day, when I was sitting there putting it on, I would realize it was a privilege and an honor to put on the uniform.
Because I felt that way, I tried to do it right. I just tried to do it right every day and didn't worry about what the score was in the ninth inning. As long as I did everything right before the game was over, I felt pretty good about myself."
And that's why we love these guys.
Give one, take one
I'd feel much better about this win were it not for the early exit by Carlos Zambrano due to a leg injury.
The official word is hamstring strain, with Carlos likely to miss his scheduled start against the Brewers Friday.
Earlier in the day, it was announced that Aramis Ramirez could be rejoining the lineup, as early as tomorrow, against the Giants. So, it appears that while the offense looks to get a boost soon, the pitching situation is going to continue to be shaky for at least awhile longer.
Fortunately, Zambrano's exit was in the bottom of the fifth, while legging out an infield single to start the inning.
He'd leave, but the Cubs would continue working over a tiring Ricky Nolasco, ultimately loading the bases for Derrek Lee. Lee would then promptly deposit a Nolasco slider into the center field batter's eye for his ninth career grand slam, and his first as a Cub.
The Cubs would need it too, as Marlin relievers would make that the last real scoring opportunity of the game, forcing the Cubs to hang on for the victory.
And when a Dan Uggla sac fly in the sixth, and John Baker homer in the eighth made the score 6-4, it would make this game a little too close for comfort.
Carlos Marmol, however, would settle down enough in the eighth to limit the damage, and Kevin Gregg would pitch a scoreless ninth to put the game away for good.
This team still has a ways to go, but winning three out of four is at least a good start toward getting there.