Filed:September 15th, 2009
Aramis Ramirez reacts after being plunked by a pitch Tuesday (Cubbie Nation)
Click here for the photo gallery of Tuesday's game
Evidently, someone forgot to tell the Cubs that they were dead, or dying.
Seven games above .500. Winners of 8 of the last 10. Oh, and have managed to shave three games off of their Wild Card standing in the last week.
With their 13-7 win over the Brewers Tuesday night, things have all of a sudden gotten very interesting again, and that matchup with the Cardinals later this month is quickly shaping up as a potential Three Nights in August moment.
Win the division? No, seriously now. But sitting four games back in the loss column for the Wild Card today, Cubs fans could at least be treated to some meaningful games down the stretch,and just possibly, an October surprise.
Back to last night's game though, that I could only describe at Hitsville. The Cubs hit. The Brewers hit. Everybody got hit. Guys were getting knocked down. It didn't take much to figure out that this was Brewers - Cubs.
The pitchers stunk. I mean awful. Yovani Gallardo got himself in all kinds of trouble, unable to drop that breaking ball in, and he just wouldn't get away from trying to spot it. The Cubs stayed patient, working him over in the first couple of innings for a ton of hits and walks. They'd only score once, a run in the second on a Ryan Theriot single, but those were high stress, high pitch-count innings that really set the stage for all kinds of trouble later.
He was almost able to get out of problems in the fourth, but he couldn't get that breaking ball past Derrek Lee, who deposited it in the gap for a 2-RBI double, giving the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
But Carlos Zambrano had his own woes, and honestly, I've no idea why. I'm going to attribute it to "mental fatigue". He's strike out eight Brewers in the first three innings, get two quick outs in the fifth, and then the wheels just came completely off. A sharp single by the pitcher Gallardo appeared to play with his head, and when Corey Hart followed that up with a two-run double to score Gallardo and Felipe Lopez, you could tell that he just wasn't there anymore. He's get the quick hook after five innings, watch Aaron Heilman -- no, really -- pick up the win.
Fortunately though, much like the Cubs eternal quest for a lead-off hitter & a left-handed slugger, problems in the Brewers bullpen is the perennial in Milwaukee. The Cubs broke things open in the sixth, with Todd Coffey and Carlos Villaneuva knocked around good, and the Cubs getting the five they spotted the Brewers back.
38,000 and change showed up to watch this win. I'll be talking more about that and a couple of other topics in a follow-up post shortly, but for now I'll say that I appreciate the Cubs giving us something for our money.