Cubs Call To The Pen

Bullpen BrianCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 27: Kevin Gregg #63 of the Chicago Cubs throws the ball in the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 27, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 5-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Nothing against Soriano’s home run, but this win belongs to the bullpen.

A pen, mind you, that’s come a long way since its April ERA of 5.37.

Ever since late April, however, the relievers have collectively lowered its ERA each month to a very respectable 2.44 come July.

Twice Saturday night the Cubs wiggled out of late inning bases loaded jams. But, that’s been the norm lately.

Of the pen’s last 20 inherited runners, just a single one has scored! That’s big time!

While the Cubs’ top priority is scoring more runs, second on that list is keeping a rock solid bullpen.

That’s hugely important down the stretch and a big reason why I’m thrilled about the B.J. Ryan signing too.

Soriano’s three-run shot felt like a small sports miracle. Not only did it give Chicago the lead, it also pushed them to the five run marker.

Score five or more runs on the road this season and Chicago is 12-4. Below this plateau they’re 16-44. Wow!

Despite a poor outing, Randy Wells deserves a win. It’s not like the Cubs don’t owe him a few more anyway.

Milton Bradley is making promises he can’t keep. He’s 2-for-12 since the break with one run, one walk, an error, and a caught stealing.

Yes, Milton is back all right—back to his old self of strikeouts and tantrums.

Two terrific digs by D-Lee at first! There’s a good chance the Cubs lose this game if Derek doesn’t bring his gold glove with him.

Having won the first three games of four, you get greedy at this point. It’s not about sweeping Washington—it’s about sustaining a long winning streak.

  • The Cubs (46-43) are in second place.
  • W: Wells (5-4) L: Zimmermann (3-5) S: Gregg (18)
  • Chicago is 11-6 in its last 17 road games.
  • A win Sunday and the Cubs are four above .500 for the first time since May 20 (21-17).
  • Fontenot is hitting .325 in his last 12 games.
  • Fukudome is 10-for-33 in nine games at the leadoff spot.
  • Nats manager Jim Riggleman skippered five season in Chicago posting a 374-419 (.472) record.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.