Cubs 5, Astros 1 F/13: All Is Forgiven Soriano

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 28: Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs gets a hit against the Chicago White Sox on June 28, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Cubs 6-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Click Houston+Astros/default.aspx" target="_blank">here for the photo gallery of Monday's game

It took almost four hours (3:49) and 13 innings, but the Cubs came out on top Monday when Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off grand slam off Chris Sampson to lead the Cubs to a 5-1 win.

No questions, no doubt. Deep to center, and everyone knew it was gone off the crack of the bat.

So, after starting the game 0-for-5, with a double play, three strikeouts, and some bad luck that appeared to shake even his faith a bit, he delivered in a way that's just so Soriano.

This was a good baseball game all around actually, especially for a Monday night game. There was plenty of entertainment from the onset, as Carlos Lee playfully taunted and entertained the left field fans, then turned around and smacked a solo homer off Carlos Zambrano out their way to remind them that he was here.

Derrek Lee would counter with a solo homer of his own in the fourth, and then we were treated to some very good pitching on both sides for the next nine innings. How often do you get a game's worth of a pitching duel and offensive excitement in the same set?

We were even treated to theater in the eighth, when Latroy Hawkins—god, he must hate Chicago by now—was tossed by umpire Mike Everitt over what looked like some gestures with dubious intent. Watching him come undone was priceless, and I actually worried he was going to do something very, very stupid. He was livid.

But it all came down to the 13th inning, when, with both bullpens depleted, Cecil Cooper went to Chris Sampson.

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It was pretty obvious it wasn't going to be his night, as he looked bad from the warm up tosses. This was his first game back from the DL, and to be honest, he was throwing junk. He walked Lee, then give up a single to Aramis Ramirez. The Astros would then intentionally walk Milton Bradley to set up force outs at each base. After that, Soriano was happy to drive whatever junkball pitch that was Sampson served up deep into center field.

Great stuff. If you get a moment, stop by the photo gallery and check out some of the photos from the game. I think it was some of my finer stuff.

And we love you again, Soriano. For now.

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