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Cubs Put Together All The Pieces Against The Astros

Cubs Astros BaseballIt was a big night for the Cubs’ Mike Fontenot, who was celebrating his 29th birthday in style.

Fontenot went 4-5 with two runs, one RBI and a home run.  Not a bad night for the birthday boy.

But Fontenot’s night was just a footnote on a night when the Cubs were finally able to break out of the funk that they have been in all season and pull out a 7-1 win over the down-trodden Astros.

The Cubs were finally able to capitalize on a strong pitching performance, giving Ted Lilly plenty of room to sit back and pitch without pressure, and he responded well to the run support.

Lilly allowed just three hits, two walks and no runs over six and 2/3 innings.  Lilly’s strong performance was yet another quality start for one of the most consistent pitchers in the Cubs starting lineup. Read the rest of this entry »

Come to Think of It…Cubs Take 2 of 3 from Astros


Cubs manager Lou Piniella has a simple strategy for his players: just win each series.

While that may be a bit optimistic, his team followed their leader’s instructions to the letter by defeating the Houston Astros 11-6 on Wednesday night in the rubber match of the series.

After splitting the initial two games, the Cubs bats got off to a blistering start against Astros starter Brian Moehler. They batted around in each of the first two innings and built an early 8-0 lead.

Even on a night when Cubs starter Ted Lilly didn’t have much going for him, the offense was enough to stave off the Houston bats. Despite four Houston homers, including consecutive shots in the third inning, Lilly was able to get through five innings to qualify for the win.

Koyie Hill started at catcher for the Cubs, in place of Geo Soto, who was nursing a sore shoulder. Otherwise, they had their normal lineup against right-handed pitching.

And that lineup includes Mike Fontenot, who continued his fast start to the new season with two hits including a home run, and Aramis Ramirez added four hiits of his own. Both drove in four runs on the night.

Even Kosuke Fukudome got into the act—he got his first hits of the young season by going 4-for-5, with a home run.

Milton Bradley still has no hits in a Cubs uniform, though he did get on base four times.

Derrek Lee continued to demonstrate why he shouldn’t be hitting in the third slot as he went 1-for-6, stranding five runners.

The Cubs chased Moehler with two outs in the second inning. They scored four runs in the first inning, despite leaving the bases loaded, and four more again in the second.

They added three more runs against fifth starter Russ Ortiz in his three innings of work, including Fontenot’s homer.

Rule V pickup David Patton’s major league career didn’t get off to a good start, at least initially. He gave up a homer to his first batter, Hunter Pence, in the sixth inning.

Patton showed poise, however, as he came back to get the next three hitters, and then he threw a scoreless seventh inning.

After Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless 8th, Angel Guzman got in his first action of the new season. He closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, as the Cubs beat Houston.

So they won their first season series. If they keep up this pace, winning every series, they will win at least 113 games, come to think of it.

-Bob Warja

Cubs Win 11-4: Exciting Comeback Highlighted by Mark DeRosa

The Cubs’ bats came alive again today giving them the series win against the Houston Astros.

The Cubs scored first in the bottom of the 2nd inning as Mark DeRosa doubled in Jim Edmonds for his first of many RBI today.

Houston came back quickly though, plating four total, thanks to Carlos Lee’s 3-run home run. Once again, Jason Marquis cannot seem to avoid the “big inning.”

But the bats came alive for the Cubs in the bottom of the 3rd as they scored eight on Mark DeRosa’s grand slam and Alfonso Soriano’s 3-run shot. Fukudome, Soto, and Marquis also had an RBI each in the game. The scoring for both teams stopped after the 4th as the Cubs had the lead, 11-4.

Marquis settle down after the top of the 3rd, finishing the day with 6.1 IP and 3 strikeouts. Following Marquis, Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija each had clean innings of their own. Jason Marquis was able to get his first win since late June, bringing his record to 7-7.

It was a good day for the Cubs offensively. For the second straight day, they scored eleven runs and Soriano continues to stay hot with 6 RBI in the last two games.

Kerry Wood is also supposed to return to the closer roll for his next appearance. Things seem to be going smoothly for the Cubs right now. After today’s win, their record is 69-46 with a 5 game lead above Milwaukee.

With an off day tomorrow, the Cubs can re-gain their focus for what looks to be a tough series against the Cardinals starting Friday.

-Mike Yadgir