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Come to Think of It…An Edmonds Gamble Might Not Be So Bad

16Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella had this to say following Friday night’s loss to the Cardinals:

“We’ve got no bench,” Piniella said. “We’ve got an extra catcher [in Koyie Hill] and [Micah] Hoffpauir and [Joey] Gathright. We’re going to have to get somebody in here.”

One of the players Lou mentions, Joey Gathright, has been basically reduced to pinch-runner status. So being picked off on Saturday afternoon isn’t good.

This means that he has stolen one base and given back another.

So, what I am proposing is for Jim Hendry, who assembled this lack of depth, release Gathright and sign veteran free agent outfielder Jim Edmonds.

Yes, the same Jim Edmonds who hit 20 home runs with a .343 OBP in 340 ABs for the Cubs in 2008.

At least let’s see if he can still hit. He can’t be any worse that Gathright, who has one hit in five ABs this season, and has a total of one career home run.

He’s the classic player who can run, but can’t steal first base. His career .327 OBP doesn’t inspire much confidence.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Edmonds still wants to play in 2009. According to the report, Edmonds recently intensified his workouts and could be ready in about three weeks.

That way, he could split time with Reed Johnson in center, while Kosuke Fukudome goes back to right field until Milton Bradley is ready.

We need offense, that much is certain. Jim Edmonds just might be worth a gamble at this point, come to think of it.

-Bob Warja

Come to Think of it…Cubs Take Two in One Day from the Braves

The Cubs won both ends of a twi-night doubleheader from the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, a DH necessitated by Tuesday’s rain-out.

Despite not pitching deep into the games, both Jason Marquis (5.1 IP) and Rich Harden (five IP) pitched effectively and got the win.

The game one hitting stars were Jim Edmonds and Geo Soto, while Fosuke Fukudome and Aramis Ramirez were the best in game two.

Which brings me to a question: didn’t Lou cause a stir the other day when he suggested that Kosuke would be hitting the pine more often due to his anemic hitting? So what does Sweet Lou do?

He starts Foo Man Choo in both games of the DH. Normally, even players going well get one of the games off. But no, not this time.

And it’s a good thing this happened, for Kosuke got two hits and drove in two runs in the second game.

Like Max Madsen, Lou may be mad and bad, but he’s not crazy…

With the wins, the Cubs moved ever closer to the Holy Grail of .500 on the road, improving to 28-30.

They go for the series sweep on Thursday, my birthday, with veteran lefties, Ted Lilly and Tom Glavine scheduled to start.

A win on my b-day is the only present I need, come to think of it.

-Bob Warja

Cubs Win 3-2: 11th Inning Heroics by Henry Blanco

The Chicago Cubs packed the place again as they beat the Cardinals 3-2 in a game that went 11, allowing the Cubbie faithful an extra two innings of free baseball.

Henry Blanco stepped to the plate with bases loaded against an infield and outfield that were both brought in with the expectation of Blanco not being able to hammer one out of the park.

Derek Lee led off with a walk, followed by an Aramis Ramirez single and an intentional walk to Kosuke Fukudome before Blanco hit a line-drive past Cesar Izturis to drive in Lee and win the game.

Ted Lilly started the game and pitched spectacular, but got hit with Rich Hardin syndrome with the Cubs offense seemingly unable to score runs.

Alfonso Soriano, Fukudome and Mark DeRosa were all hitless, going a combined 0-13. All-in-all, however, the Cubs were able to muster 10 hits, but only were able to score through the air.

Jim Edmonds wins todays MVC award (Most Valuable Cub) with a pair of solo jacks. The first came off Cardinals starter Branden Looper in the second inning, and followed it up by tossing his bat to the Cardinals dugout, as if to say, “How do you like me now?”

He then knocked another one out of the park into left field, barely clearing the ivy. This home run tied the game in the seventh inning and allowed the Cubs to send the game into extras.

It wasn’t all great for Edmonds, though. He also had a throwing error and grounded into a double play.

Albert Pujols got a lead-off single in the top of the 10th inning, but was thrown out on an attempt to steal second, leading to a scoreless inning by both teams.

The win went to Bob Howry, who looked strong in his one inning of work, striking out two batters.

Jeff Samardzija pitched well again, as he continues to surprise the Cubs with his lights out pitching. He went two innings this time, allowing just one hit and one walk. Over the season, his ERA is a minuscule 1.56, which bodes well for the bullpen.

The Brewers play tonight against the Washington Nationals, and if they lose, the Cubs lead will be up to six games in the NL Central, and they now have a seven game lead over the Cards.

These two teams face off again tomorrow at 2:55 pm, Carlos Zambrano (12-4) faces Todd Wellemeyer (8-4) for the second game of this weekend series.

Cubs Complete the Sweep: 11-4 Win

The Cubs swept the Brewers on Thursday afternoon behind Jim Edmonds who had a stellar day going 2-for-3 with two homer-runs and five RBIs.

The Cubs got on the board first in the third inning after Jim Edmonds hit a solo home run giving the Cubs an early 1-0 lead. Jim Edmonds then came up in the very next inning and hit grand slam to give the Cubs a 5-0 lead.

The Brewers did not get on the board until the bottom of the seventh when Prince Fielder homered making the score 5-1. In the top of the very next inning the Cubs put four on the board the first run came in on a Alfonso Soriano homer.

Aramis Ramirez then doubled in Ryan Theriot to give the Cubs a 7-1 lead. Kosuke Fukudome followed up Ramirez’s double with a two-run home-run giving the Cubs a 9-1 lead. The Cubs added two in the very next inning on a Mike Fontenot double which gave the Cubs a huge 11-1 lead.

The Brewers did however add three in the bottom of the ninth, the first coming in on a Mike Cameron single that scored Ryan Braun. Bill Hall then hit a double that scored both Cameron and Jason Kendall to make the score 11-4.

Rich Harden picked up his first victory with the Cubs as he pitched seven innings allowing just one earned run on six hits while striking out nine and walking one.

As for Dave Bush he put in 7 1/3 innings allowing seven runs, six of which were earned on five hits while striking out three. With the loss Bush fell to 5-9 on the season.

With the victory the Cubs are now 65-44 and now are up five games on Milwaukee who have fallen into third place in the NL Central. while the Cardinals are in second and currently playing.

Tomorrow the Cubs will be back at Wrigley to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jason Marquis who is 6-6 with a 4.69 era will take the mound for the Cubs as Jeff Karstens makes his first start for the Pirates. Game time is set for 1:20 pm ct.

Marlins-Cubs: Cubs take care of Marlins 9-6

Sorry I did not give a game recap for Saturday’s game, I was out town and did not have access to a computer. Well anyway on Saturday the Cubs lost 3-2 in 12 innings as Jeremy Hermida homered twice to lift the Marlins past the Cubs.

Rich Harden put in five innings of work he struck out 10 once again and allowed just one earned run. The loss however went to Chad Gaudin who gave up the game winning double in the top of the 12th which won the game for the Marlins. The winning pitcher for the Marlins was Justin Miller as Kevin Gregg picked up his 22nd save on the season.

Now onto Yesterday’s game, the Cubs took care of the Marlins 9-6 after trailing most of the game the Cubs scored four in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead and which lead to an eventual win. Derrek Lee homered while Mike Fontenot hit a three-run double that scored Edmonds, Derosa and Ward.

Starting pitcher Jason Marquis went six innings allowing six earned runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking three. He however took a no decision as Chad Gaudin picked up the win and improved to 1-1 with the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija pitched two innings where he struck out three and allowed no hits to pick up his first save as a Cub.

Marlins starter Rick Vandenhurk pitched 3 2/3 innings allowing five earned runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking two. However the loss went to Mark Hendrickson who pitched three innings allowing three earned runs on three hits.

In the game all of the Marlins runs came via the home run as Mike Jacobs hit two home runs the first a three-run homer in the second the second was a two-run homer in the third. The third home run of the day for the Marlins came off the bat of Dan Uggla who hit a solo shot in the top of the fifth.

The Cubs trailed 5-0 after the top of the third but added two in the bottom of the third and added another three runs in the bottom of the fourth as Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run home run to tie the game at five.

The Marlins regained the lead in the fifth but the Cubs would take the lead in the seventh for good thanks to Lee and Fontenot.

With the victory the Cubs’ now sit at 61-44 as they hold a one game lead on the Brewers who they will play next. Pitching for the Cubs on Monday will be Ted Lilly who is 10-6 with a 4.49 ERA as C.C. Sabathia will go for the Brewers who is 4-0 with the Brewers and has a 1.36 ERA. Game time is set for 7:05 pm ct.

-Kevin Graczyk