A League of Her Own

Cubs Monday Headlines: The Return of the Fonz





Sunday was a good day for the entire time (save John Grabow), but the greatest heroes were Alfonso Soriano and Tom Gorzelanny.

Soriano followed Friday's game-winning homer and Saturday's game-tying homer with a two-homer day, giving him 10 RBIs in the three games.

"He really looks locked in at home plate," said manager Lou Piniella in a massive understatement.

The recipient of the 15-hit attack against Edwin Jackson and others was Tom Gorzelanny, who received more runs in the first inning (four) than he had in any of his three losses.

"It's a good feeling for any pitcher to go out and get an early lead," said Gorzelanny, who had received an average of 1.75 runs in his other four starts. And that accounts for the disparity between his record (1-3) and earned-run average (2.48).

There were lesser heroes, too.

Even Chad Tracy, subbing for the slumping Aramis Ramirez, got in on the fun, going 3-for-4 with a first-inning RBI. Tracy had only 16 at-bats and was hitting .188 before the game

(snip)

Ryan Theriot also had three hits and ran his hitting streak to 12 and Marlon Byrd, batting cleanup for a second straight day, popped his fifth home run of the season, a total he didn't have until June 29 last season.
Remember our portly, pothead disappointment of a catcher from last season? He's a new man. What's his secret?

''It's a combination of things,'' Soto said. ''I worked hard in the offseason, and working with Rudy has been good. I'm trying to be more patient, swinging at better pitches. Being in the eight-hole might have a little to do with it with the pitcher coming up. But I'm a little more experienced and have a better feel for it.''

Soto, 27, has drawn 18 walks in the last 17 games while hitting .322 with three homers and eight RBI.

''He's been very patient at the plate, he has a nice on-base percentage [.500] and he's getting walks,'' Piniella said. ''He's done a real nice job calling games, and the pitchers like throwing to him. We're fortunate that we have two catchers [with Koyie Hill] who do a great job in that regard.''

Soto has thrown out six of 18 baserunners.

Remember how fluidly the outfield rotation was going earlier? The starting outfield has started to make that an issue. 

The odd-man out has been Xavier Nady, who is scheduled to start in right field Tuesday against Pirates lefty Paul Maholm. It will be only the seventh outfield start for Nady, compared to 18 for Kosuke Fukudome, 23 for Marlon Byrd, 22 for Alfonso Soriano and nine for rookie Tyler Colvin.

"I haven't been able to (get Nady in)," Piniella said. "I've got Fukudome that's swinging (a hot bat), I got Soriano who's swinging and I've got Byrd that's swinging."

And bullpen help is on the way, but he probably won't supplant the horrendous John Grabow.

Rehabbing reliever Esmailin Caridad (forearm strain) will pitch at Triple-A Iowa and is on target to rejoin the team this weekend. Caridad, originally slated for the eighth-inning role Zambrano now fills, will be a middle reliever when he returns.


If you're looking for something entertaining to help pass the time, check out the new, updated Weekly LOHO Podcasts page, just under the banner up top. You can listen Friday and Sunday afternoons live, or anytime if you're afraid of live internet radio.


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18 Comments

kiwibob said:

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I'm loving having the hot hitting Fonz back rather than the limping, curve ball in dirt missing Fonz.
I just hope he stays around for a while.
Can't wait for today's ga...WHAT! Crap.. I hate off days.

flyball said:

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I'm with you Bob, off days suck, at least we have the Pirates series to look forward to though

kiwibob said:

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Night games too which means I can actually watch them live.
(I love those west coast trips when everyone complains about having to stay up past midnight whilst I can crack a beer without worrying about how it will go with my cornflakes!)
I'm hoping for at least a 4-6 road trip but no doubt there'll be some soft tossing lefty just up from the minors who'll scupper that particular ship...

flyball said:

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even though I'm an hour earlier than everyone I kind of like the west coast trips, I get home from school at its only the 3rd inning

but then I love day games when I can listen at work

Teebob2000 said:

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MLB.tv! There's NEVER a off day! (for the Cubs, yes, but for baseball, no! I'll watch anything.)

Edelweiss said:

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This off-day is good. It gives Weaselnuts a chance to heal before Tuesdays game.

flyball said:

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its May so at least now Lou isn't giving me the "get back to work!" stare

now Theriot and Fontenot are having a staring contest, with sunglasses on

flyball said:

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where is everyone this morning? you all get lost trying to find coffee too?

JulieDiCaro said:

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My comments aren't showing up!

flyball said:

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that one did

AndCounting said:

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I wish I could go back in time and bet everyone that after one month, the Cubs' biggest problems would be: 1) Too many good starting pitchers, 2) Too many good-hitting outfielders, and 3) the hitting of Lee and Ramirez.

You know, aside from the pigpen, of course.

Teebob2000 said:

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I wouldn't wager with a crazy man.

plamorte said:

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I'm going crazy not being able to go any games. Great pics Adam. My bday is this month, i think its time to tell some family members I want come Cubs tix.

AndCounting said:

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Thanks, man. You've got to get back to Wrigley. The new troughs are amazing. They're so clean you could drink out of them!

wicubfan said:

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Hello.

I'm a virgin here..be easy on me..
Here's to a good season!

plamorte said:

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We welcome you with open arms. And an "A/S/L?"

flyball said:

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welcome!

Teebob2000 said:

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Bend over! But it's done with love! :-)

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