Alfonso Soriano drove in an opening inning run and then followed that up with a 2-run homer to lead the Cubs to a 6-4 victory Friday afternoon. That’s 2 games in a row, folks. First time, and only time, this month that they accomplished such a feat. It also marked the second win in a row for pitcher Chris Volstad, who hadn’t won in his 24 previous starts before these last two. Yes lots of ridiculous things happened today, mostly in the crowd, where several thousands were clad in obnoxious Hawkeye yellow t-shirts or orange San Francisco Giant shirts with dumb fluffy “Not nearly as cool as you think you are” panda heads as hats. When you wear a hot panda head as a hat on 92-degree day, you’re simply trying too hard. Anyway, let’s kick this pig…
NOTHING ROCKS LIKE A FLYING V
So, second “good” outing for Chris Volstad today. Not as commanding as last weeks outing against the Rockies but much different conditions: 1) It was HOT. 2) The wind was blowing out. And 3) this wasn’t the last place Rockies; it was the first place Giants. (Even though their lineup, for the 27th straight year, isn’t that impressive.). So you take the 5 2/3 of two run ball. 5 hits and 3 walks is a tad high, and the second Volstad started to lose it, he brought in Jeff Beliveau, who performed his LOOGY duties just fine. Russell, Camp and Marmol humped it across the finish line.
R TO THE RIZZO, H TO THE HIZZO…
Once again, it was nice to see Rizzo really drive the ball. Especially against Bumgarner, who’s off speed stuff usually drives the Cubs bats. (Last time he struck out 11 Cubs in 8 solid innings.) But Rizzo drove the ball the other way for a home run. That’s a good sign. And it’s coming off two games where Rizzo balls were going deep again. Keep it up, keep it up now.
EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE CLOSER TO FREE
So Carlos Marmol came in a save situation and not once did I feel the urge to watch the inning from behind or under my couch. He’s really been on. It’s a credit to not only Bosio, for forcing more fastballs into his arsenal, but to the rest of the management for telling him, and everyone else, that the plan is for him to be the closer next year. That obviously has had some kind of soothing affect. Yeah they could conceivably trade him in the off-season, but why not build him up (Buttercup) until next trade deadline? Marmol’s turnaround is definitely a checkmark on the positive side of the ledger when we review the Cubs staff.
While I’ve come to loathe the bloated, over-hyped Dodgers of late and would love nothing more than for them to finish looking up at the Giants’ hind parts, I’m more than willing to put those feelings on hiatus for a couple more days. What a relief it is to talk about what the Cubs are doing well instead of repeating and repeating and yet again repeating about what they’re not. And now it’s twice in a row. Good things come in threes right? Well, they’ll have to beat Super Enigma Timmy Lincecum to do it. Here’s hoping Justin Germano is up to the task.
Here’s to a great holiday weekend.