Cubs 66-61, +1.5, -3.0
Diamondbacks 72-57, +2.0, +2.0
POTG: SS Ryan Theriot (H, R, RBI, BB, assist to home)
Runner Up: RF Jacque Jones (4 H, 2B, R, RBI), 2B Mark DeRosa (3 H, R, RBI, 2B), C Jason Kendall (2 H, R), SP Sean Marshall (6 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 5 K, W [7/13])
You could make Jacque Jacque The Hitting Machine the MVP of this game because he got 4 hits. Or you can credit Sean Marshall with a very strong performance, keeping the Cubs in the leader so they wouldn’t have to face the toughest of Diamondbacks pitching. To me, the player of the game was The Riot making a diving stop on a Justin Upton play and nailing Snyder at home plate to keep it 2 to 1. It was a very tough play (and you could make a case Snyder was safe at home), and it kept the Cubs ahead. He scored the first run too, so he gets the award from me.
The first inning was really keyed by two check swing calls that were called for the Cubs. Ryan looked to go around on the 5th pitch, which would’ve been a strikeout, but kept the plate appearance and walked. I’m not sure if Cliff went around as much, but the call went for the Cubs, he kept his at bat, and kept the inning going with a single. I wasn’t paying as much attention to the strikezone, but it did seem like batters weren’t happy with it all night long, and I could totally understand Bob Melvin getting himself run.
I loved the Dempster save, because I have Dempster in my fantasy league at the moment and that was such lovely cheap points. But for the Cubs, it was nice to see Dempster come in with runners on and manage fine. I don’t think they’re going to often put him in situations like that, but it is where he struggled for a bit and so it’s good he had a good experience.
Marshall was great here. This time, he only got pulled because of situation and it made sense. If he can be near this the rest of the way, the Cubs are looking pretty good.
Need just 1 more to take this series and have a successful road trip. I like Ted Lilly’s chances today.