Cubs 75-71, +0.5
Astros 63-83, -12
POTG: 3B A RAM (3R HR [23/219])
Runner Up: SP Steve Trachsel (5 IP, 2 R, 7H, 3BB, 4K, W [7/141]), RP Carlos Marmol (2 IP, BB, 3 K), 2B Mike Fontenot (2B, 2 H, R), RF Cliff Floyd (HR [7/220], BB, 2 R), 1B Darryl Ward (HR [3/86], 2 H), CF-RF Jacque Jones (2 H)
POWER = WINS. It was nice for the Cubs to break it open in the first four batters of the night. I think it put Trachsel in something of a comfort zone. It would’ve been big if the Cubs had kept coming at Williams and opened up the lead a few more runs so it never got critical again, like it did by the 5th. They managed. Trachsel was good enough, for a guy coming back on short rest from a horrible start.
The rest of the season’s rotation seems to be this:
09/15: Lilly and Marshall
09/18: Z! (short rest)
09/19: Lilly (short rest)
09/25: Lilly (extra rest)
09/29: Lilly (short rest)
09/30: Marquis (short rest)
I think Trachsel’s good outing, and how the Brewers go (duh) might change this all around again. If the Cubs somehow end up with a 2.5 game lead on Monday, wouldn’t you consider giving Tracshel that Monday start, putting Z on normal rest, and not having to pitching Lilly on short rest? i don’t think we’ve seen the last Trachsel start, but that’s just my guess. Hopefully we see one from him or Marshall or Gallagher or Hart on the 29th and the 30th with the Cubs clinching early.
Lee will probably need another day off, but at least Darryl Ward is hitting in his absence. The Cubs can make it a couple of days without their #2 guy, which is a near change of pace from usual.
Does anyone have any idea where Soriano’s ball hit? Still not sure. Ram’s ball almost went right thru a guy, which was neat.
I didn’t really did using Marmol for two innings, especially when they were up by four. I think it speaks to how desperate they are for wins and how little Lou trusts the dregs of the bullpen to mop up even in a sure win. Earlier in the season, Marmol probably only goes one and Ohman or Wuertz cleans up, but Lou’s just leaving a lot of guys out there to rot right now.
I know everyone’s kinda hoping this four game Cardinals series turns into a repeat of the (nationally unheralded) 5 game set from 2003, but I’m not so sure it’s going to go the way. The Cardinals have been a strange team all year, but it seems like they’ve finally got the heart yanked out of them. The Cubs aren’t going to sweep a four game series, but I think we’re going to get one or two 9-2 games in the mix. It’d be nice to have a blowout after that last series.