On Saturday night, one evening after a stunningly improbable 6-5 victory on a stunningly improbable 3-run homer by Daryle Ward, the Cubs remembered where they were and who they were playing. In losing 2-1, they wasted a pretty terrific outing by the increasingly reliable Sean Marshall, who tied a career high with 8 Ks. You know your offense isn't producing much when the only producer is Henry "Tatts" Blanco...
But, what more can you ask when the Cubs had not lost a road game in more than three weeks? They also stole Game 1 of a series in Miami right after posting their first series sweep in Atlanta in years. If they finish an Atlanta-Miami road swing 4-2, I'll be happy--though of course we all would be immensely happier with 5-1.
The Sox, meanwhile, again displayed the toughness that will serve them well the rest of the way, beating Oakland and the East Bay Curse 2-1. The Twin City Piranhas pulled out a 7-6 victory against woeful Seattle, so the Sox stay tied for 1st place, but the bullpen's lock-down in this game (ok, I know it's just the A's) after a somewhat shaky outing from John Danks (only 1 run, but 5 BBs to go w/his 5 Ks in 6 IP) has me feeling good about tight games to come. The Piranhas are achingly consistent, but the Sox have shown an ability to come back and to hold tight leads when they are really needing a win.
Danks was handing out walks in this game after shutting down powerfully patient Boston for seven innings (before losing his grip) in his last outing. For having 10 Ws and a 3.11 ERA, he's still underrated. His pitching pace is Buehrle-like and seems to knock some batters off kilter. I don't know about you, but I like Danks in a big game over Gavin Floyd, who occasionally seems prone to single-inning collapses despite being stellar overall.
The [Monday] Papers
6 hours ago