Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fukie's back

I actually have three games to discuss very quickly:

Tuesday night:
Astros 3 Cubs 2

Royals 2 Sox 0
Cubs 11 Houston 6

Tuesday night's 10-inning loss to Houston was almost a comeback victory, with Alfonso Soriano homering for the second game in a row, this time an 8th inning shot that tied a game that no one seemed to wnat to win. Both offenses left numerous men on base. Both starters were effective enough, but neither was dominant. The Cubs bullpen pitched well after Ryan Dempster left losing 2-1. Kevin Gregg inherited a 10th-inning jam, and did the best he could with it, inducing, as he himself noted in the Tribune, a doubel play ball that didn't go to one of his fielders (That's almost a Yogi-ism). No, not much happened at all in this game, and it sort of looked like exactly what it was--an early season game in which both teams were feeling their way around.

Tonight's Sox game was almost the same, as Gavin Floyd pitched well enough to win--that is, well enough to win if the Sox offense gave him 3 runs, which they did not. The offense looked anemic, mustering only 3 hits, but it also logged 3 walks, which is 3 more than in the previous game. Hitters overall were more patient, but Zack Greinke, who supposedly is destined for a break-out year this season, was lock-down good for 6 IP. Unlike in the opener, K.C.'s bullpen also was very good.

Like the Sox bats, K.C.'s offense barely got going tonight, but did manage to push across 2 runs. I'm going to resiste the temptation to worry about the Sox hitters for at least another game or two, though I do wonder if DeWayne Wise, 0-the season leading off this far, is headed for the bench. Despite being 1-1, this seems like an area where the Great and Powerful Oz will have no patience whatsoever. Look for Brian Anderson in center field soon, and perhaps Chris Getz leading off.

Meanwhile, the Cubs offense did explode tonight after two fairly quiet games, and it was led by none other than Kosuke Fukudome, who played like it was April 2008: 4-5, HR, BB, SB, double. A-Ram and Mighty Mite also drove in 4 runs each in an 11-6 win to take sthe series in Houston. Who knows where the year will take Fukie, but he found himself for at least one night.

Meanwhile, Ted Lilly could not find himself, even staked with an 8-0 lead. Mr. Stability of the Cubs pitching staff gave up 4 HRs, though he was kind enough to do so without filling the bases first. Still, he last long enough. Young David Patton gave up a HR to the first batter he faced, but Carlos Marmol and Angel Guzman (the latter pitching the 9th!) kept the Astros at bay. The Cubs now have some momentum to build on as they head to Milwaukee.

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