Friday, May 1, 2009

The-Riot delivers some chaos

"You can't quiet The-Riot."--Slogan on T-Shirt seen outside of Wrigley Field.

Other than the resurgence of Kosuke Fukudome and the more patient hitting of Alfonso Soriano, the one thing a slumping Cubs offense has been able to count on this year is Ryan Theriot, who always manages to get a hit or two.

Well, today he had the unexpectedly big hit, a grand slam that rallied the Cubs from a 5-2 deficit against the Marlins, and that re-awakened Wrigley fans from their grumpy drunkeness. It was Theriot's first career grand slam, and it could happen to a more deserving guy, who even when he's not hitting manages to force pitchers to burn their arms by going deep into counts.

The Cubs eventually won 8-6 in a game in which Rich Harden started poorly and only got worse, lasting 3.2 IP with 5 ERs and only 2 Ks against 4 BBs. There were a couple signs of resurgent offense in this one (though we thought that was the case the other night in Arizona, too--we'll see if it sticks). Most notably, beyond Theriot's blast and a couple of timely walks drawn by the Cubs, two slumping Cubs came alive, Derrek Lee was 2-4 and Geovany Soto was 2-3 with an RBI.

The bullpen was sufficient in this one, with closer Kevin Gregg yielding the only Marlins run after Harden left the game. Still, Carlos Marmol was shaky for the second straight game, walking 2 to open the 8th inning, but battling back to strikeout the side. Neal Cotts was pleasantly unsucky, giving up a walk but striking out 2 in his scoreless inning on the mound. Still, the bullpen walked 5 men total, which ain't good even if only one run scored in 5-1/3 of work.

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