A Successful Shake-up

Game Twelve – Cubs 12 Padres 4
WP – Jason Marquis (1-1) LP – Clay Hensley (0-3) Save – None

wflag.jpg The Cubs took out their early season offensive struggles on Clay Hensley and the San Diego Padres on Monday night, but it came with a scare in the 5th inning. Alfonso Soriano strained his left hamstring diving for a ball in center. Early reports are that Soriano will have an MRI on Tuesday and his status is listed as day-to-day. Soriano was interviewed after the game and said it was not serious but he could miss the next 5 to 6 days. Cliff Floyd came into the game in the 5th and had his best game as a Cub….2 for 3 with a home run, 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Michael Barrett and Mark DeRosa each added a round tripper of their own.

Jason Marquis had another good start and earned his first victory in a Cubs’ uniform. Marquis kept the ball down, threw strikes despite giving up 4 free passes but only allowed 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings of work. Marquis also had a big night at the plate and went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored. Angel Guzman was lights out in relief and gave up just 1 hit in 2 innings of work while striking out 4. Lou Piniella delivered on his promise….

The Cubs scored more runs in the first inning than they did the first time they faced Clay Hensley. Last year Hensley threw a 2-hit, complete game shutout but on Monday night the Cubs scored 2 runs in the 1st inning. Soriano led off with a single to center and later scored on a Derrek Lee RBI single up the middle. Lee moved to 2nd on a wild pitch and scored on a single to left by Matt Murton for his first RBI of the year. Murton started the game in right field and hit in the clean-up spot….Murton was 2-4 on the night with 2 RBI’s.

In the 4th, Lee led off with a single to center, Murton walked but Michael Barrett grounded into a 5-4-3 double play with Derrek Lee advancing to 3rd. Jacque Jones followed with a big 2-out single to center to score Lee….his first RBI of the year. After a walk by Mark DeRosa, Cesar Izturis grounded out to 3rd to end the inning.

After the scare in the top of the 5th, the Cubs put the game out of reach in the 5th and 6th innings….scoring 9 times (Bueller? Bueller?). Marquis led off the inning with a long double to center (just missed the basket) and scored on a single to right by Cliff Floyd….Floyd advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Brian Giles (the ball got away from he catcher). Lee was intentionally walked but Murton grounded out to short to score Floyd from 3rd….Murton hustled out of the box and beat the throw. With Murton at 1st, Michael Barrett hit his first home run of the season over the left field wall. Jacque Jones took the next pitch to the warning track in center to end the inning.

In the 6th, Mark DeRosa led off the inning with his 3rd home run of the season. Izturis followed with a single and Marquis’ single to right chased Hensley from the game. Mike Thompson took the hill and Cliff Floyd hit a monster shot to right (it did not go that far up in the bleachers, but it looked great off the bat and went a “mile” in the air)….his first as a Cub, a nice 3-run shot. Theriot followed with a single, Lee was hit by Thompson and Murton blooped a single to right to load the bases. Barrett hit a sacrifice fly to score Theriot.

Alfonso Soriano was hurt on an attempted catch on a ball hit into shallow center off the bat of Clay Hensley. Soriano stretched out to get the ball (reports after the game stated he felt he over extended his left leg) and appeared to trap the ball. Mark O’Neal went to see Soriano as Piniella disputed the call. Soriano left the game and was replaced in center by Jones, Cliff Floyd entered the game and played left.

Angel Guzman hit the upper ’90’s on the gun and struck out the side swinging in the 8th, other than the bloop double he was just short of perfection. Will Ohman struggled in relief and gave up 3 runs in the 9th.

The seagulls in the 1st inning fighting over the pizza should have been an indication of a very weird night ahead. Aramis Ramirez is reportedly going to be available for Tuesday afternoon’s game against Greg Maddux. Several reports have stated Soriano’s injury is not severe and he walked off the field on his own power. Here’s to a good news day on Tuesday. The Cubs took advantage of the Padres not getting into Chicago until 6:00am on Monday morning….it is about time the ball bounced the Cubs way.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax