Monday, April 6, 2009

Cubs-Astros, Big Z Puts Cubs In First

Coming in late to the Astros-Cubs game. Big Z, Carlos Zambrano shutting out the 'Stros through five, while Chicago has put three up on Roy Oswalt. The Cubs are the prohibitive favorites to win the NL Central, while the Astros had a flukey season last year and are likely to come back down to earth.

Bottom 5:
  • Zambrano gets Hunter Pence looking with a 93 mph fastball on the outside corner.
  • Then he gets Michael Bourn with a heater at 92.
  • Bouncer back to the mound by Oswalt ends the inning.
Top 6:
  • Milton Bradley pops one up, with Pudge Rodriguez coming out from behind he plate to make the catch.
  • Aramis Ramirez pops out to first.
  • Former O's prospect Mike Fontenot grounds out to second.
Bottom 6:
  • Kazou Matsui strikes out swinging. That's Z's fifth of the game.
  • Zambrano blows a 95 mph fastball by Pudge. Six K's.
  • Lance Berkman draws a walk, but Carlos Lee grounds out on the first pitch he sees.
Top 7:
  • Geovany Soto grounds out to start the seventh.
  • Ryan Theriot singles into right-field.
  • Zambrano takes three big hacks at the plate and goes back to the dugout.
  • Alfonso Soriano (who led off the game with a homer) grounds out to third.
Bottom 7:
  • Miguel Tejada with a line-drive single to center.
  • Geoff Blum walks, and that'll be it for Zambrano. Lou Pinella went out to the mound before the inning started, but left him in for the start of the inning. It may have looked like he was dropping his arm angle a little in the inning, but maybe I was just imagining it.
  • Aaron Heilman comes in and gets Pence to ground into a double paly on the first pitch.
  • Bourn hits a slow bouncer up the first-base line. By the time Heilman gets to it he has no chance to throw the speedster out, and Tejada comes in to score. 3-1, Cubs.
  • Neal Cotts in to face Jason Michaels, pinch-hitting for Darin Erstad, pinch-hittingf for Oswalt. Michaels grounds out to short to end the inning.
Top 8:
  • Geoff Geary in for Houston, and he retires the Cubs in order (with a little help from an over-the-shoulder grab by Matsui in short right-field).
Bottom 8:
  • After a couple of groundouts, Carlos Marmol walks Berkman.
  • Marmol gets Carlos Lee - the potential tying run - to pop out to Ramirez.
Top 9:
  • A single by Fontenot and a walk by Theriot puts two on with two outs, and pinch-hitter Micah Houffpauir coming in to bat.
  • Houffpauir singles to right to extend the Cubs' lead to 4-1.
  • Soriano flies out to end the inning, but Chicago picked up an insurance run.
Bottom 9:
  • Miggy picks up his third hit of the game, linging a single to center off of closer Kevin Gregg.
  • Blum lines to right, but Bradley can't quite make a rolling catch. Runners on the corners with no outs and the tying run coming to the plate.
  • Sac fly by Pence cuts the lead to 4-2.
  • Bourn flies to center for the second out.
  • Pinch-hitter Jason Smith grounds out to first to end the game.
That short stretch with Zambrano mowing down hitters was exciting, but after that the game was pretty boring. nice to see Tejada had a good game though.

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