CC Sabathia likes to get ahead of hitters by throwing first pitch fastballs. Alfonso Soraino likes to get ahead of pitchers by swinging at first pitch fastballs. CC + Soriano = 2B, HR, RBI.
In this highly anticipated match up of NL leading teams, the clear edge was given to the Brewers and CC Sabathia who had won 8 of 10 since the All Star Break while the Cubs were floundering in mediocrity. The Brewers catching the Cubs in the standings on Saturdy has seemed to serve as a wake up call for the Cubs bats as evidneced by the two straight games of offensive production.
Derek Lee had meaningful hits finally. His double in the ninth that plated Soriano provided the winning run, Mark DeRosa batted in Mike Fontenot for the insurance run to cap a 6-4 victory.
CC Sabathia as dominant as he had been lately was destined for a let down at some point in the second half. It came at the worst possible time for the Brewers who desperately wanted to set the tone in this series with a opening win at home. He didn’t pitch badly, only giving up three earned runs, but the Cubs batters made him work hard as he threw 124 pitches before being pulled in the seventh.
Ted Lilly had it going early as he took a two hit shutout into the sixth inning, but two mistake pitches later -the game was tied and Lilly was gone. JJ Hardy took Lilly deep and then the showboating Ryan Braun did the same thing.
We are wondering aloud if the Cubs took notice of Braun’s curtain call after tying the game…Not a go ahead home run, not a insurance run producing three run blast in the bottom of the eighth…just a game TYING HR in the bottom of the sixth. This is the second time in a week that Braun has “shown up” teams after hitting a HR (see Cardinals slow walk out of the batters box during a game last week). We are all for a guy taking a curtain call in the right situation, but a division / playoff race game TYING HR is not the time nor the place for a curtain call…We will be sure to keep our eyes on this one if the Cubs get a big lead and Braun comes up late. Dude needs to be knocked down…and frankly I am suprised no one has taken him aside and told him how much of a jackass he is being, and that he can expect a beaning if he keeps it up.
Check back later for tonights game two preview…Zambrano v. Sheets….should be a great game to watch.