The Rangers, one of the best teams in baseball, were welcomed back to Wrigley on Monday night to make up the rained out game on April 17th. Scott Feldman, a former teammate, had the honor of hosting from the mound after missing the original series resting his back. After getting swept at home over the weekend, the Cubs may have preferred the originally scheduled off day.
Thankfully Feldman set the tone for a positive game for the Cubs, picking up where he left off from his complete game last week. The righty pitched a gem, going seven strong innings while only allowing two hits and was not scored upon, dropping his ERA to 2.70 after a rough start to the season.
With Feldman holding the Texas offense at bay, the Cubs were able to comfortably attack Rangers rookie Nick Tepesch. David DeJesus got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, leading off with a single before stealing second base on his old friend Geo Soto. The now Rangers catcher’s throw made its way into the outfield and allowed DeJesus to reach third. Alfonso Soriano beat out what would have been an inning ending double play to allow the run to score.
The Cubs worked some two out magic in the bottom of the fourth, dropping a crooked five spot on the scoreboard. Luis Valbuena got the rally started with a double and he was cashed in by none other than Feldman. Darwin Barney had been intentionally walked in front of the pitcher and the former Ranger chipped in with a RBI single, giving Feldman his second RBI base knock in as many starts. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo each collected singles that drove in two runs apiece and the Cubs were now up 6-0.
A sac fly by Nate Schierholtz continued the scoring outburts before Rizzo provided the cherry on top with a two run bomb to right field in the bottom of the eighth, his ninth homer of the season.
Just about the only thing that didn’t go the Cubs way were the two runs scored by the Rangers in the ninth to break up the shut out and the fact that Feldman’s bid at a second straight complete game was cut short prior to the start of the eighth due to a hand cramp.
Regardless, both manager Dale Sveum and Cubs fans singing “Go Cubs Go” at Wrigley were thankful that the North Siders were not involved in a nail biter in their favor for once.