Despite playing without Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs managed to pound out 11 runs on 15 hits in beating the Diamondbacks. Carlos Zambrano, who has been falling into the pattern of inconsistency that plagued him late last season, picked a good night for one of his stronger performances, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings, and contributing a 3-4 night at the plate with a solo homer. Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukodome, the two guys who’ve been carrying the offense with Ramirez hurt and some other guys not exactly getting it done, both did their part as well, Soriano driving in four runs and Fukudome going 1-1 with 3 walks.
So, despite an April dogged by injuries and slow starts from key players, the Cubs find themselves one game over .500, and 3 behind the Cardinals. Obviously, compared to the hot start the Cubs got off to last season, this sluggish opening looks disappointing, but there are five months left to go, and I don’t believe the Cardinals, for all their offensive firepower, are the type of team that can run away and hide.