There is apparently no such thing as a victory for the 2009 Chicago Cubs that does not contain a note of bitterness and dread. That came glaringly to light, once again, on Sunday afternoon, when the Cubs beat the Marlins 6-4, but in the process, lost starter Carlos Zambrano to what looked like a tweaked hamstring or a cramp. And the circumstances of the injury made it doubly hard to swallow: Zambrano, over-enthusiastic as always, bunted down the third base line for a basehit, only to pull up lame while running to first. Big Z tried to stay in the game, fighter that he is, but finally concluded that he could no longer go. The only silver lining for Z was that the Cubs ended up taking the lead in the inning, on a Derrek Lee grand slam, leaving Zambrano as the pitcher of record and ultimately the victor. Zambrano now leads the team with 3 wins, but if the injury turns out to be severe, it could be a very long time before he earns his fourth.
On the bright side: that slumbering Cubs offense appears to have shuddered awake at last. Three straight games scoring 6+ runs means three straight wins. Derrek Lee is still hovering around the Mendoza line, but his granny today bodes well; and Geovany Soto, himself mired in a season-long slump, also managed a knock on the day, raising his average to a lofty .158. The only guy still not doing anything is Milton Bradley, who went 0-4 and is now hitting a dismal .116. Also encouraging on Sunday was the solid one inning performance of Kevin Gregg who earned his third save of the season.