The Cubs finally got what they have so desperately needed for the last several weeks: a blow-out. A snot-knocker. A good old-fashioned butt whuppin. That it came at the expense of the Dodgers, the best team record-wise in the NL right now and the club that booted the Cubs from the post-season in 3 straight last year, only makes it that much more satisfying.
The game’s two heroes were Milton Bradley and Reed Johnson, both of whom contributed a trio of hits, Bradley more notably given that he has spent most of the season dealing with that expanded strike zone the umps have conspired to call on him, making it difficult for him to achieve his All-Star form from before he signed that $30 million contract. Also encouraging: Ryan Dempster getting back to dominating form at home, giving up only 3 hits in 7 while striking out 5. The Cubs still have the makings of a top-notch rotation, but only if Dempster can find the magic from 2008.
Of course one 7-0 win, even over a good team, isn’t enough to gloss over this club’s glaring issues. They are still getting nothing from Alfonso Soriano, whose batting average has dipped into the sub-.250 range; Geovany Soto is still in his slump and, of course, Aramis Ramirez continues to languish on the DL. And then there’s the little matter of Carlos Zambrano‘s temper, which is well on its way to derailing his entire season. But it still feels good to finally lay the lumber to somebody, after so many squeaker wins and – even worse – frustrating losses.