Cubs Enjoy Fish Fry


Considering how bad the Cubs have been playing the last couple of games, and how well the Chicago Bulls played this past Sunday, there is a good chance many of you chose to watch Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals over the Cubs vs Marlins game. What did you miss? A decent team effort after being embarrassed by the Reds the last two days. The result? A Cubs win over a Marlins team contending for first place in the NL East. Of the two games pitting Chicago against Miami, it was the Cubs collecting the victory. Go figure.

Ryan Dempster, who has been stellar in May, gave up a home run to Hanley Ramirez in the first inning before settling down to coast somewhat into the 5th inning. But that is when the Marlins got to the Cubs starter. The trouble began when Dempster hit his counterpart Ricky Nolasco with a pitch. Just as good as a lead off walk, Nolasco would come around to score on a two out single. Dempster ended up allowing four runs in the frame to give the lead his offense had just gotten him in the top half of the inning right back to the Marlins. This outing by Dempster brought back bad memories of his starts in April. Hopefully this is not the beginning of another slump for him.

Mean while, thankfully, the Cubs offense kept at it to get Dempster off the hook. Pinch hitter Reed Johnson answered the Marlins rally off Dempster with a two run homer, bringing Koyie Hill along for the ride (video courtesy of The Cubs took the lead for good on another long ball, this time off the bat of Marlon Byrd to lead off the top of the 8th inning. Pinch hitter Jeff Baker added an insurance run with on a fielder’s choice play that scored Tony Campana, who pinch ran for Alfonso Soriano.

Hill has taken a lot of heat from Cubbies Crib fans so far this season, but he has stepped up his play since Geo Soto went on the disabled list. Last night the catcher went 3 for 3 with three runs. He was the tying run on a Darwin Barney ground out that knotted the game 1-1 in the 3rd inning, and Barney brought him home again in the 5th inning, this time with a sacrifice fly. The other offensive highlights of note are Kosuke Fukudome going 2 for 4 out of the lead of spot with a run.

Jeff Samardzija replaced Dempster on the mound and tossed two scoreless innings to earn the win, improving his record to 3-0. The former wide receiver has continued to excel more times than not since the team finally decided to leave him alone as a reliever instead of bouncing him around between starting pitcher and pen. The back end of the pen did their job too, with Sean Marshall recording his ninth hold and Carlos Marmol finally getting his ninth save after having to come into his last couple appearances in non save situations just to get some work in.