Home Run Derby at Wrigley


Monday was originally supposed to be an off day for the Cubs. But the postponed game against Colorado from April was rescheduled, and this game is now number four in a stretch of 18 consecutive games leading all the way up to the All Star break. After losing the first two games of this series back in April, the Cubs were looking to technically avoid a sweep.

Matt Garza gave up a home run to lead off the game, but then settled down to pretty much coast until the sixth inning, when he gave up another run. Carlos Gonzalez tagged Garza for his second home run of the game and knocked out the Cubs starting pitcher, but not before Garza was able to put in a quality start of 7 1/3 innings pitched while only allowing three runs on five hits. On a day when the wind was blowing out to left field, a big positive was seeing zero walks issued by Garza while striking out six.

The MLB All Star Game is still a little over two weeks away, but apparently the aforementioned Gonzalez of the Rockies and our very own Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena were batting like it was a Home Run Derby. All three hitters knocked out two home runs a piece. Ramirez collected his first in the bottom of the first in response to Gonazalez’s first, giving the Cubs an early 2-1 lead that the home team would not give up the rest of the way. Starlin Castro had tripled in front of Ramirez and was along for the ride on the home run.

Carlos Pena got in on the act in the bottom of the fourth by leading the inning off with a solo shot to center field. The rest of the Cubs offense decided to contribute to the effort, starting with a two out double by Geo Soto. The Rockies starter then proceeded to walk Garza and Kosuke Fukudome to load the bases, before uncorking a wild pitch to allow Soto to score. 4-1 Cubs.

Pena went opposite field for his second homer of the game after Ramirez had doubled in front of him. That made it back to back innings with a jack for the Cubs first baseman and he now leads the team with 16 on the year. 6-1 Cubs. Ramirez was up to the challenge in the seventh inning, when he hit a solo shot to make it 7-2. It was fun to see the sluggers in the middle of the order do what they are paid to do. Ramirez finished with three hits, three runs, and three RBI.

Carlos Marmol made things a little nervous with a walk and a hit allowed in the ninth in a non save situation, but he was able to escape the jam and prevent the Rockies from getting any closer.