If ever there was a BIG win in April, this was it. The Cubs pulled off the improbably come-from-behind 9-8 win over the Cards on Friday afternoon, courtesy of Alfonso Soriano’s 2-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning.
After taking an early 3-0 lead, the Cubs played catch up all day long. Carlos Zambrano lost his cool in a frustrating 3rd inning. After a leadoff walk to Brian Barden, Scott Schumaker hit a weak line drive over Mike Fontenot’s head for a cheap single. Then Derrek Lee couldn’t hold onto a hard hit ball by Colby Rasmus and the Cards had the bases loaded with only 1 out. After Zambrano got Albert Pujols out on a sac fly to left, it looked like Zambrano might be able to get out of the jam by allowing only 1 run to score. But Zambrano promptly served up a gopher ball to Ryan Ludwick which gave the Cards the 4-3 lead.
The Cubs were able to tie game at 5 in the bottom of the 5th inning on an Aramis Ramirez double and a Geovany Soto single, but the Cards quickly re-took the lead on Brian Barden homer, and they increased the lead to 7-5 on another Ryan Ludwick homer. Zambrano ended the day with a horrible line – 7 innings pitched (109 pitches), 7 earned runs, 9 hits (3 home runs), 3 walks and 7 K’s.
The Cubs never gave up, however, as Aramis Ramirez cut the lead to 1 with an RBI single in the 7th. That set the stage for Alfonso Soriano in the 8th. With 1 out, pinch-hitter Aaron Miles coaxed out a walk from Carlos Perez. Then Soriano launched a good pitch into the left field bleachers.
Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th inning with a leadoff walk to Colby Rasmus and then hitting Albert Pujols with a pitch. But Marmol rebounded by striking out the lethal Ludwick and getting Khalil Greene to hit into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Cubs Win Cubs Win! Hey Chicago Whadda Ya Say!!!