Alfonso Soriano and Blake DeWitt each hit 3-run home runs to lead the Cubs to a 7-6 win over the New York Mets on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Soriano’s homer in the 4th inning gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead. DeWitt’s homer in the 6th inning broke a 4-4 tie to give the Cubs a 7-4 lead. They held on as the Mets hit 2 solo home runs in the 7th and 8th innings to cut the Cubs lead to just 1 run. But Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning – despite issuing ANOTHER walk – to pick up his 26th save on the season.
I really like this DeWitt kid. In addition to the 3-run homer, he had another single. He has a .327 on-base percentage and has a bit more pop in his bat than Ryan Theriot with his 5 HR’s and 46 RBI’s. He is also a lot younger as he just turned 25 about 2 weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how he matures under the tutelage of Rudy Jaramillo (and potentially Ryne Sandberg as the new Cubs skipper in 2011). But I like the idea of DeWitt and Starlin Castro shining in the middle of the infield in the near future.
Speaking of Castro, he had 2 more hits and his batting average is now .319 which keeps him in 3rd place in the NL just 4 percentage points behind Joey Votto of the Reds. Catching Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies (.331) might be tough, but anything can happen in the final 4 weeks of the season.
Xavier Nady continues to excel as he gets more playing time as the Cubs regular 1st baseman since Derrek Lee’s departure. Nady had 3 hits, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored and always seems to be in the middle of Cubs rallies these days.
For the 2nd straight game, a Cubs pitcher picked up his 1st major league win. Casey Coleman notched the win in the Cubs victory over the Pirates on Wednesday. And on Friday, James Russell picked up his 1st major league win by recording the final out of the 6th inning. Russell retired the only batter that he faced to get Randy Wells out of his jam.
Speaking of Wells, it was another so-so outing for Wells who is enduring a sophomore slump of a 2010 MLB schedule. Wells surrendered 4 ER on 8 hits and 4 walks with 4 K’s. He did not have a single 1-2-3 inning during his outing and his ERA is now 4.56 and his WHIP is now 1.44. Not good.
Interesting fun fact — going into yesterday’s game, the Mets had not hit more than 1 home run in a game in 31 games. Of course, against Cubs pitching, the Mets hit 2 home runs – 1 by David Wright and 1 by Luis Hernandez.
The Cubs and Mets play game 2 on Saturday afternoon – Carlos Zambrano takes the bump against . Big Z is looking for his 3rd straight win in as many starts and his 4th win since returning to the starting rotation on August 9th. Not bad, not bad at all.