The Cubs defeated the Padres 6-2 on Tuesday night behind the solid pitching of Rich Harden and the clutch hitting of Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley. Harden improved to 4-1 on the season and settled down after he gave up a 2-run 1st inning home run to Adrian Gonzalez which gave the Padres the early. Harden retired 12 Padres in a row after the HR and allowed only 3 more base runners in the next 5 innings.
I must admit, I had my doubts especially after the Cubs blew a golden opportunity off Peavy in the 4th inning. Kosuke Fukodome led off the inning with a double and advanced to 3rd base with nobody out on a wild pitch by Jake Peavy. All the Cubs had to do was put the ball in play to plate Kosuke, but Peavy struck out Derek Lee and Milton Bradley and was saved by a great play by the 3rd baseman who robbed Mike Fontenot on a line drive to the hot corner. I figured the Cubs were done after blowing that scoring chance, especially against Peavy. But the Cubs didn’t give up.
Alfonso Soriano’s RBI double in the 5th inning score Geovany Soto with the Cubs 1st run of the game. In the 6th inning, Kosuke led off with another double. After another Derek Lee strike out – how many is that on the season now???!!! – Milton Bradley exacted revenge on Peavy with a deep bomb to center field.
Side rant – instead of just running around the bases, Bradley just dropped the bat at home plate and stared at the ball going well into the center field bleachers. Bradley didn’t stop there, however. At the top of the Cubs dugout steps, Bradley put his left hand up to his ear to the crowd as if to say “Where are the boos now?” Is this guy for real? Gimme a break. Bradley needs to quit worrying about the fans, the opposition and the media, and start focusing on his health, his at-bats and playing the field. Although Bradley has quietly put together a nice 6-game hitting streak with 2 home runs, only 1 of the games has been a multi-hit game and his batting average is still a measly .186. Hey Milton – you can get on your high horse when you have double-digit home runs, RBI’s and runs scored and when your batting average is higher than .200… Check out the Bradley antics here!
The Cubs got an insurance run on Bobby Scales 1st career home run in the 7th inning. Scales was a little bit more diplomatic after his shot as he sped around the bases for his unfamiliar home run trot: “I was just running. I kept telling myself, ‘Pick your feet up, pick your feet up, so you don’t trip’. Even in the Minor Leagues when I hit home runs, there’s no point in showing anybody up. You hit it and it went over the fence, and that’s enough. Hit all four bases and get off the field.”
In the 8th inning, the Cubs added 2 more runs on an RBI single by Alfonso Soriano and a wild pitch that scored Micah Hoffpauir. Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg did the rest – shutting the door on the Padres with scoreless frames in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.
Let’s hope the Cubs can pull off a sweep of the Padres with Ted Lilly on Wednesday night and Ryan Dempster on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.