I love to be wrong in situations like this, as Casey Coleman led the Cubs to a 2-game sweep of the Marlins in Miami with a convincing 5-1 win.
Coleman picked up his 2nd win of the season, throwing 109 pitches in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Manager Mike Quade brought in the recently called up Scott Maine to get Coleman out of trouble in the bottom of the 6th inning after Coleman walked 2 batters with 2 outs in the inning. Maine made it a little scary but Byrd cuaght Wes Helms’ deep drive to center field to end the inning.
And how about John Grabow — he has given up just 1 ER in his last 10 appearances and he notched his 4th hold of the season with a scoreless 7th inning. If Grabow can regain the form that made him such an effective reliever before he signed a 3-year free agent deal with the Cubs, the Cubs bullpen will be that much deeper as the season progresses.
Kerry Wood gave up the Marlins only run on a homer to Mike Stanton. Wood is trending in the exact opposite direction as Grabow — in his last 5 trips to the mound, Wood has 2 blown saves and 2 losses, and has given up 7 runs (3 earned) on 10 hits and 3 walks. Not good.
Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning in a non-save situation.
At the plate, Reed Johnson got the Cubs out to an early lead with an RBI double in the 2nd inning. Marlon Byrd continues to swing a hot bat. He had 2 more hits including a 2-run home run in the 4th inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-0. And Starlin Castro had 2 hits including a 2-run double in the top of the 9th inning that gave the Cubs some breathing room heading into the bottom of the inning with a 4-run lead.
After an atrocious start to the tough road trip with 2 frustrating losses to the 1st place Reds, it was nice to see the Cubs bounce back against the Marlins. The Cubs now trail the Cards by 5.5 games in the NL Central and need a 3-game sweep over the Red Sox in Boston this weekend in order to get back within 1 game of the .500 mark…