I know I’ll have trouble getting people to believe me, but I had a feeling something like this might happen. The Cubs took the Pittsburgh Pirates to the woodshed and punished them 14-2. It had to happen that way. There was too much good stuff in the cards for it to end any other way.
Carrie Muskat has posted an article at the Cubs’ website titled “Cubs rout Pirates to win Quade’s home debut.” I saw the game on television, and, as usual, Muskat got the details right.
Carlos Zambrano had just returned from visiting his critically ill nephew in Venezuela and got encouraging news that he was doing better. Then, without anger, he began to dismantle the Pirates by holding them to two runs with the help of some relief pitching and a lot of offense and some great defense. This is the Cubs we’re talking about, right?
In addition to his pitching, Zambrano hit his first home run since 2009.
While Zambrano’s story is fun to relay, it doesn’t begin to explain what is going on with the Cubs. They are confident and they are having fun. They got 18 hits. Not bad for a team that averaged 2.58 runs in their previous 12 games against the Pirates. I’m sure the Cubs were aware of their shortcomings in the previous games, and came out ready to play.
In addition to everything else, this was Mike Quade’s first home game as the new interim manager after taking over for Lou Piniella. It is hard not to want Quade to get the managerial job for next year. He respects the position so much and maybe that is what it takes.
In addition to the offense, the Cubs showed some outstanding defense. Tyler Colvin threw a beautiful strike from right field to nail Garret Jones when he tried to stretch a single into a double. You can see both this throw and Zambrano’s homer at the reference site.
To top off the evening, Andre Dawson was honored.
This is what Cubs’ baseball could be, what it should be. Cubs’ baseball is about being hopeful and having fun. They didn’t have to be where they are. They held on to some ineffective players too long, and frankly Piniella stayed too long, being bogged down with personal problems.
I think the Cubs will beat the Pirates again tomorrow.
Chicago Cubs Website, Carrie Muskat, “Cubs rout Pirates to win Quade’s home debut”