Cubs make it 6 in a row, 5-run inning sparks comebackRyan Dempster went to the mound Thursday night shooting for his 16th win. Instead he got a no-decision yet pitched well through 5 innings allowing a run. It wasn't until the 6th inning before Dempster found himself in a little trouble. The Phillies put a 3-spot on the scoreboard to take a 4-1 lead. After the Cubs veteran starter departed Sean Marshall came in to pitch a scoreless 7th frame.
Cole Hamels had the Cubs reeling, quieting the lineup with an array of changeups and fastballs. He left the game after 7 innings which was a blessing for the Cubs because the next inning Mike Fontenot creamed a solo homerun to right-center. Then Soriano hit a double, another man reached base before D. Lee was walked to load the bases. Aramis Ramirez strolled to the plate and delivered with a monstrous grand slam! That makes 8 for his career.
Rallied from 4 down the Cubs scored all their runs in the inning via the long ball. This marks the 25th time this year the club has scored at least 5 runs in an inning. Wow that is outstanding! All it took was bringing in the Phillies' bullpen. The lineup tallied 5 hits off their relievers and drew 2 walks. One main strength the Cubs have over their NL opponents is their bullpen. Kerry Wood captured his 28th save pitching a scoreless 9th, yielding only a hit. Bob Howry keep the game within reason, giving the Cubs a chance late as he pitched an inning and picked up the win to improve to 6-4. Last night's outcome shows the Cubs reaching 50 wins at home with the other 34 on the road.
Aramis Ramirez is on the verge of catching fire as he closes in on 100 RBIs. He's going to blow by his numbers from last season: 26 homeruns, 99 RBIs, 35 doubles, and 72 runs. With him and Lee making solid contact in the middle of the order the Cubs will become even tougher to handle in late game situations. The clutch hits are there as a hot streak has developed. I'd like to see it resume uninterrupted for the rest of the series at Wrigley. Cubs' fans have to feel confident about the outlook for Game 3 with Rich Harden (4-1, 2.00) vs. Joe Blanton (1-0). This contest could result in another close one down to the wire in Chi town. Keep those bats cracking Cubbies!