CHICAGO -- Are the Chicago Cubs back on track?
After taking three of four from division leader Milwaukee, and knocking out former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, the North Siders feel pretty good about themselves – as good as they can feel for a team 10 back of the division lead.
“It was a lot of fun to score all those runs,” First baseman Carlos Pena said after the Cubs’ 12-7 win. “We played a very good team and took the series three of four. So hopefully we can ride this wave and just pile up some wins here.”
Starter Matt Garza picked up his third win of the year, giving up five runs in six innings. Garza saw for the first time how Wrigley Field plays with the wind blowing out. Garza allowed a pair of two-run homers in the first two innings (to Ryan Braun and George Kottaras).
“At first I didn’t know the wind was flying out,” Garza said. “I thought Braun hit the ball really well. But then George hit the ball and I thought, ‘that one’s just a pop up.’ The ball just kept carrying. I came in and said, ‘hey the balls are flying out today, aren’t they?’ I’ll try to keep the ball down then.”
Right fielder Kosuke Fukudome had what may have been his best game as a Cub. He hit a three-run homer and an RBI triple to go along with a base hit. Fukudome scored three runs and drove in four. On defense he was just as impressive; he threw out Rickie Weeks twice trying to stretch singles into doubles.
“I had to bow to him and shake his hand,” Quade said. “He hasn’t played a better game for me since he’s been here. Particularly the home run against [Danny Herrera] the left-handed pitcher. That was a huge blow on top of everything. He had a career day that’s for sure.”
Alfonso Soriano hit a home run in his first game back off the DL.
“I was really excited because I haven’t lost my timing at home plate,” Soriano said. “I feel great. We have not played good the last two and a half months. I hope our time is coming and everybody starts putting it together. We’ll see.”
The home stand takes a hard turn toward the East with the Yankees coming into Chicago for a weekend series at Wrigley Field. Left-hander Doug Davis will take on former White Sox starter Freddy Garcia.