Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and center fielder Tony Campana celebrate in the air with shortstop Adrian Cardenas, second baseman Darwin Barney and right fielder David DeJesus after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 10-0 at Miller Park. Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
This one deserves a conventional recap, because we certainly aren't going to see many games like Tuesday night's this year. (Don't worry. The themed recaps will be back. I suspect, quite often.)
Where did that come from? The Cubs scored 10 runs for just the second time this season. They scored 10 runs in a road game for the first time since September 12, 2011, when they beat the Reds 12-8 at Cincinnati.
Not that the 2011 Cubs were anything we want to remember fondly, but the point is that it's been a while. It wasn't the first time they hit three home runs in a road game this year -- they also did it May 3 at Cincinnati -- but those were three solo homers. They represented the only runs in a 4-3 loss. This time at least, two of them -- the three-run shot opening the scoring in the first inning by Alfonso Soriano and the monster two-run blast by Jeff Baker ending the scoring barrage in the ninth -- were with men on base. Bryan LaHair added a solo shot, his 11th (and first since May 15).
They scored four more runs Tuesday night than they had scored in the entire four-game series in San Francisco.
A perfect game? In this misbegotten season?
It didn't figure to be, and wasn't. Cody Ransom led off the sixth inning with a clean single to left field. Cody Ransom? Seriously? Ransom has had a very strange career; this is his 10th major league season, but he has never had more than 91 plate appearances in any of them. Those 91 are this year, incidentally. Ransom was actually a Cub briefly; he came to spring training with the team in 2005, was let go at the end of camp and picked up by the Rangers, who then released him two months later, at which time he came back to the Cubs and spent the rest of the year at Iowa. He'd seem like the perfect Cub in this ... misbegotten season.
Where was I? Oh, yes, Ryan Dempster. He was outstanding, and finally posted a number in the win column, his first in 19 starts dating back to August of last year. If he keeps up this kind of pitching, he'll be a possibility for the All-Star team, no matter how many are in that "win" column, the one that's becoming more and more irrelevant.
Starlin Castro went 3-for-5. I'm not going to talk about his gaffe from Monday, because I think Dale Sveum has made his position clear, that he won't tolerate repeats. Hopefully, there won't be any, but Sveum has put himself on notice, too -- he'll need to act if there is a next time. What I do want to mention about Castro is that he should be given a day off anyway. He has played every defensive inning this season; the only time he got any time off at all was in the top of the ninth on April 18 in Miami, when Sveum sent Blake DeWitt up to bat for him in a game the Cubs were losing 9-1.
Blake DeWitt. Man, was that this year?
They'll face the Brewers again tonight at Miller Park. Don't expect a 10-run outburst again.