"It was a tough first 10,000 wins," [Ryan] Theriot said with a chuckle. "I hope the next 10,000 are easier."
We are in uncharted territory.
Not just for the 10,000th win in franchise history -- a 7-6, come-from-behind, extra-inning thriller over the Rockies -- but for the 15-6 start which is now tied with the Diamondbacks for the best record in baseball.
Here are all the Cub teams since 1900 that have started the season better than 15-6:
That's it. Four other post-1900 Cub teams (1906, 1932, 1969 and 1975) also started 15-6, and a number of 19th Century teams were 15-6 or better (the best, the 1879 club, went 18-2 with one tie), but the 2008 Cubs are now in the upper echelon of great starts by this 132-year-old franchise. The 1975 team is the outlier in that group -- they were playing over their heads and wound up 75-87 in fifth place in the old NL East -- but the rest of them were all either pennant winners, World Series winners... and we won't talk about the 1969 team, as you all know how that wound up.
The Cubs also won their fourth extra-inning game on the road last night (and haven't lost any -- the only extra-inning loss this year was on Opening Day at home). The last time the Cubs won four extra-inning games on the road was 2004 -- but that year, it took them till August to do that.
Winning anything on the road, particularly at Coors Field where it rarely seems to matter how big a lead you get, is always gratifying. I want to give thanks right here and right now to the thousands of Cubs fans who made the "Let's Go Cubbies!" and "Fukudome!" chants audible -- loudly -- on the CSN telecast (although at least on my cable system, Comcast in Chicago, there was no audio at all on the HD feed for the first few minutes; later they did fix this problem). I know some of that came from BCB readers who posted here that they were attending last night's game.
Rich Hill pitched -- well, okay, considering that his career ERA coming into this game at Coors Field was somewhere orbiting Mars. He walked four, but got out of most jams mostly unscathed; his boxscore line shows he allowed two runs, but only one of those -- a Clint Barmes HR -- scored while he was in the game. Four Cub relievers contributed to the rest of the Rockies' five-run sixth inning, giving Colorado a 5-3 lead.
Then the Cubs clawed back, scoring one run and executing a double steal (when's the last time you saw that happen?) in the 7th, making it 5-4, then taking the lead 6-5 with two strikes and two out in the 9th on Aramis Ramirez' long home run 3/4 of the way up into the LF seats.
Just as Manny Corpas blew a save with two out in the 9th, so did Kerry Wood, allowing a single to Scott Podsednik (Len & Bob noted how much Pods looked exactly like he did as a White Sox, with the Rockies' very similar sleeveless uniforms) and a triple to Ryan Spilborghs, after retiring the first two Rockies in the 9th on strikeouts.
But the Cubs would not quit, and manufactured a run in good style in the 10th, the winning run being driven in by Ryan Theriot in the 2008 "Have A Different Hero Every Day" Cub style. Carlos Marmol finished it out uneventfully -- isn't it nice to know that after your closer comes out of the game for a pinch-hitter, there's someone else right behind him who can also close?
Finally this morning, apologies from me and SBN for the massive outage last night which was caused, ironically, by a server upgrade which was done the night before (if you recall, I'd made this post Tuesday night alerting you to what was supposed to be a short planned outage). Trei and the tech team are hoping we're past the issues, which were caused, we are told, by "bad RAM"... however, they are going to monitor traffic later today when more game threads get going. Apologies from me and know that they're doing everything they can to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Uncharted territory. This is also the first time in Cub history that they have had two separate winning streaks of five games or longer in April. Keep it going. I'll have a game thread up later this morning for the 2:05 CDT start.