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Cubs Sweep One-Game Series Over Rockies

Maybe this is the only way the Cubs could actually have a "sweep" (and yes, I know technically it isn't one) -- take a makeup game from a team that won't be back in town the rest of the season.

The Cubs hit four home runs in their 7-3 win over the Rockies, two each from Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena; Pena now has 16 for the season. Only five NL players (Prince Fielder, Matt Kemp, Lance Berkman, Jay Bruce and the injured Albert Pujols) have more.

There have been entire weeks this year when the Cubs haven't hit four home runs. The last time they did it, Lou Piniella was still managing the team (August 4, 2010 in a 15-3 win over the Brewers). Pena has now hit almost 25% of the team home runs -- 16 of 65. Maybe this warm weather actually will heat up the Cubs' bats; they pounded out 10 hits off Jhoulys Chacin and two relievers. Chacin threw a CG shutout against the Cubs in Denver, so you know he can actually handle Cubs hitters.

Meanwhile, Matt Garza started the game by giving up a leadoff homer to Carlos Gonzalez on his fourth pitch of the day, and the first thought you have is, "Uh-oh, it's going to be one of those days." But it wasn't. Garza gave up only one more hit until the sixth inning, when a pair of hits and a wild pitch helped lead to a second Colorado run; by that time the Cubs had a 6-1 lead.

Garza really does have to work on his fielding (as Mike Quade said in his postgame remarks, which, curiously enough, did not contain one cute nickname); he made another error trying to field a bunt today, though that did not lead to any runs allowed. Garza was finally lifted after giving up a second HR to CarGo with one out in the eighth. Despite the home runs -- he's now allowed seven on the year -- Garza didn't walk anyone and actually managed to draw a walk as a hitter, only the second of his career.

Now, seriously, as a pitcher -- if you were throwing to Matt Garza, who coming into this game was 1-for-36 as a hitter with 27 strikeouts, why would you throw him anything but a strike? Carza made it as far as third base on a walk and a wild pitch.

About the only criticism I have for today's game is: with a doubleheader tomorrow, why was Carlos Marmol in this game in a non-save situation? Sean Marshall had thrown eight pitches; why not let him finish and leave the rest of the bullpen completely fresh for Tuesday? Marmol struggled a bit, but recovered to finish off the game while throwing 20 unnecessary pitches.

The "crowd" was announced as 40,854. Of course, that was the number of tickets sold for the April 27 date on which this game was postponed. A surprisingly large number of people actually did show up today -- I'd estimate about 25,000 were actually in the house on a day when dire weather forecasts had rain scheduled to arrive about game time. Not only did it not rain, but the sun broke through for most of the afternoon and the southerly breezes probably gave some lift to the six baseballs that left the premises today (although just one, a basket shot by Pena, needed any help). I'd be most interested to find out two numbers from today -- first, how many people were actually able to get refunds or exchanges from the Cubs for the April 27 date, and second, what, if any, walkup sale they had for this afternoon.

And so, a "sweep", right? Now, let's try for two in a row. Baby steps.