Sunday, April 11, 2004  
Happy Easter to All Courtesy of the CUBBIES!!!

On a day where a lot of people were probably busy doing things other than watch Cubs baseball, the Cubs were busy playing their best game of the season. While most people were spending time with family or watching Phil Mickelson go for his first major ever, Kerry Wood was playing Easter bunny and dropping goose eggs on the braves scoreboard.

This is the way that most Cub fans pictured their team playing in 2004. Not only did the team break out of it's hitting funk, but it also got the 3 straight good outing by their starting pitcher. Kerry Wood, who battled a cut on his pitching hand all game, went 7 innings, giving up only 1 run and striking out 12 Braves. Seven of those K's came in a row, which tied the all time Cub record for consecutive strikeouts by a starter. The last Cub to do it was Mark Prior in 2002. The Cubs hitters also got in on the action, pounding out 10 runs on 13 hits and 4 Homeruns. All in all a great day for the team. The win also gets the Cubs back to .500 as they return home to open the season at Wrigley field on Monday.

I was very pleased with how this team looked. I thought they capitalized well on Braves mistakes and came through with clutch hits with runners in scoring position. Coming into the game, the Cubs were 0-17 in the series with runners in scoring position. They took care of that today.

The bullpen continued to look good. Hawkins pitched a perfect 8th inning, striking out 2. Wuertz pitched the 9th and gave up a run, but by that time, it didn't matter. I think this game is the turning point for good things to come this next series at Wrigley. I think the bats will begin to heat up and we'll get this season pointing where it should be.

Dave's perspective:

Don't be fooled by the ten run offensive output; it was a bad outing by Cunnane and a mistake pitch hammered by Barrett that accounted for most of the runs. They're still having trouble at the plate.

Man, Wood was awesome today. And fairly efficient, too.

We saw a Martinez-Walker-Hollandsworth double play today. I wonder if that's the only time we'll see that all season or if those guys will get to play as the second line of the infield once a week or so?

So far I have no complaints about the way Dusty is giving playing time to Grudz and Walker. Seems like he's balanced them pretty well.

Player of the Game

Boy I deliberated for a while on this one. Everyone in me wanted to give it to Kerry, mainly because he pitched like a stud through a nasty cut. However, Barrett made his case as well with a homerun and 4 RBI's. So, in the effort of being fair to our competition, we set a rule that on close calls for player of the game, we would defer to CBS Sportsline's decision. They chose Kerry Wood, so that is who will get the player of the game award. I'm happy with this because I think he pitched like an Ace today. He kept his pitch count under control and looked unhitable for a good period of the game. A well deserved 2nd win of the year.

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