Thursday, May 11, 2006


in what must be one of the great feats of psychic power since uri gellar bent spoons with his mind, dusty baker willed his team to winning with a jumbled lineup that saw juan pierre and ronny cedeno inverted (cedeno leading off, pierre batting second), john mabry hitting fifth and caddy catcher henry blanco bat eighth in front of carlos zambrano. despite being what a rationalist would call "putrid", somehow this lot scored in three frames and piled up eight runs -- as many as the team scratched out in their previous four tilts.

miracle? perhaps. cedeno -- despite ending 1-for-5 and seeing his on-base percentage sink to a new season-low .331 -- scored the game's first run by following a single with a stolen base, moving up on pierre's bunt and scoring on a todd walker groudout. better small ball you'll rarely see. and a five-run (!) sixth included two walks (pierre and matt murton) and two extra base hits (aramis ramirez and jacque jones, who also homered in the second) off tiring young starter matt cain, followed by a two-run error on a routine grounder to first by blanco.

zambrano made it all stand up with an eight-inning, five-hit, five-walk, 110-pitch effort. his continuing difficulty with location -- now 33 walks in 48.2 innings -- continues to be a source of concern despite back-to-back encouraging starts since this page confirmed reason for worry.

but it is good nonetheless to have the monkey off the back of this team. one win against a struggling rookie starter certainly doesn't make this club good, but it doesn't hurt either.

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