Sunday, December 30, 2007

6 most memorable wins from 2007

Happy New Year to everyone. Everything has been quiet on the Cubs front of late. So I want to take a look back at 2007. The Cubs NL Central Championship gave us a bunch of memories. Here are MY most memorable Cub wins of 2007:

Every win is said to be just as important as every other win. While that is probably the case, at times following a team some wins just seem more important than others, they stand out to you as a fan. Maybe it was the way the team won, the timing of the win or a memorable individual performance. So when I started looking over the 2007 schedule it was easy to find more than 6 memorable wins for this team. Here are a few that just missed the cut:

Most memorable wins of 2007 Honorable Mention

August 17, 2007, Cubs 2 - Cardinals 1. Jacque Jones hit a two run homer and made a brilliant catch as the Cubs moved into first place.

June 8, 2007, Cubs 9 - Braves 1. Soriano jacks three homeruns in his first three AB's down in Hotlanta.

June 24, 2007, Cubs 3 - White Sox 0. Soriano homers for the third consecutive game in the series. Marshall and the pen shut out Sox en route to a sweep on the Southside.

June 3, 2007, Cubs 10 - Braves 1. Following the Barrett/Z fight and Uncle Lou's tirade on the first two days of this series with the Braves, the Cub offense came to life. We have seen lesser Cub teams rollover following games like the Friday and Sunday prior to this.

September 17, 2007, Cubs 7 - Reds 6. Mark DeRosa goes 5-5 as the Cubs keep pushing for the NL Central crown.

You can make an argment for any of those games and I'm sure I missed a few. Feel free to let me know in the comments below. Okay here is my list of the 6 most memorable games of 2007:

CCD's 6 most memorable wins from 2007

6. August 18, 2007, Cubs 5 - Cardinals 3. In a game full of rain delays (over 2 hours worth), the only thing that mattered was the outcome. The Cubs beat the cardianls for the second consecutive day. They scored all the runs they would need that day on one blast. A grand slam homerun by Daryle Ward, his first homerun wearing the blue pinstripes.

Ward was in the lineup because earlier in the day Cliff Floyd and his family buried his father Cornelius. Cub players and management attended the funeral.

Defensively Carlos Marmol and Jason Kendall pulled off a memorable play on Albert Pujols at to end the sixth inning:

It got a little messy in the St. Louis sixth. Pujols was at third base with one out and tried to score when Carlos Marmol's pitch got away from Kendall. Kendall scrambled to retrieve the ball and threw to Marmol covering home while on his belly. Home-plate umpire Ted Barrett called Pujols out, although Cardinals fans might challenge that.
The Cubs, who had just moved into first place a day earlier, knew that at the end of this game they were still in first place. A wild race with Milwaukee was on...

5. May 19, 2007, Cubs 11 - White Sox 6. The score of this game doesn't indicate how close this game was. In the top of the eighth Paul Konerko gave the southside team the lead with a solo shot off of Bobby Howry. Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth things were about to change:

But the Cubs answered in their half, much to the delight of the fans with red and blue face paint in the sellout crowd of 41,101 at Wrigley Field. Ryan Theriot tripled to lead off against David Aardsma (2-1), and one out later, scored on Soriano's single. It was Soriano's first RBI since moving into the No. 3 spot on Monday in Lee's spot.

"You can't be afraid to get thrown out -- that's a momentum changer," Theriot said of his hit.

Aramis Ramirez then tripled to right, driving in Soriano to give the Cubs the lead. Daryle Ward was intentionally walked, and Michael Barrett was safe on an infield single that deflected off Aardsma to load the bases.

That brought Derrek Lee to the plate. Lee who had been out for 5 games with back spasms wasn't scheduled to start until the following Tuesday. Cue 'The Natural' movie footage. Lee connected for a pinch hit grand slam and sunk the White Sox hopes that afternoon.

4. September 28, 2007, Cubs 6 - Reds 0. The Cubs clincher in the Queen City.

Following an awful series in South Florida (a sweep at the hands of the Fish) most of us were getting worried that the Cubs were going to choke away the division which they had taken a commanding lead in thanks in large part to a sweep of the Bucs in the final home series of the regular season. The good news for the Cubs was the Brewers were not taking full advantage of the Cubs nose dive. As a matter of fact, Brewers losses on Wednesday and Thursday had lowered the Cubs magic number all the way to two.

The Cubs started the series in Cincy with their ace Carlos Zambrano on the hill. I had been critical of Big Z for sometime. He proved me wrong and then some pitching an absolute gem. Offensively Alfonso Soriano started the night like this. That would actually be all Z would need on this night. He went seven strong allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and no runs while striking out 4. Howry and Dempster each added a scoreless inning of relief. The Cub offense would add on 5 more runs and the Cubs would have to awit the result from Milwaukee where former Cub Greg Maddux went to the hill for the Padres against the Brewers.

When that game was all over the Padres had beaten the Brewers 6-3 and the celebration was on in the Cubs clubhouse in Cincy and throughout the northside of Chicago!

3. August 21, 2007, Cubs 5-Giants 1. The Cubs and the Brewers were tied for first going into this ballgame. Milwaukee won in Phoenix 7-4 over the D-backs. This meant the Cubs had to win to stay tied with the Brewers.

Through 8 innings it didn't look good. Against young Tim Lincecum the Cub bats had only scratched out only 2 hits. Still the Cubs pitching staff behind 7.0 strong innings from Marquis and 1.0 inning of relief from Eyre had only allowed 1 run. In the top of the ninth a little something started to happen. Theriot led off the inning with a double. Jones singled sending Theriot to third. Lee singled to tie the game. Ramirez walked to load the bases and set the stage for Cliff Floyd.

Floyd had just returned to the team from the bereavement list following the loss of his father Cornelius. Floyd singled to RF scoring 2 runs to give the Cubs a 2 run lead. The norsthsiders would tack two more on and win a game that for eight innings they had no right to call a 'W'.

2. June 25, 2007. Cubs 10 - Rockies 9. Every summer Wrigley Field hosts a few wild games. This was the wildest of 2007. The Cubs looked to be cruising along through 8 innings they had built up an 8-3 lead on the Rockies. Jason Marquis was okay while the Cubs knocked around Jeff Francis for 6 runs in 5.0 IP.

In the top of the ninth all hell broke lose. Scott Eyre couldn't get anybody out as the first three Rockies reached. Bobby Howry entered and three batters later Troy Tulowitzki (a name few of us were familiar with yet) had homered to make it a 6 run Rockies ninth and given them the lead. Howry recovered and got the next three Rox out. We went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs needing one to tie and two to win.

Against Brian Fuentes, DeRosa led off the inning with a single to center. Lou brought in speedy Felix Pie to run for DeRosa. Pagan struck out swinging. Rob Bowen grounded into a force out 3-6. So with Bowen at first the great Koyie Hill pinch hit for Bobby Howry. Hill singled to left. This is where things get strange. Theriot hit a bouncer to Kaz Matsui who bobbled an easy play. All hands were safe. That loaded the bases for Soriano. Fonzie came through with a two run single to center and the Cubs had turned an easy win into a dramatic come from behind win.

1. June 29, 2007, Cubs 6 - Brewers 5. Milwaukee came to Chicago with a 7-1/2 game lead. The Cubs though were starting to play some better baseball. The Cubs entered play winners of 6 in a row and with a win would get back to the .500 mark.

In the first inning the Brewer hitters abused Rich Hill. Fouling off a ton of pitches and getting to Hill for 5 first inning runs. It looked like the 5 runs would stand up as the Cubs entered the bottom of the ninth down by two facing Brewers closer Francisco Cordero. Soriano and Fontenot both singled to start the inning. Lee hit a sac fly scoring Soriano. Next up Aramis Ramirez, who ended this game on the first pitch he saw. A 2 run game ending homerun that woke up Wrigleyville to the crazy summer we were about to see.

That was my most memorable game and moment of the Cubs 2007 season. Ramirez' walk off homerun was just good ole fashioned fun! It was actually a real nice building block for the Cubs in their pursuit of the Brewers.

So that is my list. I'm sure I kept some off this list that you would have mentioned. Let me know what you think. Thanks and again Happy New Year!

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