Monday, May 7, 2012

The Shark leads #Cubs to a 5-1 win over the Braves at a foggy Wrigley Field; Travis Wood optioned to Iowa and Adrian Cardenas called up

The Cubs start their 3-game series against the Atlanta Braves with a 5-1 win at a foggy Wrigley Field tonight.  (even Geovany Soto said this was the foggiest he's ever seen it at Wrigley during his postgame on-field interview).

Jeff Samardzija started for the Cubs and struck out seven batters and gave up five hits over seven innings pitched.  He earned the win for tonight's game, bringing his record to 4-1.

Bryan LaHair, Ian Stewart, and Soto all hit home runs to back up Samardzija.  

Bryan LaHair runs the bases after hitting his 8th homer of the season (photo from
Samardzija hit Jason Heyward with a pitch in the seventh, and Eric O'Flaherty retaliated by plunking David DeJesus with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, prompting a warning to both benches from home-plate umpire Chris Conroy.  Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez argued the call and was ejected. DeJesus then scored on Castro's single.

Carlos Marmol walked two batters in the eighth, but was able to retire the Braves' 3-4-5 hitters and escape. He seemed very pleased with himself after getting out of the inning.  James Russell came in to close the game in the 9th, but it was not a save opportunity.

Carlos Marmol reacts after getting out of the eighth inning (photo from Chicago Tribune)
The Cubs optioned Travis Wood to Triple-A Iowa, after he was called up over the weekend to pitch in place of the flu-stricken Matt Garza.  In turn, the Cubs called up infielder Adrian Cardenas to replace Blake DeWitt, who had the misfortune of being designated for assignment due to Garza not being able to pitch and Wood needing a spot on the roster in order to pitch Sunday.

Cardenas had 18 family members and friends at tonight's game in case he got to play, which he did.  This is Cardenas' first trip to Chicago.  He had a chance to come up earlier when the team claimed him, but wanted to wait until he got the call.  "I wanted the first time I get here to be when I got called up," he said.  "I didn't realize Lake Michigan is so big."

Chicago Cubs third baseman Adrian Cardenas leans back to make a catch on a pop fly by Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton during the third inning of a spring training baseball game on Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
During early batting practice, Cardenas tested the ivy on the outfield walls, pushing it a little just to see how thick it is.  "I'm a little overwhelmed," he said.  Welcome to the team, Adrian!

Today is the two-year anniversary of when shortstop Starlin Castro made his Major League debut at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.  On May 7, 2010, Castro went 2-for-5 in that game, hitting a three-run homer in his first plate appearance.  Castro added a three-run triple that game, and his six RBIs were the most recorded by a player in his first career appearance.

Tomorrow the Cubs will play the Braves in game 2 of the series at 7:05pm CT at Wrigley Field.  Ryan Dempster will start for the Cubs and hopes to get his first win this season, even though he has an ERA of 0.95, which leads the Majors.

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