Harden Bests Former, Almost-Cub Peavy: Cubs 6, Padres 2

On the 39th anniversary of Ernie Banks' 500th home run, Milton Bradley hit a titanic, two-run blast in the sixth inning to lead the Cubs and RIch Harden past Jake Peavy and the Padres.

In the first inning, Harden gave up a leadoff double to Brian Giles and one out later, a two-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez. He limited the Pads to just two more hits and held them scoreless over the remainder of his six innings, at one point retiring 13 San Diego hitters consecutively.

Peavy was trying to become the first San Diego starting pitcher to win a game since April 17th. He was in a position to do so, clinging to a 2-1 lead, before Bradley stepped to the plate with Kosuke Fukdome on second base and launched his fourth homer of the year into the upper-section seats in straightaway center field.

Bobby Scales, pinch-hitting for Aaron Heilman to lead off the Cub 7th, hit his first career home run to extend the Cub lead. The home team tacked on two more insurance runs in the 8th.

Heilman, Carlos Marmol, and Kevin Gregg followed Harden to the mound and blanked the Padres over the final three innings to secure Harden's fourth straight win.

Hardlee productive: Derrek Lee returned to the lineup and fanned three times, including a fourth-inning at-bat when Fukudome was at third base with none out. Micah Hoffpauir did get into the game late, ripping a pinch-hit single that contributed to the two-run rally in the eighth.

Just in case you're keeping track:

Derrek Lee (in 94 AB's) .202/.280/.351/631 OPS
Micah Hoffpauir (in 62 AB's) .306/.353/.532/885 OPS

Lee has 3 HR / 1 per every 31.3 AB ; Hoffpauir has 3 HR / 1 per every 20.7 AB.

Lee has whiffed 23 times this year; once per every 4.1 AB; Hoffpauir has 11 K, that's once per every 5.6 AB.

Listening to Lou Piniella's pre-game radio show with Ron Santo, I was struck by the way Lou gushed over the fact that Lee would be able to start tonight. It was almost like he was trying to talk himself into being excited about the veteran's return.

Enemy update: the Cardinals' Ryan Ludwick had to be pulled from tonight's game with the Pirates after he strained a hamstring while running down a fly ball.

More on Ludwick: From the Post-Dispatch...

Not only did the Cardinals drop a 7-1 decision to the Pirates, but they
almost certainly have lost right fielder and cleanup man Ryan Ludwick
for a period of time, probably even the disabled list, because of a
right hamstring strain. He was hurt when giving futile chase to Nyjer
Morgan's fly ball, which went for a two-run triple in the second
inning.

Manager Tony La Russa was on the telephone to general manager John
Mozeliak, who was in Memphis, to report the dire news and perhaps seek
another outfielder for immediate use. Center fielder Rick Ankiel
already is on the DL with assorted bruises after banging into a wall
last week.

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Comments

Just FYI, Ryan Ludwick's BA/OBA/SLG/OPS in the 19 games since the Cards' series with the Cubs has been an abysmal .175/.264/.333/.597. You might recall that he had been hitting .405/.444/.833/1.278 up until then. It will be interesting to watch further developments after he returns from his hammy injury.

Although Peavy ended up getting the loss, and he threw some bad pitches that got hit hard, he still impressed me. With more run support, he could be the ace of this staff. I hope the Cubs re-visit trading for him before the deadline. Or, you know, Halladay.

The Trib royally screwed up their headline. If you look there before they figure it out http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ you'll see this

"Cubs' Bradley turns cheers to jeers in win"

Wow, I just watched that Bradley homer on the Cubs site for the first time (only listened to the game last night). Titanic is right. How far did that travel if it hit the upper deck of Right Center?

StL Post-Dispatch says Ludwig probably to the DL (hamstring strain).

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.ns...

I think this division race is starting to turn into what we thought it would be. The Cards early season success was due to Ludwick turning into Pujols 2.0. These last games before injury, he hasnt been hitting and they have been around .500. Now with him out 15 days atleast LaRussa has to do more line-up gymnastics with Ankiel, Glaus and Ludwick all out. Outside of the Saturday games aganist Milwaukee we have been playing great baseball this month. I expect us to lead this division this time two weeks from now.

Did I miss it, has MLB ruled on the suspension?

If not why is it taking so long?

cause Bradley has a point and MLB doesn't want to admit that the ump had it out for him.

It certainly seems that way. Since there is video evidence, if he was suspended for bumping into an umpire why do they need a two hour meeting and a week for a final ruling?

"Major League Baseball is expected to hand down its ruling today..."

Per Bradley

''I think the umpire's report and story doesn't match the videotape, and hopefully they see that and just get it over with. It shouldn't take this long.''

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/94597...

weather forecast is looking bad...

http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/USIL0225

If tonight's game is postponed expect a doubleheader Thursday since this is San Diego's only trip to Chicago this year. I don't think they like to lose day's off from rainouts this early in the season.

If the game gets cancelled tonight, which i'm assuming it will, and it's rescheduled as a night game tomorrow night, can i get in with my original tickets tomorrow or do i have to get a raincheck (or whatever) from the box office tonight? Thanks! (I can't believe this has never happened to me in all the years i've had tickets and gone to games!)

Just heard on ESPN 1000 that Bradley cupped his ear after homerun to hear fans cheer or boo, did anyone see that?

Also that he was jawing with fans when on the on deck circle.

I didn't hear about this...interesting.

Ha, the article is linked in comment #3

Just heard on ESPN 1000 that Bradley cupped his ear after homerun to hear fans cheer or boo, did anyone see that?

Also that he was jawing with fans when on the on deck circle.

WOW. I was hoping this was not going to turn into a JJ situation. Now I am hoping it doesn't turn into something worse than a JJ situation. But if he continues what he has done the last 6 games, fans will ultimately not give a shit.

Yeah, he did. Even the way he hit the ball seemed like he was pissed. He's not the kind of guy to take kindly to booing at any time, even if he has been sucking, as he admitted he has been. Still, as Manny said, if he hits like he's capable of, I think the fans and he will get along great. His post-game comments were a little more conciliatory.

I just heard about this.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?conten...

you can see it at the end here...

I think it was directed at whoever he hade been jawing with in the on-deck circle...see him nod his head at the end and the three dufuses behind him.
I've got some screen grabs coming up in a post.

If I remember correctly, he did something similar after the last home run he hit at Wrigley. I recall him putting his index finger on his lips as if to say "shhhhh" as he was headed to the dug out. I took it as him saying, "don't cheer for me now after you were booing me earlier".

But I'm completely biased. I vividly remember his blowing out his knee during the stretch run as a Padre a few years back while arguing with the 1st base ump. Then there was the press box visit incident last year. Cobble that with other antics and I think the guy is a moron.

And if he's gonna to hit .280, work counts and hit titantic home runs at key moments, he can be a moron all he wants.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?conten...

good call, you can see it right at the end here.

The girl behind quickly turns to the person next to her off camera and laughs, either in a "did you just see that" or maybe it was directed towards someone.

I did see that, jacos.

That's nice and all, but where were you in April, bud?

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