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