Well, that was nice! A lot nicer than an hour-and-a-half delay at Denver International, anyway. Jason Jennings‘ good twin — we’ll call him Jeremy Jennings, in honor of the brothers London — walked only two while pitching seven solid and allowing a paltry one run. Jeremy’s pitch count was a tiny 87 as the Cubs persistently pounded first and second pitches into the ground, disproportionately often to Todd Helton. Meanwhile the Rockies’ incredible shrinking offense managed to get to Carlos Zambrano, one of the toughest pitchers in the National League. You never know, in this game.
Clint Barmes looked like his old self, singling twice and walking once, even stealing a base for good measure. Preston Wilson and Todd Greene homered. Even Desi Relaford did a decent impersonation of a major league player, with a double, a single, and a walk. All the Cubs could do to answer was a Todd Walker RBI single and a Jerry Hairston tally on a wild pitch by Brian Fuentes in the ninth. And how about Jay Witasick‘s perfect eighth?
OK, the Rockies have to be having a pretty horrible season for me to be wildly excited about a single well-played road game. But they are having a pretty horrible season. Also, my relationship to the Cubs is that of a jilted lover. Tomorrow, Joe Kennedy is going to wipe the floor with Mark Prior! Well, perhaps not. But for the first time on this miserable road trip, the vestiges of a future winning ballclub were in evidence. Certainly Relaford and Wilson won’t be around then, and probably not Greene or Jennings, but I love three-quarters of our infield, and it’s a great twist that suddenly Colorado’s most consistent asset is our bullpen.
It seems to come and go, but the defense looked awful solid today scooping up the barrage of Jeremy-induced ground balls. Hopefully Clint Hurdle will take a cue from Jamie Quirk and keep the running game an element as well. Matt Holliday had a swipe in addition to Barmes this afternoon. Yeah, we got wiped out on a double steal in the 5th, but it was a thrill just to see a double steal on in this day and age.
The Rockies may be talent-deficient, but the Cubs are severely dysfunctional. With Mitre and Rusch starting the weekend games, is it impossible to suggest Colorado might be on their way to their first road series victory of the season? Maybe I’m just lightheaded from breathing stale airport air.