It’s somewhat strange seeing the Cubs win back-to-back games at Arizona, and not just because Chicago has slumped to an early sub-.500 record.
The desert hasn’t exactly been a stomping ground for the Cubs, who are 20-30 all-time at Chase field.
In fact, it’s Chicago’s second-lowest winning percentage at any current NL ballpark–although New York’s Citi Field is a bit of an exception given the Cubs have played just two series at the Mets’ home park going (2-5).
But with Saturday’s 5-3 win, Chicago has won 5 of its last 6 games played at Arizona. They swept a three-game set at Chase last summer, and look to take three of four Sunday afternoon. Is the law of averages finally sliding in the Cubs direction in AZ?
-MEANWHILE, hats off to Matt Garza who earned his first win as a Cub Saturday night. It took Garza (1-3) six starts to break the win column, and he worked his tail off to get there–104 pitches, 10 Ks & 2 BB over eight innings. His 10 punchouts, not to mention, were enough to set the Cubs’ franchise-record for most strikeouts through the month of April (50).
Been a while, maybe two years, since we’ve seen Soriano get this hot at the plate. He’s crushed three home runs in his last two games giving him 10 for the year. Similar to Garza, Soriano’s mark sets a new franchise-record for home runs in the opening month of the season.
At this rate, Alfonso is on pace for 60 bombs, which is unlikely, of course, but could legitimize a move by Quade to move Soriano to the three or four hole. Marlon Byrd continues to struggle, Pena has been a big fat zero, and Baker left Sat. night’s game with a sore left shoulder.
A win Sunday and the Cubs move a game under .500 before heading farther west to face the streaking Dodgers, winners of two straight and six of its last 10. A loss on Sunday, however, possibly sets the Cubs back another week before leveling its record at .500. That alone sets the stage for the season’s biggest game tomorrow afternoon. Can’t wait!