Cubs

Soriano celebrates another walk-off win over Cardinals

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Soriano celebrates another walk-off win over Cardinals

Alfonso Soriano danced around late Tuesday night and got the Gatorade bucket filled with ice water dumped over his head.

Soriano had just smashed a two-out single off Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene. The ball trickled away in the 10th inning, scoring Tony Campana and giving the Cubs a 3-2 walk-off victory at Clark and Addison.

We need that kind of emotion and belief, Soriano said afterward, above the dance beats pumping from the clubhouse stereo. We got to celebrate when were winning, because thats the best part.

A blown save against the Cardinals last season prompted Carlos Zambrano to look in the direction of Carlos Marmols locker and deliver the We stinks! address.

No ones quite sure what the Cubs (6-12) are now, or what theyre going to become. But if the past two nights are any indication, its going to be unpredictable.

The last time the Cubs had back-to-back walk-off wins against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field was July 26-27, 1961, according to team historian Ed Hartig.

Its great, especially for a young ballclub, said Jeff Samardzija, who threw 6 23 scoreless innings that became a footnote. We know were going to be in a lot of these tight games.

We know were not going to bang the ball around the park. We just need to pitch well and play good defense and when we get those opportunities to score runs, we need to get them across.

This one took three hours and 21 minutes. The boos became the soundtrack as Marmol walked back to the dugout in the middle of the eighth inning.

They had just watched Matt Holliday lift Marmols 2-2 slider over the wall in center Campana thought it was close enough to make a jump for the go-ahead, two-out, two-run homer.

Manager Dale Sveum gave his closer a vote of confidence: Hell be right back out there tomorrow. And Bryan LaHair changed the subject in the ninth when he hit the teams first home run in nine games, a shot off left-hander Marc Rzepczynski that tied it at 2-2.

Soriano still hasnt homered yet, and on Tuesday snapped an 0-for-14 streak, and finally got his first extra-base hit of the season. Before the game, Sveum issued another vote of confidence and said he wouldnt drop Soriano in the order.

On a team thats looking to go young and inexpensive, Soriano is a symbol of the old way of doing business. Hes the 136 million man who enjoys being around the rookies.

It makes me young, Soriano said. I hang around with those guys, play with them, Im happy. I know that Im 36 years old, 11 years in the game, but with those guys, I feel like this is my first year in the big leagues, too. Im very happy that Im part of this team.

The Cardinals (11-7) wouldnt have made the playoffs and won the World Series last year if the Cubs had shown a little more fight and tightened up their game in St. Louis. Who knows where it will go from here?

(This) is an interesting little team with how we play and how we come to the park and work every day, Samardzija said. That starts up top. Dales been great since spring training with keeping our minds set on the right goal.

(Thats) to play the right way. What happens, the outcome of the game, is important, but its also about how you play the game and how it pans out for nine innings. In this case, it was 10, and we kept playing the whole game.

'Season-defining win'? Cubs are here for it

'Season-defining win'? Cubs are here for it

Smiling came easy for Anthony Rizzo as stood at his locker and fielded questions in a robin-egg blue T-shirt that read: "positive vibes."

This was roughly a half-hour after he went through the high-five line telling all his teammates the 12-11 victory was a "season-defining win" for the Cubs.

Who knows if it will really be that big of a "W" for this ballclub in the midst of what has been an up-and-down season to this point, but there has certainly been no shortage of positive vibes around the clubhouse lately.

One thing's for certain: The Cubs will wake up Thursday morning in sole possession of first place again as the Cardinals lost to the Brewers in a rain-shortened game in St. Louis.

Yu Darvish and the Cubs bullpen squandered a 6-2 lead and then a 10-9 lead. Yet the offense picked up the slack, smacking 14 hits, including Kris Bryant's game-winning two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"We haven't won a game like that really all year, I don't think," Rizzo said. "They scored 9 runs in the fifth to seventh innings. Teams don't really win when that happens. Just a good, hard-fought, never-quit win."

Rizzo is right: The Cubs haven't won a game in which they allowed at least 11 runs since Sept. 2, 2017 when they beat the Braves 14-12.

The Cubs have claimed 14 of 17 games at home since the All-Star Break and are now 43-19 at Wrigley Field this season - a winning percentage approaching .700 to combat the .390 winning percentage on the road.

So is it a season-defining victory?

"That's what Rizz told me," Bryant said. "We were high-fiving there and Rizz told me this is a season-defining win. I mean, I can't disagree with him. It's one of those games where you don't feel like you're gonna win just because you take a lead and then you're giving it back, but we came out on top. 

"Definitely some good momentum. We're playing good at home here, obviously and just gotta roll with the records at home and on the road."

Early on, it looked to be a night where the Cubs would cruise to victory behind Darvish, who came into the game red-hot and had settled into a rhythm after serving up a two-run shot to the third hitter of the game.

But that wasn't the case, as Darvish served up four homers overall and Derek Holland and Tyler Chatwood combined to allow 4 runs while notching just two outs as the first arms out of the bullpen.

Before the game, Joe Maddon talked again about how he felt like the only way the Cubs would be able to pull away in a tight NL Central race would be if the offense got into a groove and for one day at least, they were certainly firing on all cylinders.

The only starter who didn't reach base safely at least twice was Kyle Schwarber, and he drove in 3 runs on a homer and a groundout in which he hustled down the line to avoid a double play. Darvish even chipped in with an RBI single in the second inning.

Yes, it was a good win. Yes, the Cubs can go to sleep feeling content and wake up feeling hopeful.

But the only way this becomes a "season-defining win" is if the next five weeks play out like they hope. There have been several wins before Wednesday that seemed like they could propel the Cubs - including the finale in Cincinnati on the last road trip where Bryant once again came through with a clutch late homer. And every time, the team failed to keep the good times rolling for an extended period.

This is all a moot point if the Cubs come out and look flat this weekend or fail to carry any momentum onto the road.

"We'll find out," said Maddon, who has been in this game for nearly four decades. "I mean, I've been involved in those seminal moments and all of a sudden, things switch. 

"I'll tell you one thing though - I liked the method at the plate. Nobody was grinding sawdust; everybody was up there nice and chill and were getting good hacks on good pitches. ... I liked that. That's what we need to get to that point."

Bulls Talk Podcast: Rookie survey surprise, Joakim will double-team anyone

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Bulls Talk Podcast: Rookie survey surprise, Joakim will double-team anyone

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Sean Highkin and Michael Walton join Kevin Anderson.

1:00 The great Chicken Sandwich Wars- believe the hype

5:15 Judging the Bulls missed free throw promotion with Chick-fil-A

9:25 The story of Michael Jordan betting with teammates on the Dunkin Donuts race

11:45 The myth of the special NBA Jams version with Michael Jordan

17:00 How Jordan would have used twitter in the 90’s

18:00 Which player in NBA history would have had the best twitter account

22:20 Are you with Devin Booker or Joakim Noah in the double-team debate?

25:37 On the NBA rookie survey and Cam Reddish winning ‘best career’ vote

Listen to the full podcast here

Bulls Talk Podcast

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