Five Ribbies and 3 HR for Alfonso (and a tense moment for Jason Marquis)

Linescore of the Day: 

Alfonso Soriano: 4 for 5, 3 HR, 4 runs, 5 rbi (and no errors)

Soriano came though for the Cubs in a big way for the Cubs Saturday against the Reds in a game they quite honestly needed to win.  They needed all of Alfonso’s production as the Reds made a comeback against the Cubs beleaguered bullpen scoring 8 runs in the last two innings.  Final score: 14-9. 

Much kudos to starter Jason Marquis who not only pitched a good game (2 runs in 7 plus innings though with five walks… more on that later), he had a good day at the plate.  He hit two nicely hit flyballs for outs the first two times he was up but the third time was a charm.  That one reached the right field seats for a solo homer. 

The day wasn’t without a little controversy, though.  The situation with umpire Brian Runge was just plain weird.  With the bases loaded and a 3-0 count, Marquis threw one that looked like a strike to me.  Regardless, Runge didn’t call it.  Even stranger, batter Chris Dickerson didn’t make a move to first thinking it was a strike himself.  It took a long while before anyone did anything.  Finally, Runge made the call, Ball Four.  Boy, that got Marquis upset and he got yelling and gesturing the shape of the strike zone. 

The Play of the Game?

The best play of the game wasn’t a hit or a play in the field.  It was a simple gesture made by catcher Geovany Soto to Runge that could have saved the game.  While Marquis was yelling at Runge and things were getting tense, Runge started to move to go toward the mound.  Soto touched Runge’s arm as if to say, "Don’t worry. I’ll handle it." and went out to the mound.  Runge turned back to his spot behind home plate.

In my opinion, Soto prevented Marquis from getting ejected from the game.  It may have been obvious and simple but it worked.  Marquis pitched pretty well the rest of his outing, allowing one more run in the eighth (don’t forget about his homerun too).  Had he been ejected, who knows what could have happened.  We saw what happened in the 8th and 9th inning. 

Soto has been showing this kind of maturity and presence of mind all year.  I will most likely have the first pick in the rookie draft in the Ilowa APBA League next year. 

I think I have made my decision.

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