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Blake DeWitt, Carlos Pena and Kosuke Fukudome come up big for Cubs

May 7, 2011, 4:36 PM EDT

Cubs Dodgers Baseball

Who saw that headline coming a month ago?

Blake DeWitt, who was on the bench for 30 of the Cubs’ previous 31 games this year, homered and scored the winning run.

Carlos Pena, who was hitting .159 and slugging .175 at the end of April, hit a game-tying homer in the ninth.

Kosuke Fukudome, who entered the day in a 2-for-25 slump and had just two RBI in 71 at-bats for the season, delivered the game-winning hit.

And the Cubs did it against the Reds, who have become famous for their late-game heroics, as Francisco Cordero blew a save for the first time this year.

The Cubs ended up winning 3-2 after Pena’s leadoff homer off Cordero and Fukudome’s RBI single.  They caught a terrible break with two outs in the ninth, when Jeff Baker‘s fly to deep right center took a big bounce off the warning track and jumped into the stands, preventing DeWitt from scoring from first. Fukudome, though, followed that with a liner up the middle, finishing the game.

The most positive development for the Cubs has to be Pena’s power surge.  He has three homers in four games after going a month without one.

Because Pena and Fukudome are now playing well enough to hold down regular jobs, the Cubs need to seriously consider demoting Tyler Colvin to Triple-A.  Last year’s rookie surprise is batting just .121 after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts today.  The Cubs would be better off getting him regular at-bats in the minors and giving him his playing time to Reed Johnson.

  1. 78mu - May 8, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    A game like this shows the problem with managers thinking their closer has to pitch the ninth inning to protect a small lead. BA was only at 95 pitches when he was taken out and his replacement Ondrusek struck out their two best hitters on 11 pitches. So Dusty brings in Cordero for the ninth and even after the HR and the 400 ft double (that Stubbs should have caught) he had to leave him in. Any other reliever in any other inning the manager would have pulled the pitcher figuring he doesn’t have it today. But managers know they will be second guessed if they pull their closer and the next guy gives up the game winning hit so they stick with the closer and avoid having to explain their moves.

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