Record: 3-4 (1- 3 vs. St. Louis, 2-1 vs. Houston)

The North Siders continued to struggle in St. Louis, losing 3 out of 4 to the Cards and scoring just 8 runs in the series. The Redbirds, with a farm system filled with prized Holsteins, don’t show any signs of letting Chicago catch up with them, what with the Cubs’ farm system as bare as Will Ferrell streaking in “Old School.” The only good thing for the Cubs was that not many people in Chicago noticed the series as they were paying attention to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Cubs returned to Wrigley for the weekend and a reunion of sorts with the Houston Astros, who have moved to the American League (many Cub fans had thought they suffered European soccer-style relegation down to AAA or were launched into space). The Cubs unleashed a barrage of homers on Houston led by Ryan Sweeney’s three-run jack Sunday which highlighted his 6 RBI day. Anthony Rizzo disproved the Sampson theory by going 3 for 3 in that game as well with 4 RBI (and a HBP) after getting a Saturday haircut. The Astros’ Chris Carter did catch two touchdown passes in the series, prompting ESPN blowhard Chris Berman to mock Buddy Ryan once again on SportsCenter by quoting the coach’s now infamous, “All he does is catch touchdowns” line after Buddy had released Carter in Philadelphia.

MVP: (Tie) Darwin Barney & Jeff Samardzija – Barney hit .333 for the week with two homers (perhaps an homage to the Sunday anniversary of Ryne Sandberg’s two homer game in ’84 off Bruce Sutter which led to an extra inning 12-11 win over the Cardinals and propelled the Cubs to the division title that season). Samardzija won two games, including an impressive 8.1 innings of 2 run/6 strikeout performance in St. Louis. St. Louie manager Mike Matheny was so impressed he went out to shake Samardzija’s hand after the game, thinking Jeff was one of his stable of aces.

LVP: Starlin Castro’s glove – Not helping his master’s hitting woes, the glove of Castro committed its 13th error of the season Sunday. It must be confused by the team slogan, “Committed,” and perhaps Mr. Sveum will give it a lesson on today’s off-day.

Ask the Magic 8-Ball: Is Darwin Barney a scientist or dinosaur?
Magic 8-Ball says: “As I see it, yes”

Patrick O. Elia