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Cubs Tue May 18 2010

Cubs Walk-Off In Extras, Win 4-2

It became apparent last season how valuable Aramis Ramirez is to the Cubs offense after he went down with a shoulder injury that cost him half of his season. The same can be said this season. As the Ramirez goes so does the offense. Ramirez has been struggling mightily, but over the past five days he has shown signs of finally coming of a dreadful slump. Aramis got the Cubs started by knocking in the games first run to give the Cubs an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

That wouldn't be all from him this evening though. Koyie Hill drove in the second run in the fourth with an RBI single to left. Cubs starter Randy Wells pitched six and two-thirds innings giving up one run on seven hits and only one walk. Wells pitched well enough to win this game, but was a victim of a shaky bullpen. Cubs reliever John Grabow issued a pair of walks in the eighth inning which resulted in the game being tied.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol was called on early to register a five-out save, but failed to do so. Marmol, who has a tendency to be wild with the first batter he faces issued a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 2-2. That is how the game would stay until the bottom of the 11th inning when Mr. Walk-Off himself stepped up to the plate. Ramirez, who has been the key to several late inning victories for the Cubs since 2007 hammered his fourth home run of the season to win it for the Northsiders.

It was first home run since April 15, but there was no better time like present to hit one. If there was ever the sign the Ramirez is finally coming out his slump it was tonight. When he gets going he has the capability to carry this team. He is a big RBI guy for this club and they can really use him right about now.

While on paper it appeared for the first two months of the season the Cubs would have a cupcake schedule. As we have seen that couldn't be farther from the truth. The Cubs are entering a tough part of the schedule as they take on the National League defending Champion Phillies starting Wednesday. They do catch a break as it is only a two-game series. They haven't faired well at Citizens Bank Park since it opened in 2004. Interleague play starts this weekend as they head to Texas to take on the first place Rangers.

After that weekend series they return home to face a hot Dodgers team, a team that's starting pitching staff combined ERA is under two. Then they welcome their friends the Cardinals. A tough stretch a head that could determine the rest of the season. Who knows maybe they will better against the tougher teams then they did against the lesser teams, anything is possible with this team.

The Cubs will wrap up this short two-game set against the Rockies tomorrow. Carlos Silva (4-0, 3.40 ERA) will look to become the first Cub with five wins as he takes on the Rockies Jhoulys Chacin ( 2-1, 2.66 ERA). Game time is 7:05 p.m. CT and the game will air on Comcast Sportsnet and can be heard on WGN Radio 720 AM.

 
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