The mood was certainly light in the clubhouse this morning. Henry Blanco stuffed a clubhouse attendant in laundry cart and wheeled him, bound and blindfolded, out onto the playing field. Big Z rode a bicycle around the clubhouse and, yes, he managed to stay upright. The six-game losing streak is over.
"Sori took a lot of the weight off," Mark DeRosa said, referring to Alfonso Soriano's 3 homers last night. "It's unbelievable what that guy's capable of. It really is. Guys don't do that stuff, ever. He just loosened everyone up to go and have fun. We were playing so tight. I know the guys were saying we weren't panicking. We really weren't panicking. But it was like, 'flat,' I would say, was the word, not going out there and taking it to the opposition and looking to win. It was more like playing the game and seeing what happens."
DeRosa also was happy because he says he doesn't have to make any spring-training trips to Tucson next March. Lou told DeRosa this past spring that if he hit 20 homers and knocked in 80 he wouldn't have to go to Tucson, except for maybe once. "I'm not going at all," DeRosa said. "I told Lou that for two years, it's been me and Theriot and Soto. All the big dogs were getting to stay back (in Mesa). I told him we had to have a bet or whatever because I'm tired of covering for D-Lee and Aramis and Soriano. I think the people of Tucson would very much like to see them play."
Other random notes:
--Pitcher Jon Lieber has gone home after telling the Cubs he still was in pain. GM Jim Hendry says Lieber is welcome back to be with the team in October, if the Cubs make it.
--Jason Marquis' ERA (4.36) is lower than that of Ted Lilly (4.43)
--It'll be Dempster, Lilly and Harden in St. Louis this week. If Big Z is OK, it'll be Marquis, Z and Dempster over the weekend in Houston. If you're going to carry a five-man rotation out through the rest of the season, it would line up as Z, Dempster and Lilly in the first three games of the playoffs.