Cubs rattle off a terrific comeback
Club scores nine unanswered runs in thrilling turn of events
CHICAGO -- While so many were overjoyed, Mark DeRosa was in disbelief.
"I was saying as I was walking over here, I'm like, 'I don't even know what just happened,'" he said. "Give me a little heads up on who did what during the game because it just seemed to all of a sudden steamroll into us getting a victory."
About 40,000 mesmerized Cubs fans -- and a few stunned Rockies supporters -- could probably give the infielder a little insight. The Cubs overcame an eight-run deficit to beat the Rockies, 10-9, for their fifth straight win on Friday afternoon.
DeRosa capped the return from 9-1 down in the sixth inning with a two-run homer as part of a six-run seventh. It marked the largest come-from-behind win for the team since June 22, 1999, also against Colorado, when the Cubs also faced a 9-1 hole. On that day, they won ,13-12.
"Unbelievable, that game from the start, you were just like, 'Oh, it's going to be one of these games,'" DeRosa said, alluding to an 8-0 lead the Rockies built up in the first 3 1/2 innings. "The way the wind was blowing [15 miles per hour out to center], you knew it was just a couple fly balls and we were back in the game."
Unlikely sources of power Kosuke Fukudome, Jim Edmonds and Henry Blanco provided home runs as well. Lou Piniella rested Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Theriot from the start and took out Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto for defensive replacements Micah Hoffpauir and Blanco in the sixth when down 9-1. At that point, DeRosa admitted it looked pretty ugly.
But the switch to Hoffpauir and Blanco paid immediate dividends. Hoffpauir, who went 2-for-3, doubled into the left-field ivy to lead off the sixth. Fukudome followed with his third home run of the year and Edmonds made it back-to-back shots.
The homer did wonders for Edmonds' reputation. In the third, Edmonds let a Garrett Atkins fly ball drop through his hands on a miscommunication with Alfonso Soriano. That sounded the all-too-familiar Edmonds boos.
But with his first home run in white and blue, the former Cardinals center fielder may have won over a few Chicagoans.
"I hoped sooner or later [it would happen]," Edmonds said of pleasing the fans. "Sometimes when I'm in the outfield, I think I'm still wearing red and white."
Edmonds doubled his hit total as a member of the Cubs with a 3-for-4 day after coming into the game batting .125 since being signed two weeks ago.
"I don't read the papers, I don't watch the TV too much," Edmonds said. "I know I'm struggling, and I know I need to pick it up. It's no secret. It's been going on for 12 months now. I'm just trying to keep my head above water and trying to figure out what's wrong."
But the Cubs were still down 9-4 through six. Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita said, "Let's get some runs," to conclude the seventh-inning stretch. The Cubs heeded the call.
Mike Fontenot singled with one out to start a string of six straight hits. Fontenot scored when Blanco went deep for the first time since Sept. 22, 2006. Hoffpauir and Fukudome followed with singles.
Rockies starter Aaron Cook was pulled for Manuel Corpas (0-3) after Hoffpauir's hit. Edmonds then laced a two-run double to center before DeRosa stepped to the plate.
"I was just trying to get a base hit," DeRosa said. "I was 3-2, sitting on a fastball away, a sinker away, and he threw me a slider. I just happened to get out in front of it. On a normal day, that ball probably doesn't go out."
But the wind howled out at times on Friday. DeRosa launched the ball to left-center. Jim Edmonds turned his back to home plate and raised his fists in the air. The fans echoed his sentiment.
"When DeRosa's ball went out of the ballpark, that's the loudest that this place has been this year by far," Piniella said. "It was almost deafening."
Notice the names Soriano, Lee and Ramirez weren't a part of the sixth- and seventh-inning magic. They aren't the only clutch hitters on the roster.
"It speaks volumes to the character of the team and the fact that Lou's not afraid to play everyone," DeRosa said. "Everyone feels like in that clubhouse that they're a part of the team. Everyone's contributed in their own personal way to our victories so far this year."
Scott Eyre (2-0) got the win in one-third of an inning of relief.
In his shortest outing of the season, Ted Lilly was tagged for seven runs -- four earned -- on eight hits in three innings. The Rockies plated four in the first, three in the third and one apiece in the fourth and fifth. But that was nearly forgotten a little later.
"The crowd had to enjoy this," Piniella said, "because I certainly did as a manager."
Nick Zaccardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.