Hero: Jeff Baker, who started in right field, continued his phenomeanl hitting against left-handed pitching, going 3-for-4 and driving in the Cubs' only run with a sixth inning single. Baker is 16-for-31 (.516 BA) against lefties this season. Baker's three singles came against St. Louis southpaw Jaime Garcia (5-0). He lined out to first baseman Albert Pujols against right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs in the eighth.
Hero: Starlin Castro went 4-for-4 with a triple, scored three times, and drove in three to break out of his slump and pace the Cubs' 17-hit attack. It was his third four-hit effort of the season.
Heroes: Carlos Pena (home run) Kosuke Fukudome (double) each contributed three hits and bookended a dramatic two-run ninth inning rally off Cincinnati closer Francisco Cordero (2-1) to lead the Cubs (15-17), as Pat Hughes described it, "to their most gratifying victory of the season."
Hero: Starlin Castro - the best player the Cubs farm system has produced since perhaps Billy Williams - went 4-for-5 with a double and a clutch two-run single during the Cubs' five-run eighth. It was the fifth career four-hit game for Castro, who is now hitting .393, and his second four-hit effort this season. He has a major league leading 10 multi-hit games in 2011 and leads the majors with 35 hits.
According to the preseason prognosticators, one of the Cubs' glaring weaknesses was supposed to be the leadoff spot.
Hero: Man, does this guy rake lefties! Jeff Baker went 4-for-5, including a go-ahead, three-run homer off Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (0-2) in the fourth inning. Baker is 6-for-11 against southpaws this season.
Baker also contributed a two-out RBI single in the sixth and scored in the ninth on a Marlon Byrd double after reaching on a leadoff single.
Consider me among those who has been underwhelmed by the Cubs' offseason activity up to this point, but it seems that every piece of less-than-exciting news has been surrounded by a silver lining.
Heroes: Jeff Baker (4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) and Welington Castillo (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) led the Cubs' 10-hit attack. It was the first major league home run for Castillo, a 23-year-old rookie catcher.
Hero: Jeff Samardzija (1-1) worked 5 2/3 shutout innings and added an RBI single en route to his third major league victory and first as a starter. Samardzija allowed six hits, walked four, and struck out one.
Hero: Kosuke Fukudome (1-for-3), who continues to sizzle in August, hit a two-run, game-tying homer off reliever Arthur Rhodes in the eighth inning. Fukudome, who is hitting .274 on the season, is hitting .367 with a 1.081 OPS in August.
Hero: Starlin Castro, now hitting .320, went 4-for-5 and scored a pair of runs. The rookie shortstop is hitting .407 since the All-Star break.
Hero: Jeff Baker led off a four-run Cubs seventh with his fourth home run of the season.
Hero: Geovany Soto went 3-for-5, scored three times, and knocked in five. Soto hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning off former Cubs right-hander LaTroy Hawkins.
It's difficult to judge a trade like the one the Cubs made ahead of Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline.
Hero: James Russell allowed one hit struck out three, and walked none in two shutout innings of relief.
Marty Gangler recaps the week in Cub Nation and previews the week to come.
Hero: Brian Schlitter faced just two batters - Paul Maholm and Jose Tabata - in his major league debut, in the seventh inning, and struck them both out.
Hero: Carlos Zambrano (3-5) worked seven strong innings, allowing one run on eight hits while walking one and striking out seven. It was Big Z's first interleague victory since June 22, 2007 (against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field). Zambrano also went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday.