Hero: Reed Johnson, who got a rare start in right field, went 3-for-5 with a triple, drove in four, and made a spectacular catch in the second inning, slamming into the right-field wall to rob former Cub Mike Fontenot of extra bases.
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: Reed Johnson, who replaced center fielder Marlon Byrd in the starting lineup, went 3-for-4 with a double.
Hero: Matt Garza - who did not figure in the decision - allowed six hits, struck out nine, and walked three over six shutout innings. Garza walked the first two men he faced in the sixth but escaped a bases-loaded-jam when Brad Hawpe rolled into an inning-ending double play.
"If I don't win a game all year but we win my games, it doesn't bother me one bit," Garza said.
The snow has melted, the days are getting noticeably longer, and the Cubs are playing spring training games in Arizona.
I don't regret Jim Hendry's July 31 deadline trade with the Dodgers, but it's worth noting that Ted Lilly has been nothing short of spectacular since joining his new team.
While Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome adjusts to his part-time status and awaits an imminent trade, a Cubs export (after brief stops in Oakland and Colorado), Matt Murton, is thriving in "The Land of the Rising Sun."