Cubs' LaHair undaunted by pressure

April, 25, 2012
Levine By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO -- When a team posts consecutive walkoff wins, the atmosphere in the clubhouse is generally pretty good . When those wins come against your archrival – as was the case following the Cubs 3-2 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday -- the mood is even more enhanced.

[+] EnlargeJeff Samardzija
David Banks/US PresswireJeff Samardzija kept the Cards off the scoreboard before exiting Tuesday's game in the seventh inning with a no-decision.

Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair has been a late-inning influence in the comeback wins on both nights.

“It’s great when that happens,” LaHair said. “I think we have a lot of confidence now, we just try to build on it like (Monday ). We can enjoy tonight and get back to work tomorrow.”

LaHair’s game-tying home run in the ninth inning came off left-hander Marc Rzepczynski. It was LaHair’s first hit off of a southpaw this season. He had been 0-for-6 against lefties until the game-tying blast.

“Thank God for the opportunity,” he said. “I didn’t know if I would get an opportunity to hit or not, but I was able to come through.”

The at-bat LaHair had on Monday against Cardinal closer Jason Motte started the game-winning rally, and had an impact on Tuesday’s game -- Motte had to throw 31 pitches in that loss.

“That was huge for us,” LaHair said. “He (had to )come up with 30 or 40 pitches and that put him down for the night, so it was good that we didn’t have to see him again.”

For the second straight night, the Cubs had a starting pitcher give up two runs or less and not get a decision, which didn’t appear to bother either Matt Garza on Monday or Jeff Samardzija after throwing 6 2/3rd innings of shutout ball Tuesday.

“That’s awesome, and that is the way baseball goes sometimes,” Samardzjia said. “You just got to hang in there, we still had six outs to try and get a run across.”

The Cubs needed a lift after a horrendous 4-12 start. Back-to-back walkoff wins have them feeling good about themselves for the first time this season.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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Jason Hammel
8 2.98 104 108
BAA. Rizzo .284
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 56
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .917
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104