The Cubs have been one of the National League's best defensive teams all year long and even with some breakdowns during their recent losing streak, the team continues to lead the NL in Defensive Efficiency Rating (percentage of batted balls converted into outs).
The display of glovework in the late innings of Thursday's 3-2 win at St. Louis was exceptional by any standards, however. Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez all turned in outstanding plays that proved essential to preserving the Cubs' one-run margin and making a winner of Rich Harden, returning to the rotation after 12 days of rest.
The defensive play also masked the fact that both Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood were hit hard and that the Cub offense continued to look inept. Lee, who struck out with runners at first and third and none out in the first inning—at least he avoided hitting into a double play—looks like he could use a rest.
Ike is apparently going to ensure that he gets it.