A Very Brad 8th
So one day you are showering with a bunch of Big League wannabes and the next day the opposing pitcher you face is the 8th Wonder of the World, Roger Clemens.
Such is the life of Sergio Mitre.
The pride of San Diego City College went toe to toe with the future Hall of Famer Tuesday night but in the end it was Clemens’ groin that did him in and forced an early exit for the Rocket after five innings of 2 hit ball.
The first lucky break for the Cubs.
A bad break comes in the top of the fourth when after walking the lead-off man, (always a bad sign), Sergio serves up a Craig Biggio fly ball that Jason DuBois misjudges at the wall and before you know it, the Astros have a 2 run cushion that looks like it just might stand up.
As the 8th inning begins, I am still trying to figure out what in the world Nascar phenom Jeff Gordon was doing in the press box. First he refers to his surroundings as “Wrigley Stadium” then he laughs his way thru the song instead of leading the crowd. I shake my head, longing for Ditka. Gordon receives about 20,000 boos and then the WGN crew ignores the situation, choosing to talk about Nascar instead. Give me a break! I know Stoney and Chip would have kidded Gordon about it.
Back to the game. It doesn’t look good in the top of the 8th. Ohman’s first hitter, Willy Taveras doubles down the left field corner. Next up, Self bunts Willy to third which of course makes it a (drumroll, please) a Self-Sacrifice!
Hey, I thought it was funny. Anyway, that’s it for Ohman. In comes Michael Weurtz to face Biggio who is 2 for 3 in the game thus far. The situation looks ripe for Craig’s first rbi on the road this year. But Weurtz brings his “A” game and proceeds to strike out both Biggio and Berkman to give the Cubs a punchers chance in the bottom of the frame.
Jason atones for his earlier miscue (yea I know it was ruled a hit) with a lead-off double. Recently acquired Enrique Wilson, starting in place of a hurting Corey, flies to left instead of moving Dubois to third and there is one out.
Up to the plate steps Todd Hollandsworth, who puts a smile on his loyal if not misunderstood fan club by driving in his replacement. Good sport, that Todd is.
Uh oh. Phil Garner goes to his pen and brings in Brad Lidge, closer extraordinaire. We now have a battery of Brads, Lidge and Ausmus. But the two Brads can’t get it together and so we have a smattering of wild pitches and near wild pitches, sandwiched around two walks and some timely hitting with 2 out by Monday’s hero, Jeromy Burnitz. All in all, four runs score and now it is the Cubs who head into the ninth with a 2 run cushion.
Ryan Dempster comes in and closes out the game, again. Cubs win. Yes!
I don’t care who it is that the Cubs beat. Don’t give me gloom and doom tonite. I don’t care how pathetic the opponent is. Good things happened. The team came from behind and the pitching was superb. And perhaps most impressive, the Cubs had zero home runs and Superman couldn’t find his cape. Derreck Lee settled for Clark Kent status and his teammates picked him up for a change.
They just have to keep it going. Borowski is back, Walker will be back any day now and Wood can’t be far behind.
Go get ‘em tonite, Greg.
Joe’s Misc. Thinkings From the Game
- At the beginning of the game, I looked at the conditions and the situations involved in the game and I thought to myself “This game may go 20 innings without a single run being scored.” Between the Astros pathetic ability to score on the road, the Cubs pathetic ability to score anywhere without the HR, and the wind howling in, it did not look promising. It’s actually kind of funny because I was, once again, getting sleepy at the lack of Cubs offense. So, I paused the TiVo and decided to take a little nap mid at bat in the 4th. I woke up and 1am and hit play to resume where I left off (ahh, the miracles of TiVo). When the Cubs were down 2-0 in the 8th, I really thought about just turning the game off and going to bed. We get a man on and the Cubs DO NOT bunt him over. Even Bob Brenly questions the move by Baker, which eventually becomes a dead horse no longer in need of beating when the Cubs bust out for 4 on Astro mistakes.
- Jeff Gordon is an idiot. Why would you not prepare for something as big as singing in front of not only 38,000+ but also a huge TV audience? As a result, he screwed up and enters the 7th inning stretch hall of fame, joined by the only other members, Mike Ditka and Ozzy. For your enjoyment, i’ve provided a link to listen to Ozzy’s rendition.