A quirky game, I donít know how else to describe it. The Cubsí 2-1 nailbiter Tuesday night evoked feelings that range from disbelief to anxiety to finally, elation as Chicago won their 5th straight game to go two games above .500.
Quirk, oddity, peculiarity. What else would you call a strikeout that almost buries you? Our old friend Hee Seop Choi makes it to first on a strikeout that bounced off Henry Blancoís glove and that is quickly followed by a bloop just out of reach of DuBois, Patterson and Perez. If there is but one out, Choi does not score from first on that play and Carlos probably ends up with a 1-0 shutout.
And that interference play DuBois is involved in is kind of quirky. He doesnít do half of what Ed Armbrister does to block Carlton Fisk in the 1975 World Series. Did ump Larry Barnett call interference? No way. (I personally think the Red Sox got robbed in í75 but I digress.) By the way, what was that guy doing wearing a Reds cap last night?
Stat of the night: courtesy of the WGN TV gang. In May the Cubs are 9-1 when hitting 2 or more home runs, only 4-12 when they donít. Change that now to 5-12.
Bouquets to several deserving Cubbies
Happy Birthday, Carlos Zambrano! You pitched about as well as anyone could, giving up one hit thru eight innings and still ended up with a no-decision. Life ainít fair but the team won so I guess thatís what counts, right Z? Nice game.
Nifty Neifi Perez. Not only did you shine with sensational defense, shades of your Gold Glove performance in 2000, you extended your hitting streak to nine games by knocking in the winning run in the 10th. Clutch hit.
Michael Weurtz. After walking the lead-off man in the 9th, you struck out the side. Weíre talking the likes of J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent. Good stuff, Michael.
Michael Barrett. You came off the bench in the tenth to lead off and did you ever. You picked up right where you left off in Mondayís game when you shined offensively by smacking a hit into right field.
Todd Hollandsworth. You havenít let diminished playing time ruin your efficiency off the bench. You accomplished what Burnitz couldnít in the 9th. You laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to get Barrett into scoring position and put a smile on your loyal if not misunderstood fan club.
With all due respect to Jeromy, I realize you arenít paid to bunt. When I worked at McDonaldís, I was trained in all aspects of fast food life, the french fry machine, the grill, drivethrough. But the only thing I did well was counter. In fact I was the best counter person they had. Cross-training is sometimes overrated. Iím just saying I understand.
Back to the bouquets.
Ryan Dempster. You take care of business. Kinda makes us wonder what the teamís record would be if Rusch was tabbed the 5th starter out of Spring Training and you the closer. LaTroy would probably stll be a Cub and the team would be knocking at the Cardinals door instead of 6 Ω back. (Sigh) 20/20 hindisght.
Speaking of the nemesis, did anyone catch the gem Jason Jennings, the last pitcher to defeat the Cubs, threw to defeat St. Louis in Coors Field (or as Jeff Gordon calls it, Coors Stadium)?