Joe and I are friends and we have been good friends for a long time. But when he asked me to do the recap of this game I had no idea that he could be so cruel to a close friend. The game is currently in the fourth inning. It has lasted about an hour and a half already and Doug Davis and Ted Lilly are working at a snail’s pace…a lifeless dead snail. Some of you are currently watching this and are suffering through this as well. This is a boring suckfest. So I am going to write this recap during the game to keep me interested and ensure that I do not get so bored with it that I write the game off.
To make matters worse the Cubs again have only two hits through four innings. Alfonso Soriano who has returned tonight is hitless as are almost everyone else. The Cubs do have a run on a Derrek Lee solo shot in the first. This was his first home run since June 20. I was surprised to hear the big Lee is hitting .329 in July. The seems like a quiet .329 but that’s subjective.
Ramirez and Soto continue to be mired in 0 for 20 somethings slumps. And the bats are asleep- although Mark DeRosa just got a hit to lead off the fifth. Maybe this blogging during the game will break us out of our slump and I will be committed to doing this for the rest of the year out of superstition. As I wrote that sentence Reed Johnson hit a ground rule double- runners at second and third nobody out for Lilly.
In the bottom of the fourth the Cubs were leading 1-0. Chris Young hit his second double to lead off an inning in the game…maybe Lilly will learn how to pitch to him some day. Following this Tony Clark clubbed a home run to give the D-Backs the lead. Have you noticed the stupid hop Ted Lilly does after giving up a home run. I hate that hop.
Now Ted Lilly just hit a ground ball that bounced over the head of a drawn in infield to tie the game. First and third with Soriano up. “Very superstitious…writing on the wall (blog).”
The Brewers won again today. They have not lost since the break. C.C. Sabathia threw his third complete game since joining the Brewers. Good news- Monday night I am going to see the Cubs-Brewers and Sabathia is pitching. Bad news- I want the Cubs to win and Sabathia is pitching.
Soriano hit a ground ball and the go ahead run scores. Ted Lilly just stole third base…no joke. Lilly scores on a Theriot ground ball and the Cubs lead 4-2.
In the bottom of the inning Ojeda walks and scores on a triple by Conor Jackson. Jackson is thrown out in a run down and Chris Young, who reached during the run down, is caught trying to steal third with two outs on a real pretty play by Aramis. We dodge a bullet and still lead 4-3.
While we are in a lull in the game- this game has been a giant lull – I want to comment on what was discussed yesterday and is everybody’s favorite topic…potential trades…YES!!!! So I agree with the thinking that the Cubs do not need another infielder but could use another outfielder. The Cubs have great potential to improve in center- if there is a center fielder out there. Edmonds and Johnson have been good and I am comfortable with them, but you could improve. I know the number five starter is not a gigantic issue but I wonder what the Blue Jays want for A.J. Burnett. Supposedly, the Cubs have had scouts at his past couple games. Again I know it is the fifth starter spot, but Marquis is mediocre and I don’t like Sean Marshall at all. And you don’t have to worry about a number five starter if you have two one’s and three three’s. A reliever might be a good add especially with Kid K’s blister issues and achy tired Marmol. It might be beneficial to go out and try to get another bat off the bench that can play the field as well. Daryle Ward is a pretty good pinch hitter- or he has been in the past- but he cannot play anywhere in the field adequately and this is a problem.
We are in the top of the seventh of this epic battle and Cedeno will bat for Lilly and the lead will be entrusted to the ‘pen. While I am at it, why are the Cubs not putting Kerry Wood on the DL? He is days away from returning and they are a guy short for as long as this lasts. I don’t get it.
In the top of the eighth A-Ram got a single to break an 0 for 26 and put Ryan Theriot at third with one out. Soto follows and breaks out of an 0 for 21 to drive in Theriot and give the Cubs a 5-3 lead. Fukudome then took his third walk of the game to load the bases with one out for Mark DeRosa. DeRosa walks and the Cubs lead is 6-3. Johnson hits a fly ball to left that keeps carrying for a slam and the bats have finally come through 10-3. Soriano doubles and the inning ends a batter later.
While I am here I think I must do a mea culpa about Soriano. I guess it is just you have to take the bad with the good. He is what he is and there will be times that this is not good, but he is the most explosive hitter in the line up. While I have said before that I think that signing will go down as one of the worst in team history, I think this is wrong. While I don’t know that he will ever live up to the contract, I think it will not be an embarrassment and will give us pop for at least a couple more years.
Howry and Marmol come in and pitch a shaky eighth and ninth but the Cubs win it.
They stay a game up on the Brewers and return home with Big Z pitching tomorrow. The bats come alive but they were more patient taking five walks and working into deep counts. Hopefully, they rediscover this element.
The time of the game was like 3:20. The time seemed like three days. But we get the win. And we can sleep easier tonight.