It was quite a night with all the Cubbie Blue Kool-Aid and Cubbie Blue Jell-O Shooters. Whew!
Lou is shaking things up with this lineup today. Good. It will be fun to watch. I find myself appreciating Lou Piniella’s managerial prowess more and more. Go Cubs Go!
Whoa, fast start! There are Cardinals on 2nd & 3rd after only 3 or 4 pitches. Fortunately, Ryan Dempster regains his composure after taking a couple or three quick jabs. Cards take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 1st.
Fuku leads off with a double to right center. Maybe the leadoff spot agrees with him. As they say, the view changes when you’re in front. Cedeno fans. Hoffpauir fans. Ward grounds out 4-3. Fuku dies on 2nd. Could have bunted him around. It hurts to waste an opportunity like that.
In the top of the 2nd, Looper tries to lay down a sacrifice bunt with 2 strikes, but Dempster turns it into a double play instead. Nice play, Cubbies. St. Louis leads 1-0 after 1 1/2 innings.
Kosuke gets his 2nd consecutive hit of the day to open the bottom of the 3rd, a single to right. Yoi desu (translation: “that’s a good thng”). Kosuke takes 3rd on a well executed run & hit single to right by Ronny Cedeno. Fuku scores on a Micah Hoffpauir fielder’s choice to 2nd. Lopez’ error (on the throw) keeps everyone safe. Score is now tied at one run apiece. Go Cubs Go!
Daryle Ward looks at a called 3rd strike. Mr. Ward disagreed with the call, but there are now 2 outs. Fontenot singles to right and Cedeno tries to score from 2B. A good throw from Ludwick nails Ronny at the plate, but I applaud the aggressive base running attempt. Go for it. Score remains 1-1.
Cards go three up and three down in the 4th. I hope I don’t jinx things by observing that Ryan Dempster looks very good this afternoon. After that initial 1st inning 1-2-3 punch, leading to a single run, he has looked outstanding.
**FELIX PIE INNING ALERT** Felix Pie leads off the 4th with a triple to right field. Man, that guy can run. Let’s get him in, OK? Pie scores (and yes, he was safe) on an RBI fly to short center by Casey McGehee. Good savvy base running by Felix Pie. That was his inning. Cubs lead 2-1. Wooo-Wooooo!
Glen Hobbie is mentioned on the telecast, triggering Cubbie Dude memories. As I recall, that Cubs pitching staff included Hobbie, Dick Drott, Moe Drabowski… Ahhhh. Memories.
Izturis steals 2B after singling to center. Then Cesar tries to score on a single to right. But Kosuke nails him with a strike to Koyie Hill for the 3rd out. That defensive play by Kosuke was poetry in motion. Cubs lead 2-1 after 4 1/2 innings. Fukudome is starring in his own movie this afternoon.
Highlight of the Cubs 5th was a strong two out double to right by Micah Hoffpauir. But he died on 2B .
Jeff Samardzija relieves Dempster in the top of the 6th, and he acquits himself well. The Cards go three up and three down.
**BIG INNING ALERT** Fontenot walks to lead off the Cubs 6th. Let’s get him around. Pie singles to right, with Fontenot taking 3rd. No outs. Casey McGehee singles to center, scoring Fontenot. Cubs have runners at 1st & 2nd with no outs. A Koyie Hill sac bunt moves runners to 2nd & 3rd with 1 out. Pie tags up and scores on an RBI foul out to left field by Jim Edmonds (pinch hitting in the pitcher’s spot). Once again, good base running by Felix Pie. Fuku grounds out to end the inning and strands McGehee at 3B. Cubs take a 4-1 lead into the 7th.
Chad Gaudin is pitching for the Cubs in the 7th. He, as opposed to Dempster & Samardzija, does not look sharp as he walks Troy Glaus. Well, maybe he was just deliberately pitching around Troy, as he then strikes out Nick Stavinoha. Chad is not getting any help from the home plate ump and walks Jason LaRue. That’s two walks out of 3 batters faced. First the catcher, then the pitching coach go out to have a talk with Gaudin. Gaudin settles down, retiring the next two batters and getting out of the inning with no runs scored. Nice job, Chad.
Jim Belushi and the Wrigley Field Grounds Crew lead the 7th inning stretch entertainment. Their performance is very well received by the crowd. Cubs lead remains 4-1.
Cedeno leads off the Cubs’ 7th against reliever Kyle McClellan with a double down the right field line. Ronny has looked good today, both fielding and hitting. Hoffpauir walks, but Ward hits into a double play. Cedeno’s at 3rd with 2 out and, lo and behold, he scores on a Kyle McClellan wild pitch. Thanks, Kyle. Cubs lead 5-1.
Randy Wells is pitching for the Cubs in the 8th. Impressively, Wells gets Pujols to hit into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play. Good show, Randy. Cubs lead 5-1.
Jason Motte is pitching for the Cards in the 8th. He’s slingin’ heat in the 97-98 MPH range, as he strikes out the side. Impressive. Very impressive.
Bob Howry is in to pitch for the Cubs in the 9th, and he closes it out with no damage. Cubs win their last home game of the 2008 regular season 5-1.
I gotta say, that is not the final result I envisioned when I saw the starting lineup. My first thought was that the Cards would be the ones havin’ some fun today. And, for the 1st two or three batters, they were. But, surprise surprise, the Cubs’ “B” team gits ‘er done. There is definitely some depth to this Cubs roster.
We were all havin’ some fun this weekend, so my personal sound track for the next 24 hours will feature “Havin’ Some Fun” by the Bob Mintzer Big Band.