Tonight we travel to Shea Stadium, home of the notorious New York Mets. Up until last night, when curiosity got the better of me, that was just about the sum total of my knowledge regarding Shea Stadium. That and the fact that the Beatles once played a concert there. Hence, the title above. If you have to ask what the connection is, you’ll probably never know.
I was not at The Beatles’ Shea Stadium Concert. I did see The Beatles on that same tour in Chicago at The International Amphitheatre down by the Stock Yards. I say I saw them, because I sure didn’t hear them. But that’s another story.
Now I am informed that Shea Stadium is actually within the City of New York, in the borough of Queens, upon a geographical location know as Flushing Meadows.
I do know a little bit more about the City of New York, in general, than I do about Shea. I know that the Dodgers and Giants left. I know that the Corleone Family left, too. And I know that John Lennon was shot and killed there.
But tonight we’re here for baseball. I understand that Ron Santo did not make this trip because of his lack of warm and fuzzy feelings for the Mets. I share those same feelings. Nineteen sixty nine seems like only yesterday. I do not forget, and I do not forgive.
Back to the present:
The Cubs open the scoring in the top of the 2nd with 2 outs. DeRosa doubles to left center and Reed Johnson sends him home with a single to center. Cubs lead 1-0 going into the bottom of the 2nd.
But the Mets come back to tie in the bottom of the 2nd. Carlos Delgado draws a walk to open the inning, moves to third on Luis Castillo’s single to right, and scores on a wild pitch. Jason Marquis is looking a little shaky tonight. Score is tied 1-1 after 2 innings.
The curveball of Jon Niese is looking sharp tonight.
In the bottom of the 3rd Marquis is getting knocked around a bit. He almost loses the pitcher, Niese, going 3-2 before grounding him out. Jose Reyes and Dan Murphy hit back to back doubles, yielding one run. But Jason comes back, striking out Beltran to end the inning. Mets lead 2-1 after 3 innings.
**BIG INNING ALERT** Now it’s Jon Niese’s turn to get bombed. Geovany Soto leads off the 4th with a double down the left field line, takes 3rd on DeRo’s single to left, and scores on Reed Johnson’s single to center. Score is tied 2-2 with no outs. Theriot’s bloop single to right loads the bases for Jason Marquis, who connects with one of those sharp looking curveballs, pounding a grand slam home run to right center. I take it all back, Jason. Cubs lead 6-2 with no outs.
Nelson Figueroa is now pitching for the Mets. With 2 outs Dee Lee slams a four bagger to center. Score is 7-2. Aramis doubles but dies on 2nd. With a 6 run fourth inning, the Cubbies bat around and lead 7-2.
**FELIX PIE INNING ALERT** In the top of the 5th Felix absorbs a straight uppercut as a foul tip caroms from bat to ground to chin. A “double bank” shot! He reaches 1st base on a fielder’s choice, takes 3rd on Ryan Theriot’s single to right and scores on Jason Marquis’ 5-4 fielder’s choice. Cubs lead 8-2 with 2 outs.
The inning ends as Soriano both strikes out and is hit by a pitched ball. The K takes precedence. Three outs. This is known as “Adding insult to injury”. Cubs lead 8-2 going into the bottom of the 5th.
In the top of the 7th Carlos Beltran tries to knock down the right center field wall, going full speed after DeRo’s long fly ball. Beltran makes the catch, the wall is still standing, and Carlos remains in the game.
In the bottom of the 7th Marquis hits the wall. Jose Reyes gets an infield hit and David Wright hits a 2 run homer. That’s all for Jason Marquis. Neal Cotts comes in and, eventually, gets the 3rd out. Score is 8-4 going into the 8th.
The Cubs went 3 up and 3 down in the 6th and 7th innings. In the eigth inning the Cubs go four up and three down with Theriot dying at first. Score remains 8-4.
Cotts hits Luis Castillo to open the Mets 8th. So long, Neal. Neal Cotts faced 4 batters tonight and got one out. Jeff Samardzija comes in to face pinch hitter Damian Easley.
Easley fans. Pinch hitter Endy Chavez works a full count, before flying out to Pie. Jose Reyes flies out to Fuku. Jeff Samadzija faces three Mets and gets three outs. That’s what I’m talking about.
**BIG INNING ALERT** In the 9th, Aramis doubles with one out and takes third on Koyie Hill’s ground out to 1st base. Ward walks. Feliz Pie beats out an infield hit to Castillo, scoring Ramirez. Cubs lead 9-4. Theriot singles to right, loading the bases with 2 outs. Fuku pops up to the 3rd baseman on the infield grass, ending the big inning. Fuku has had 2 at bats tonight and has popped out both times.
Bottom of the 9th: Carlos Marmol is pitching with a 5 run lead. Now he has a 4 run lead. Carlos Marmol just doesn’t have it tonight. He faces 5, walks 2 and gets 2 out. With 2 out and runners at the corners, Kerry Wood is called in to save the game for the Cubs. We only need one more out, guys.