Tonight was my first look at rookie Thomas Diamond. My first thought…It’s Kent Bottenfield! My second thought…Is he related to Dustin Diamond? If so, did he like “Saved by the Bell: the College Years?” My third thought…He was great in “The Jazz Singer.” Anyway, on to the game.
The Cubs started quickly against the recently paroled (from the Indians) Jake Westbrook. Taking the mound with a 2-0 lead, Diamond quickly surrendered a solo shot to Albert Pujols (no shame in that). A quick sidebar…I was lucky enough to see Pujols play several times while he was in the minors. His time in Peoria, Illinois gave no indication of what he would become. Even though I can’t stand the Cardinals, it’s a blast watching Albert swing the bat. I hope baseball fans truly appreciate how good this guy really is.
A two-out walk from Kosuke Fukudome didn’t lead to a second-inning run, but it did make me wonder about his future. Will the Cubs be able to move Fukudome in the offseason? If not, I’d like to see him in the leadoff spot vs. RHP next year. If nothing else, the guy gets on base at a decent clip.
As future star Colby Rasmus stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second, Len and Bob tortured viewers with lame impressions of Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson. Seriously, could the Cubs employ two worse announcers? Part of me hopes Brenly does manage next year just so I don’t have to listen to him anymore. Oh yeah, some bad baserunning by Rasmus helped Diamond escape the inning.
The Cubs bats went silent against Westbrook, a solid pitcher who has struggled to stay healthy since a 15-10 season in 2006. As per usual, LaRussa and Duncan are working magic with a veteran starting pitcher. He should really help the Cardinals down the stretch. Diamond took his lumps in the bottom of the third. Matt Holiday doubled in the tying run, and the completely annoying Yadier Molina gave the Redbirds their first lead with a sac fly. A very sweaty Thomas Diamond limped to the dugout down 3-2. Did I mention it was hot in St. Louis?
Len and Bob started the 4th with a riveting conversation about mosquitoes. Soriano followed their lead by swinging the bat with mosquito-like authority, grounding out weakly to third. Somehow Koyie Hill managed to reach base, but the Cubs couldn’t take advantage of such a rare opportunity. Please come back soon, Geo Soto.
After cruising through the top of the 4th inning, Westbrook led off the bottom half with a double. A surprising sacrifice by Brendan Ryan moved the runner over. However, the gift out did little to energize Diamond, who surrendered a run-scoring single to Jon Jay (you have to like a player with two first names). A wild pitch advanced Jay to second base, but Mr. Pujols couldn’t blow the game open.
Trailing 4-2, the Cubs wilted in the summer heat. Westbrook and the Cardinals bullpen attacked the Northsiders like Jim Gray “taking down” Corey Pavin. It was an all-too-familiar story the rest of the way. Final score: 6-3.
It’s worth noting that Len and Bob are at their absolute worst when the Cubs are out of it. The rest of the evening brought us painful discussions about red seats and more bad impressions. Tonight I actually missed Josh Lewin.