Friday, April 07, 2006

Home Opener Game Log

After so much fun of the Opening Day Game Log, I have rallied the troops for another one for the home opener. If the news I have heard is correct, I am already not feeling good. First Neifi Perez is playing second. If that is not bad enough, he is batting second. Nothing like a move that makes no sense to start the day for us as fans.
Well, check back soon as the game gets started.
I just saw the slogan of the WGN pregame special, "Next Year is here." It is true that we have a new season, but I can't imagine that the Cubs will win a World Series with the misfits running the team.

Is anyone else scared about the wind? I know I am, Maddux + wind = Pujals' home runs.

1:02 p.m. The lineups are introduced and my nightmare was true. Neifi is batting second. Why GOD Why? It just makes no sense.

1:07 p.m. Another solid performance by P.A. announcer Wayne Messmer. Good to see he is in midseason form.

1:21 p.m. TOP 1: Well, here we go and Greg Maddux delivers a strike. Hey, Hey, Nice play by Jones tracking down a fly ball by David Eckstein. Okay, this is a little nice to see. Two nice defensive plays to start the game. Now if we can only get this Pujols guy. We get another great stat; Maddux was 10-5 on the road and 3-10 on the road. Yet, Dusty goes with Greg at home, when he could have pitched him on the road. Pujols makes contact, my heart races, whew....just a lazy fly to Pierre to end the inning.

1:25 p.m. BOTTOM 1: A weak at bat by Pierre to start the Cubs half of the first. While he will make contact, he needs to be like Willie Mays Hayes and start legging them out. We get a piece of info I did not need, Perez is wearing four layers today. That will slow him down just enough for Neifi to go 0-for-4. Dusty will say that was the reason for the poor day and not the fact he just can't hit. Big surprise Neifi is retired. One more thing, Len just said he wanted Neifi in the game for defense. That is fine, but why bat him No. 2 then? Woo Hoo; Derrek Lee just mashed a ball over the fence. Just think if the Cubs had somebody that could get on base. Aramis quickly grounds out. Cubs lead 1-0.

1:34 p.m. TOP 2: Ah, nothing like retiring Jim Edmonds on a cue shot to Maddux. Looks like Scott Rolen is all they way back as he doubles down the line in left. So Taguchi is just So Taguchi, sorry could not help my self. Taguchi retired and Rolen moves to third. Now, here is where the Cubs have had trouble in the past. Last year it seemed we gave up too many hits with two outs. Maddux falls behind the catcher 3-0. Greg is able to work the count full and he got him with a strikeout on the corner. A little bit of emotion by Maddux, nice to see. Cubs still lead 1-0.

1:44 p.m. B2: Jones still hitless as a Cub. That was a great pickup by Jim Hendry and he is getting a contract extension. My new favorite Cub Matt Murton is up. After two quick outs by Barrett and Jones, Murton takes a pitch. At-a-boy. I might just have to run over to an online shop and pick up a No. 19 jersey. My love my Murton continues, that is two two-out walks he has drawn this year. I didn't think anybody on our team knew what a two-out walk was. The other rookie, Ronny Cedeno triples to right and now Ronny is my second favorite Cub. Just goes to show you what a good approach can do you at the plate. Cubs lead 2-0.

1:52 p.m. T3: Madduz retires the Cards 1-2-3 in the third. Maddux looks much better so far. A key for him is keeping the ball down and he is doing that. I am sure he can't match his numbers from his prime, but if he can get closer to a 4.00 ERA, he might win 15 games or so.

1:57 p.m. B3: A key inning here for the Cubs, the top of the order is up. Pierre just bounced to Rolen. The WGN scoreboard is brought to us by 24. What a great show. I wonder how Jack is going to save us again this year. Jeez, Perez just dumps a single into center. All of our runs have come with two-outs. Suppan looks like he wants no piece of Lee the second time around as he falls behind 3-0. Lee walks and brings up Aramis. On a side note, I just lost Aramis for two weeks on my diamond mind league team. That is going to hurt, but he can make up for it with a 3-run bomb. Wow, a rare mistake by Eckstein as he threw the ball into centerfield. Now Larussa walks a guy that is 0-for-7 on the year to load the bases. Another reason I don't like Tony. Jones has not smelled a hit and you give him a free pass. Barrett just missed a haning pitch and now is behind 1-2. Barrett makes Tony pay with a single up the middle. Cubs lead 4-0 and the bases are still loaded with one-out. Here comes my favorite Cub and if he hits a grand slam I will start the Official Matt Murton fan club. Damn, he bounces into a double play. Still, he drew a two-out walk and I can't stay mad at him.

2:12 p.m. T4: Cedeno gets lucky and does not get charged wtih an error. Does anybody believe Pujols is really 26? He might be, but damn he is already so good, it just is not fair. Pujols just missed a double and I mean just missed. Maddux gets Pujols to lift a ball in the air and he is retired for a second time. Wow. the wind knocks a ball down that looked like a 2-run home run, and then Matt Murton makes a great throw to double off Juan Encarnacion. Okay, you can send off your Murton fan club entires to 121 Kimberly Cir Apt #126, El Dorado, AR 71730. I just got off the phone with fellow Cub's blogger Scott Lange and he will be the Vice-President of the Murton fan club. Things are starting well. We still need more officers and you can apply in the comments.

2:21 p.m. B4: The wind is playing havoc with players. Cedeno picks up a double and now is a home run and a single shy of the cycle. Damn, Pierre almost lays down the squeeze. The Cards had no chacne to get Ronny, but the bunt goes foul. Instead, Pierre ropes a ball into to right witht he infield in and picks up his first RBI of the season. Cubs lead 5-0. Dusty is the luckiest player in the world. He has two hits and both are as weak of hits I have ever seen. Another scored update by Jack Bauer as Lee walks to the plate. Did anybody see the twist coming on Monday at the end? I did not, if you don't know what I am talking about, then go watch 24 right after the game. Lee bounces into a double play, but the Cubs extend the lead.

2:27 p.m. T5: Len just said that Jason Isringhausen is the most underrated close in the game. Well, that might be true in real life, but I scored six runs off Izzy last night to beat my rival and friend Jay McPhillips in our diamond mind league. I scored 9 runs in the final two innings. Maddux has been spotted a five run lead, so this inning is very key for the Cubs. Rolen draws a lead off walk. Well, kill that rally by the Cards, as that double play was So Taguchi. Cue the laugh track. Maddux with another quick inning and already looks better than anytime last season.

2:34 p.m. B5: Ramirez ropes a ball to right for a single. Jones is still hitless after his strikes out on three pitches. Jones has to be moved in the order until he starts hitting. The Cubs leave Murton on deck after a double play off the bat of Barrett. Cubs still lead 5-0.

2:43 p.m. T6: Maddux gets Aaron Miles to bounce to short. John Rodriguez comes in as Jeff Supan's day is over. Maddux gets some help from the wind as it is blowing in. With two-outs, Eckstein is up and he lifts a ball into right for a two-out hit. Looks like Maddux might have tweaked sometihng on the mound. That is all we need is another pitcher that goes down. Barrett came out to talk, but no trainers. I think Maddux may be done as he gets Encarnacion to pop out. Cubs 5, Cards 0.

2:52 p.m. B6: Murton up. How about a home run to kick off the Fan Club. Others way to join, send emails to mattmurtonfanclub at Well, Murton grounds out, but the kid looks strong. Another update by Jack Bauer. Anybody think there might be another mole in CTU/Homeland now? I think so. Maddux ends the inning with a groundout and he still looks odd.

2:58 p.m. T7: Another netscape internet commerical and I already hate them. Who is still going to pay for dial up? Maddux makes his way back to the mound. Bob Howry up in the pen. Pujols pops up for the third time. Finally the Cards get on the board after Edmonds hammers a ball into the right field bleachers. Maddux does not have an answer for Rolen today, 2B and two walks. Maddux's day is done and Howry is coming on. Taguchi gets ahead 2-0 and then pops a ball to second. Jones makes up for his bad day at the plate with a great catch in right to end the 7th.

3:13 p.m. B7: The Cubs have not really put together a good offensive inning since the fourth. This has been a proble with the Cubs in the past few years. Perez gets to second after a gift hop that makes the ball bounce over Pujols. Neifi gets credit for a double. A three-hit day for Perez, is the world about to end? This means he might get more starts over Walker. I am sure Dusty will say, "We love the way Neifi hits. He brings so much to our club." Cubs fail to score again, but still lead 5-1.

3:20 p.m. T8: Dusty leaves Howry out to start the 8th and rings up Miles to start the inning. Scott Spiezio up for the Cards and he leaves on strikes. Well, we spent enough on Howry, so we need to get our money's worth. Great inning by Howry and the Cub pen already looks better than 2005. Cubs still lead 5-1.

3:30 p.m. B8: Jones gets a gift when Encarnacion dropped the ball, but gets thrown out tyring to reach second. Jones is now 0-for-9 with a base running mistake and one good catch. Murton fan club memberships still stand at two, but we welcome more members. Don't forget mattmurtonfanclub at More info will be sent out soon. Damn, he grounds out, but still Cubs lead 5-1 to the 9th.

3:33 p.n. T9: WGN shows up some more highlights of 24. Really people, run don't walk and pick up the first four seasons of 24. Then, find a way to see this season's stuff. You will love it, trust me. Ryan Dempster is on to close the game out. He will face Encarnacion, Pujols and Edmonds. A little Bud Light fan cam time with the Bud Light daredevil guy making a cameo. Pujols up now, 0-for-3 on the day. Any day you keep Pujols off the bases is a good day. Ryan gives Albert a little chin music and then Aramis makes a nice stab to give Albert a nice 0-for-4 day. Come on Ryan, lets finish this thing off. Dempster looks great as he strikes out Edmonds.

Maddux is the winning pitcher and all is good in Chicago for at least one more day. I have to run and cover my own game, but look for more this weekend.