Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A picture tells the story

The Cubs pounded out eight more runs last night, and they went on to their fifth straight win. The Cubs go for the sweep today if the weather holds off.


• Cliff Floyd needs to play. He is having a solid season and I say lets ride him as long as he is healthy.

* Felix Pie looked great a couple weeks ago, but he has cooled off now. The infield hit late last night, hopefully will help me get going again.

• Ted Lilly continues to be a little shaky, but got the win in the end. But right now, Lilly and Jason Marquis are bascially our 4 and 5 starters. Not bad, but they need to be a little more more consistent.

• Saw the lineups today and Mark Derosa gets the day off. I guess everybody needs a rest, but Mark has been great the last couple of days.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Manic Monday for the Cubs

I'm sure many of you were just as sick as me when the Top of the 9th inning ended.

This photo tells the story.....

AP Photo

Look at Bob Howry. I mean that is a man that is hurting....Well, things change fast don't they.

That is a team that just gave up six runs in the top of the 9th, only to comeback and score two runs in the bottom half. Now that is celebration that cost 136 Million Dollars, but it is worth every penny tonight. The Cubs have won four straight and are inching closer to .500. Lets hope that Ted Lilly is ready to go.

Other Items

•Mike Fontenot: Wow. 5-for-5 with a tough lefty on the mound. To make it even better, I grabbed him in one my fantasy leagues tonight.

•Trade Talk: For all the talk about Jones getting traded, if he does go at least it ended on a happy note with him scoring the tying run.

•Angel Pagan: The speedy outfielder really got lucky on a change in the first inning and looked lost the rest of the night at the plate.

•Scott Eyre: I have to call Lou out on this one. I mean, come on. Who didn't think Eyre was going to get knocked around in the 9th? Wait, there is someone in the back raising their hands.....Lou and Scott you can't take part in this. Now, anybody else? That's what I thought. I thought it was a blessing he got through 1 1/3 without giving up a run.

•Koyie Hill: He might not get to play a lot this season, but his AB in the 9th was a thing of beauty. He screwed on a 1-1 pitch that was a ball, but he fought through and got the hit.

•Cubs are 7.5 back now (7 in the loss column) with the Brewers coming into town on Friday. This is the turning point of the season.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Make or break

I thought it might be fitting to do a live game log of tonight's make or break game against the Brewers. Why make or break? The Cubs are 7 games back with about 100 games left. It is time to win or retool for 2008.

The Cubs go with Jason Marquis, while the Brew Crew counter with David Bush.

8:05: Good start for the Cubs as Alfonso Soriano and Felix Pie single to start the game. I've got a good feeling that yesterday's good hitting will carry over to tonight's contest. Well, D-Lee couldn't come through. We need a big hit from Ramirez. Nice!!!!!! Cubs take a 1-0 lead with a Double to left. That is what I like to see.

Why is Jones batting fifth? You mean we don't have anybody else? Maybe he can come through.....just as soon as that happens, Jones taps a ball back to the mound, Pie is out at the plate. Great lineup Trammell.

Barrett up to bat, you see his lip for the first time....Carlos did a job on him. Barrett strikes out. At least we got a run, but we strand a couple.

Bottom first: I'm watching the game on the Milwaukee Fox Sports Net, but I pulled the XM radio out to listen to Bob Uecker, which I've been meaning to do for quite some time. I always liked Uecker during his TV stints on NBC, so this should be fun. Uecker gives me the update on Marquis' season. So far, it is like listning to a toned down versin of Uecker's Harry Doyle character from Major League.

The Cubs are 3-3 against the Brew Crew....see I'm telling you make or break. First out for Marquis. I can't remember the last time we 1-2-3 when i watched a game.

Can anybody say HGH for Hardy, he has 16 HRs. Quick check of this stat's last season and we find out that 14 during his first two seasons. Just as quickly, Hardy singles to left. No luck for the 1-2-3. Now, Ryan Braun, who is a prized prospect, singles up the middle, and Marquis is in trouble.

Uecker tells me that Prince Fielder, who is up to bat, is the NL's player of the month and Ben Sheets is the pitcher of the month. Which is all nice, but the Brewers couldn't run away with the sad-sad NL Central. Not a good sign for Milwaukee. Fielder has new life after Barrett couldn't find a pop fly, and Marquis walks him to load the bases. Just what we needed....oh good grief, here comes Larry "I have pictures of Hendry doing something" Rothschild to talk to Marquis. Larry gets lucky, because Marquis gets a groundball to end the inning. Cubs 1-0 after 1.

Top of the second:

I'm trying to pull double duty and write a story for my actual job, but I really want to see this game tonight, because I games that we can actuall care about are coming to a close.

Mark DeRosa is up. He hits a grand slam yesterday, but bats behind Jones. I just don't get it. Jones hasn't hit a ball hard in about two years. Mark strikes out on a high fastball. too bad, because it could've really proved my point. Ceaser getting a start tonight, yippie. Actually, I checked yesterday's box score and Jones had two hits, but still I hate to see him in pressure situations. Granted, Ryan Theriot is hitting .182 the last couple weeks. Ceaser pops out and Marquis flys to center to end the inning.

Bottom of the second:

Uecker talks about some good third baseman's. So, I thought this would be a good time to bring up that I got to interview Brooks Robinson last week. It was the coolest thing I've done since becoming a sports writer three years ago.

Well, Marquis strikes out Jenkins, but it got by Barrett, allowing him to reach. Barrett wanted the ball high, but Michael tried to throw down to first, but hit Jenkins running up the line. Just another example why the Cubs aren't a championship or playoff team for that matter.

Well, Bill Hall doubles over Jones' head in right and the Brewers are in business. Looked like Jones had chance, but the ball kept carrying. Light-hitting Craig Counsell up to bat, Marquis could really use a strike out with the pitcher on deck. Why don't the Brewers get another OF, so they could move Hall to second. It would seem to make sense, with Richie Weeks out of the lineup. Never a good sign when you walk a No. 8 hitter batting .238. Here comes Larry Legend back out. Last time the Cubs got a double play. Lets see if he has a little more magic.

Wow, Larry has the mojo working. Bush bounced to Maquis, who threw to home. Then, Barrett was able to complete the double play by throwing to first. Brewers still have second and third with two outs. Wow, the Cubs flashing the leather, Ramirez makes a diving stop to end the inning. After two, Cubs 1-0.

Top of third:

Nothing doing...still 1-0..

Bottom of the third:

Marquis gets Hardy out....J.J. must have missed the latest dose of HGH. I guess he could be getting it all together, but until they find a test for it, I suspect everyone and trust nobody. Ramirez continues his quality defense at third base. Aramis gets a gad wrap about his defense. Damn, Prince Fielder just went oppo to tie the game at 1-1. Man's he is good.

Well, Chicago Cubs meet the Bad News bears. After Fielder's smash, the Cubs let a pop up bounce on the pitcher's mound. It there is a shapshot of the season that is it. Ha, Uecker just says the same thing. The Cubs get out of it without any runs, but still....I hate my life.

Top of the fourth: No offense....Really, come on guys, just a few hits.

Bottom of the fourth: Bill Hall gets a hit up the middle, another chance at a 1-2-3 inning over. Marquis needs to get Counsell without letting Hall get to second, because Bush is on deck. Wow, another error on the Cubs. Mark DeRosa just dropped the throw from Ramirez. Now, Bush will bunt. Geez....Marquis almost didn't get Bush at first. This is just U-G-L-Y. Now, the Brewers have second and third with Corey Hart up to bat, and the Brewers take the lead on Hart's infield hit.

Sorry....trying to work at the same time....Nothing for the Cubs in the fifth or sixth inning. Not looking too good.

Cubs come back:

Sorry, Work and bunch of phone calls get in the way, but the Cubs score five runs on a odd turn of events. It was clear that Dave Bush was out of gas after he walked Barrett. Then, Barrett, who probably hadn't stole a base since the first Bush was in office, stole second with great ease. Then, instead of bunting with DeRosa to move the trying run to third, Mark lines a ball to left. Then, Ceaser hits a RBI single to righ-center. Wait, Ceaser came through with a RBI? Wow, the world is coming to an end or the Cubs might be breaking out of this funk.

The Brewers pitch to Cliff Floyd and he lined a ball through the hole a short to make it 3-2. There has been a lot of talk that Soriano's RBI total has been low. I credit that more to the fact nobody is on base when he comes up to the plate. He has always played on teams that are good hitting clubs, which is something that Cubs aren't. But, tonight, he got a chance to show what he could do and smashed a ball into the seats in left to give the Cubs a 6-2 lead.

Now, the Bullpen has to come through.

The Cubs couldn't add to the total in the 8th. You never feel good with Howry and Eyre in the pen.

Late innings:

Cubs Win!!! Cubs WIn!!!....two in a row, and the Cubs are 6.5 games back. Good start to the make or break series.