Sunday, July 22, 2007

Live Game Blog----Cubs try for another series

I haven't done a game log is a quite some time, but with the Cubs on HD and the Brewers on the other channel in HD on Directv, there is no better time. Check back later for the the start.

I looked back at a post on June 25 (The Rockie 9th inning victory) and we were 7.5 games back (7 in the loss column). Now, almost a month later and the Cubs are 2.5 games back, but only two back in the loss column. Things are getting tight and today has a special feel to it.

Lets take a look at the different contenders as today's games get started.

NL Central W-L GB
Milwaukee (54-43) --
Chicago (51-45) 2.5

NL Wildcard W-L GB
San Diego (53-43) --
Chicago (51-45) 2
Atlanta (52-46) 2
Arizona (51-48) 3.5
Philadelphia (49-48) 4.5

The Padres are playing the Phillies. The Braves have the St. Louis Cardinals, or the Memphis Redbirds with the way they are playing. The Cubs have a great chance to gain a little ground.

2:00 p.m.: The Brewers get ready to face the Giants start. No Barry Bonds today, but it doesn't worry me. Barry Zito is about to play well. I have a good feeling about this.

Vargas (7-2) vs. Zito today as the Giants go for the sweep.

I know this has been touched upon a little, but the Giants really are old. They need to rebuild more than any team I know, other than the Astros. We find out that Bill Hall is due to be back in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

The Giants go quietly in the first. 0-0 after the top half of the first.

2:14 p.m.:
Why Does Zito sign with the Giants? Is it money? There can't be another reason, because he had to look at this team and think they were headed nowhere. Maybe, he just wanted to stay in the Bay Area.

Ned Yost changes the lineup and Rickie Weeks doubles to start the game. Wow, Rickie Weeks is gunned down at third after a great play by Omar Vizquell. When things are going bad, they really go bad.

Ok, Why can't the Cubs have rookies like Ryan Braun. As soon as I say that, he just belted a two-run home run to put the Brewers up 2-0.

2:22 p.m.: Time for the Cubs to start. The Cubs are 3-1 without D-Lee in the lineup and could go 8-2 on the homestand. This is quality baseball if you can win 8 of 10.

As Chris Young grounds out it makes me feel good. I love nothing more than getting the leadoff batter. It just makes everything feel a little bit better. Sean Marshall falls behind Orlando Hudson 3-0, but gets the 2B to fly to center for the second out of the inning. Damn, Eric Byrnes singles up the middle right after Len says that he has struggled against lefties.

Might be just keeping pace today, because the Brew Crew is up 4-0 after the first inning. Looks like it is Bad Zito today.

Marshall in trouble after Byrnes stole second and walked Conner Jackson on a couple close pitches. Marshall is not getting the inside corner today and that might come back and haunt him. It does, because Mark Reynolds singles in a run. Then, both runners advance because Soriano throws a ball past home plate. Cubs get out of the inning, but the damage is done 1-0 Dbacks.

2:45 p.m.: Soriano up to start the game. Is it just me or has he been a little cold? It has gone a little unnoticed, because the Cubs have been so hot. I would like to see him go about 3-for-4 with a 2HR. Ok, there is the one out for him all day.

Mike Fontenot singles with two-outs to bring up Aramis Ramirez, but the Cubs can't get any runs. DBacks 1-0 after one.

2:58: Quick check of the Brewers game, finds the Brew Crew up 4-0 after two.

One pitch, one out for Marshall in the second. After a one-out single. Marshall continues to battle on the mound. This doesn't look like a long outing for the lanky left-hander. Marshall gets out of it and the Cubs still trail 1-0.

Bottom 2:Update for the north in Milwaukee. Corey Hart dives for a ball, but misses it, which allows the Giants to score a run to make it 4-1 and two and a half.

Good to see Cliff Floyd back in the lineup, but I figure if the Cubs add anything it might be another OF, just in case Floyd goes down again. Well, not a great inning as the Cubs go down 1-2-3 and still trail 1-0 after two.

Top 3: Zito has settled down after the four-run first inning as the Giants still trail 4-1 after three innings.

Marshall finally gets a quick inning and keeps the game 1-0.

Bottom 3:
Jason Kendall is still looking for his first hit as a Cubs after popping out to first. Soriano almost hit a homerun, but it just hooked and hit off the outfield wall. "The Riot" has chance to tie the game up with a base hit. Damn, Theriot hit a line-drive up the middle, but it hit Petite and the Cubs are still down 1-0 after three.

Top 4:Quick check of the Brew Crew and in the Top of the Fifth it is still 4-1.

Ok, after a rough start, Marshall has really settled into a groove, but the Cubs still are behind 1-0.

Bottom 4: The Giants cut into the Brewer lead with a two-out RBI single by Dave Roberts. 4-2 in the top of the fifth.

Fontenot up for the Cubs. It is time for a big inning, but Mike flies to center to start the inning. Petit makes the Cubs look silly with another 1-2-3 in the fourth. Cubs still trail 1-0.

Top 5:
While I was watching the Cubs, the Giants cut into the lead again and made it 4-3 after the top of the fifth. Marshall gets two easy outs, but Chris Young gets an infield hit. It will be interesting to see how Marshall deals with this.

The Cubs have to do a better job of holding runners on, but Young ends up at second with a stolen base. Now, Marshall falls behind Orlando Hudson 3-0 and walks him with the fourth pitch. I suspect Larry is about to come out and talk to Sean. Right on que, Larry comes out.

Update,Zito sits the Brewers down in the fifth to keep it 4-3 Milwaukee.

Marshall gets out of the jam with a fly ball to left.

Bottom 5:

A check check of the other game and the Brewers sit down the Giants 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Ok, Petit has really shut down the Cubs, but there is still plenty time left in the game. After two quick outs, Kendall picks up first hit as a Cubs with a single up the middle.

This does two things. One-it allows the lineup to turnover, regardless of what Marshall does. Two-it gives Kendall a little confidence. Well, Marshall strikes out, but brings up Soriano in the sixth inning.

Top 6:Zito in trouble in the sixth inning. The Brewers have two on with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Bases loaded now with Richie Weeks up. Zito out as the Giants go to the pen.

The news keep getting worse, as Conner Jackson doubles to start the sixth. {Que the Baseball tonight music} J.J. Hardy singles in two runs to give the Brewers a 6-3 lead, but Marshall works around a leadoff double to keep it 1-0 Diamondbacks.

Bottom 6: Make it 7-3 now and the Cubs really need to win to keep it 2.5 back in the Central.

Well, not a great AB by Soriano as he pops the first pitch he sees to first. Why is it always the no name starters that shut us down? Petit has just dominated us.

Wow, another 1-2-3 inning and the Cubs are in trouble down 1-0 after six.

Top 7:
Pedro Feliz homers to start the 7th, but the Giants still are behind 7-4.

Marshall's day is done and Carlos Marmol is on. Grr...Chris Synder homers to put the Dbacks up 2-0. The good news is that Petit is out of the game.