Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day - LIVE GAME LOG!!!!!

Well, the start of the 2008 baseball season is finally here, after a hour delay because of rain. Billy Williams and Ernie Banks are walking out and lets hope that this season gets off to a great start. Check back for updates throughout the game with my thoughts and feelings of the game.

Top of the First: It's time for baseball, finally. Enough talk of 100 years, curses and everything else. Lets go out and get the season started. Carlos hasn't pitched well on opening day, but maybe he will have the Brewers number. A few opening thoughts, I hope this batting the pitcher in the 8th spot comes back and bites the Brewers.

Zambrano starts the year with a strike and is quickly up 0-2. What a fitting start to the year with a 3-pitch K of Richie Weeks. Now, 26 more of those and we are cruising into 1st Place.

Well, damn. No no-hitter for Carlos after Ramirez can't handle a grounder to third. Here are situations where Carlos would come a little rattled in the past. The shift costs the Cubs a Double play, which means Carlos will have to face Ryan Braun. No harm, as Braun pops out to Soto. 0-0 heading to the bottom half.

Bottom 1: Well, after a few internet problems (I'm at the beach today on Spring Break), Ryan Theriot and Alfanso Soriano both flew out to Corey Hart. Sheets looking sharp so far, and I have a feeling this might be a pitchers duel. Lee strike out and it is 0-0 after one.

Top 2nd: Bill Hall back to third base this year, with Ryan Bruan moving to left. This will be interesting, because Braun was so bad at third last year. Hey, Hey, another 3-pitch K to start the 2nd. Wow, Hart hit a ball that just kept carrying, but Flex The "Pie" Maker makes the grab to retire the internal thorn in our side.

J.J. Hardy, who hit 20 something HR's a year ago, dropped to the 7th spot in the order this year. Carlos got ahead of Hardy and was able to pop him up to end the Brewers' 2nd.

Bottom 2nd:
After Ramirez, Fukudome is welcomed to Chicago with a thunderous roar. He greats the Cubs faithful with a lined double over Tony Gwynn Jr. What a way to start, and I am quickly ordering my Fukudome jersey as I type this.

With the wind blowing in, DeRosa missed a home run, but Fukudome moves to third on the tag. It's up to Soto to bring in Fukudome. I wonder if Ben Sheets will work around Soto to get to Pie, and that is what happens. I love seeing the 2-out walk. Now, Pie needs to come through. Damn, Pie strikes out and the Cubs fail to score. 0-0 after 2.

Top 3: Ben Sheets, who is batting 8th, quickly strikes out, and then Big Z walks Jason Kendall. Big Z has to limit his walks if he wants to go deep into games. Z battles back as he pops out Richie Weeks. What a grab by DeRosa to end the top of the third.

Bottom 3:
The rain is starting to pick up. I hope we are able to get his game in today, with no major delays.

Z's first at bat ends in a strikeout, but nobody was on, so no big deal.

Bad News, the rain is here and it looks like we are heading for a delay.

The rain delay is almost over, thank goodness. It looks like Big Z will be come back and pitch as will Ben Sheets. A 50 minute delay, lets up that it really hurts Sheets' command. Here we go and Sheets throws a strike

Theriot looks ugly on a strikeout as Sheets gets the second out. Sheets showing little rust after the 50 minute delay as he K's Soriano as well.

Top 4:
"Anything you can do, I can do better," says Z, as he K's Fielder to start the fourth.

What a pick by Derrek Lee on a tough hop from Theriot's throw. 2 quick outs from Z and then he gets Bill Hall on one pitch to retire the Brewers in the 4th, still 0-0.

Bottom 4:
D-Lee and Ramirez both are retired quickly, but Fukudome is still perfect after drawing a 2-out walk. I already feel the bases being clogged up, much to Dusty's demise.

Oh my, DeRosa almost hit a 2-run home run, but Tony Gwynn Jr. tracks it and keeps the game at 0-0 after 4.

Top 5: Z continues to roll. This is by far his best opening day start. I just hope it continues into the late part of the game.

Bottom 5: Another lackluster offensive showing in the 5th, still 0-0.

Top 6: Z is just dealing right now. He gets Kendall to pop out to right and Weeks to strikeout, but Gwynn drops a ball into left for his second of the day.

This is a key situation with Fielder up with two outs. Z battles and got jammed Fielder to end the inning.

Bottom 6: Sheets is just as nasty as he keeps mowing down the Cubs, 0-0 after 6.

Top 7:
Ok, Bad News Bears moment of 08, but Z is able to make a catch and avoid a major accident from D-Lee.

Z's in his first jam after Bill Hall doubled off the bottom of the basket. Wow, what a play by Z. He picks off Bill Hall with a snap throw to 2nd. Come on....we didn't need Z going out because of an injury. I just hope it is nothing major. Carlos Marmol comes and promptly strikes out Hart to end the 7th.

Bottom 7: FUKUDOME = On Base Machine, after his second hit of the day. Sheets is out and here comes Salomon Torres. Maybe this will be a big inning for the Cubs and we can see the Cubs to an opening day victory.

Well, DeRosa didn't get a hit, but he gets hit to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Here comes a big spot for Soto. He could win over the Wrigley faithful right here.

Fukudome isn't perfect as he makes a base-running mistake. That brings up Felix Pie once again. Pie could be the hero if he can find a gap, but instead he grounds to 2nd to end the inning.

Top 8:
Both pens will have to take it the rest of the way. The "Other" Carlos makes J.J. Hardy look terrible with a nice tight slider for the first out of the 8th.

A Gross K, and a Kendall pop out takes us to the bottom of the 8th all tied.

Bottom 8: Theriot hasn't had a good day in the leadoff spot today. That makes it an 0-for-4 day for him. Moto mows down the Cubs and the game is still tied 0-0.

Top 9: Not the way the Cubs wanted to start the 9th by plunking Richie Weeks.

First questionable move of the day has Kerry Wood Walking Prince Fielder to face Ryan Braun. With a base open, why not see Fielder gets himself out. And it haunts us as Braun singles up the middle to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

Well, it comes from bad to worse after Hart triples to right field. The Brewers up 3-0 heading to the bottom of the 9th.

Bottom 9: HOlY COW!!! FUKUDOME IS THE BEST PLAYER EVER. The only thing that would've been better is that the blast would've won the game. Instead, we get extra innings on opening day.

Top 10: You have to be kidding me, we come all the way back and Bob Howry gives up a double to Craig Counsell. It would be a shame to lose this game now. Howry isn't really a strikeout pitcher, so this is oging to be a tough order to get two outs without a K.

Oops, Weeks hit again to put runners at the corners, but the problem is that there is speed all over the bases. Damn, SAC Fly to put the Brewers back up 4-3. No other damage, but the Cubs trail once again.

Bottom 10:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What's in Store for 2008?

Lets look at a few predictions for the 2008 baseball season.

Division Winners:

AL East: Boston Red Sox
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Seattle Mariners

NL East: Ny Mets
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks

AL Wildcard: Detroit Tigers
NL Wildcard: Colorado Rockies

There will be no predictions for the World Series.

NL Cy Young: Johan Santana
AL Cy Young: Eric Bedard

NL ROY: Geovanny Soto
AL ROY: Billy Butler

NL Manager: Bobby Cox
AL Manager: Joe Madden

As for personal quests:

Wedding: May 24
Ballpark 19: Oakland May 28
Ballpark 20: San Francisco May 29

162 Games to go

The start of the season is almost here, and I can't wait for tomorrow. Until then, I will sit back and enjoy basketball and the Braves game tonight. Join me tomorrow for my annual opening day live game log coming from the beach this year, while I'm on Spring Break.

Enjoy the rest of the day and Go Cubs!.