4-18-05 -- Hypo's Take - Uuuggh...
The questions are swirling in my head!
Why was Jon Leicester allowed to finish the 8th inning when he walked two batters on balls and then hit a third batter before registering a single out? Forget that, why wasn't Rusch still on the mound after a very efficient 7th inning? He wasn't pulled for a pinch hitter. He is certainly capable of pitching multiple innings. Why wasn't another pitcher ready to come and relieve Leicester? Is his middle name "Suck"? Jon Suck Leicester... has a certain ring to it in my mind. What was Michael Barrett thinking when he tried to throw the ball back to Aramis Ramirez after the runner approaching third base was already out? If he hadn't, and the runners had stayed at 1st and 2nd instead of 2nd and 3rd, would Suck have been able to get out of the inning with zero runs scored? Even if he had only given up one run on the ensuing hit, would the Cubs still have scored one off of Graves in the ninth? Would they then have gone on to win? Why do people come to me to die?
How sick was the double play in that same inning!!! Kudos to Aramis Ramirez on the defensive play of the game, even though it wasn't enough to completely foil the plans of Suck in giving up the game.
Sorry: if you weren't watching, the bases were loaded with 0 outs after 3 straight walks by Suck, who was absolutely having control problems tonight. Rich Aurilia came to the plate and hit a high chopper to 3b, where a leaping Ramirez caught the ball and stepped on 3b for the force out. In one seemingly fluid motion, he then threw the ball to Barrett at homeplate; a throw that had to be around/over the baserunner in order to get there. It was a perfect throw and Barrett was blocking the plate for the tag-out. The problem was that he then threw the ball (for some unknown reason to me) back to Ramirez, but it was a shade (4 feet or so) out of reach for the unsuspecting Ramirez. The runners who should have been at 1st and 2nd advanced to 2nd and 3rd on the error and both scored on the following at-bat by LaRue, who doubled over Corey Patterson's head in center. The Cubs got one back in the ninth, but it wasn't enough, even with a runner at 3b with two outs.
Anyway, that's all for now, apparently all I'll remember from this game was the nightmarish 8th inning and a barrage of questions for which I'll probably never have answers. Damn you Suck Leicester!!!
(comma left out of final sentence for insertion where the reader sees fit.)