4-26-05 -- Hypo's Take - Cubs 9, Reds 11
This one was kinda like a punch in the face... if you have to take it, you'd rather be drunk. There are a lot of positives about this game regarding the Cubs offense and their ability to fight back when losing; today it was fighting from being down 1-5 to 3-6, and then taking the lead 8-6. Unfortunately however, the bullben blues and some questionable managing decisions continued tonight.
----From Z to well, the end----
Top 5th inning, two outs -- Zambrano gives up a solo homerun to Adam Dunn, extending the Reds' lead to 6-3, and then hits the next batter. He is then ejected in oh-so-Zambino style. Glendon Rusch comes into the game to secure the final out.
Bottom 5th inning -- Cubs heroics! 5 runs were scored in this inning in a fireworks display of Cubs offense, 2 of the runs coming on a two-out homer by Jason Dubois! Cubs up 8-6! For a little while anyway!
Top 6th inning -- Rusch has a bit of a shaky inning, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly by Ken Griffey, Jr. Cubs still lead 8-7.
Bottom 6th -- Dusty Baker decides to lead this inning off by pinch hitting his bathroom buddy Jose Macias, taking Rusch out of the game. No offense to Macias but... we kinda think he sucks! I could understand if there were runners in scoring position because the Cubs are only nursing a fragile one point lead at this point. But by pulling Rusch, Baker forces himself to pitch with Wuertz in the top of the 7th. Now hear me out, I know Rusch had "a bit of a shaky inning" by my own account, but he has proven himself as the one bright spot of the bullpen so far this year, and we all know he can pitch 5-6 innings if need be. PLUS, wasn't Wuertz supposed to be our next option at closer??? Assuming Wuertz pitches well in the 7th and then Hawkins raps up the 8th, who does Dusty Baker plan on closing out the 9th? Suck Leicester? Broken-Arm Fox? I guess he was thinking Remlinger for the 9th, which maybe would have worked out, but let's see how this plan to pinch hit with Jose "the Red-Hot Bomber" Macias plays out: He grounds out, followed by two quick outs by Hairston, Jr and Patterson.
Top 7th, Cubs still up 8-7 -- Oh, I got the blues! Wuertz gives up a lead-off single and a walk to start this inning. Baby I got the bullpen blues! He then registers back to back outs with a strike-out and a fielder's choice leaving runners at the corners. Oh I got the why-can't-my-bullpen-pitchers-get-the-final-out blues! Runners at the corners? That's no fun! Let's get Aurilia in scoring position by throwing a pitch in the dirt during the next at-bat! Oh I got the I'd-rather-stick-a-fork-in-my-eyes-than-watch-this-game-cause-my-brain-hurts-when-the-relievers-come-in-drunk-and-blindfolded-tyring-to-get-guys-out-and-I-wish-we-had-just-one-single-half-decent-Bullpen-PITCHER BLUUUUEEEESSSS!!!! That's right ladies and gentlemen, kiss that tenuous lead goodbye and have another beer! What followed was a two-run single and an error by Patterson advancing the batter to second. Remlinger then replaced Wuertz and gave up a run-scoring single (not an earned run) before finally locking down that pesky third out. Reds 10, Cubs 8.
8th inning -- The eighth inning involved no scoring, so I'll mostly skip it, except to note the arrival of Will Ohman (that's right, who???). Either way, Ohman loaded up the bases with two singles and a walk in between getting two outs before being relieved by Leicester who got out number three to keep it at 10-8.
The rest of the game didn't really matter too much in retrospect, Leicester gave up another run in the 9th extending the Reds lead to 11-8. This upset me very much and I now have a broken cell phone as a result. However, the Cubs only amassed a single run off of Graves in the final half-inning (even though they managed to get the tying run in scoring position) so I suppose the last run that Leicester gave up doesn't matter all that much. Final tally: Reds 11, Cubs 9.
---- Final Bullpen Tally ----
4.1 IP, 5 Runs, 4 Earned, 8 Hits, 5 BB. (That's a WHIP of 3.17!!!)