Friday, July 29

Diamondbacks @ Cubs, 2.20pm ET

C. Counsell, 2b .265
C. Tracy, rf .297
L. Gonzalez, lf .280
T. Glaus, 3b .251
T. Clark, 1b .330
S. Green, cf .293
R. Clayton, ss .266
C. Snyder, c .219
J. Vazquez, p .275

J. Hairston Jr, cf .272
N. Perez, ss .263
D. Lee, 1b .364
J. Burnitz, rf .277
T. Walker, 2b .296
M. Murton, lf .483
J. Macias, 3b .281
H. Blanco, c .204
M. Prior, p .231

ARI - J. Vazquez 9-9, 4.37 ERA
CHC - M. Prior 7-3, 3.23 ERA

Today's game had few of the trappings of Hollywood. This afternoon's game could best be characterized as a Kevin Costner movie: 2 hours of unbearable monotony with 10 worthwhile minutes at the end that justify the means.

Prior pitched his way through 7 1/3 innings of reasonably placid baseball, coming undone in the 8th with a 2-RBI single by Troy Glaus that put the Diamondbacks up 3-2 with little baseball left to play. Blanco had put the Cubs up 2-0 in the second after the at-bat of his life: 11 pitches from Vazquez couldn't unfaze Hank, and he slammed the 11th pitch to deepish left field with Macias standing dopily on 2nd at the time.

When the game was on the line, the clutch hits came through. Down 3-2 after Glaus's interjection, Bruney walked Hot-Rodd Todd on a full count. Murton did his part, laying down the sac bunt to move him across to 2nd. Macias took 4 straight balls (an activity which, I'm sure, is not entirely alien to him) after a swinging strike (again, hardly virgin territory, oh wait, this time I'm talking baseball and not making haphazard innuendos) to leave runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out, and Hank White himself salivating for a chance to bat.

Dusty, in an extremely wise move, nudged the smouldering Barrett to pinch-hit, and he blooped a 1-1 pitch into left field, allowing Walker's pinch-runner, the swift Cedeno, to slide home like so many children before him. In another rare luxury, Baker has A-Ram sitting on the bench and thoughtfully sent him to the plate in lieu of the pitcher Novoa (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 2 K -- nice work Roberto ). Ramirez worked the count effortlessly to 2-1 and then sent a ripper through the shortstop/2nd base gap for another base hit, and Macias scampered home like a coked-up Nick Nolte behind the wheel of his custom Gremlin.

Cubs win in the bottom of the 9th, and further fulfill LB's desires to see the Cubs win a minimum of 4 games a week wherever possible. 3 Cubs errors in the game (Macias, Hairston, Murton -- head to the Dugout of Shame) and a score of Cubs left on base kept this game close, but this time the Snakes were not about to slither a second straight win out of their counter-attacking approach.

Tomorrow sees phenom Rich Hill curve up against the Goliath-esque Mike Gosling (the veteran with career numbers of 1-3, 4.38 ERA in 17 G and 49 1/3 IP), where we hope for more of the same. Gosling's been steadily improving after a rocky start to the year, with a reasonable last 3 starts:

3 games
17 IP, 18 H, 4 ER, 8 BB, 7 K

However, the hungry Cubs lineup should, if logic still holds any power over Wrigley Field, tear him to shreds. No opposing pitcher should waltz onto our turf, allow that many baserunners and yet come away smelling like reasonably fresh roses (it should be noted those starts were against the Reds, the Marlins and the Brewers, although mentioning that could be to agree or refute my prediction).


At 8:54 AM, Blogger DS said...

What a game yesterday, almost makes Dusty look like a genius with the changes he made in the 9th.

But hey, easy on costner, try and tell me you don't like field of dreams.

In other Cub news, Ryno's being inducted this weekend. No surprise, but figured I'd acknowledge because he's one of my favorite all time cubbies (loved watching him growing up).

Let's hope the cubs can put up their 5th W of the week this afternoon.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger JT said...

We need to keep up this pace - Houston has won 21 games this month, just under half their season total!

And something like Field of Dreams: dude, you can't screw that movie up. Heck, Gilbert Gottfried could have done it and done it well. That movie was magic, Costner or otherwise.

I was watching ESPN the other day and that asshole Skip Bayless or whatever didn't think Ryno should make the Hall of Fame. I guess being the best hitting/fielding second baseman in MLB history doesn't qualify in his book.


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