Game Time : Brewers 2, Cubs 6
Liveblog time, inning-by-inning [hopefully]. Refresh the page for updates - latest inning will appear towards the top.
4.53pm - Top 9th - MILWAUKEE
Scott Williamson strikes out the side in order. CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! Maddux becomes the first in the majors to 5 wins with another competent outing [6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K], and the relief trio of Howry, Eyre and Williamson pitch 3 hitless innings, allowing one walk and striking out six. With the bat, Jones goes 3-4 [HR, 2 RBI], Cedeno 3-4 [HR, 2 RBI], Walker 2-3 [RBI], although Murton misses out on the party [1-4, RBI, K, 6 LOB]. Neifi goes hitless [0-4, K], dropping his average to .176 on the season. Cubs win in fine style, setting up the lefty vs. lefty matchup [Dale Davis vs. Glendon Rusch] tomorrow afternoon.
4.44pm - Bottom 8th - CHICAGO
Jacque Jones slashes a solo home run in the inning, raising his average to .231 with his 3-for-4 day. Scott Williamson will pitch the 9th now that the save situation has disappeared. 6-2 Cubs.
4.35pm - Top 8th - MILWAUKEE
Scott Eyre strikes out the side and I see God smiling down from the clouds. He made Carlos Lee look like a clown at the plate.
4.24pm - Bottom 7th - CHICAGO
Murton pops out in foul territory to end the inning, leaving the bases full of Cubs and reminding us that he is, after all, human. The meat of Milwaukee's lineup awaits lucky Scott Eyre with a 3-run lead.
4.05pm - Top 7th - MILWAUKEE
Bob Howry gets the job done in relief, although it takes a lucky play at 2nd [Weeks safe on the steal, but slipped off the bag and Cedeno nailed him], and a great running catch at the ivy by Pierre to finish the inning. I am especially happy because Howry's on my fantasy team and I get credit for Holds. Hallelujah. Now Ron Santo is helping the Ruth family [his daughter and grandson] sing during the stretch, and I mercifully reach for the mute button.
3.55pm - Bottom 6th - CHICAGO
Cubs caught stealing again, this time it's Jacque "The Black Jeromy Burnitz" Jones with his hand stuck in the cookie. Blanco pops out, and I almost lose consciousness. 90 minutes in, and 2/3rds of the game complete.
3.49pm - Top 6th - MILWAUKEE
Maddux rounds off another tidy inning, allowing only a 2-out double to former Cub Damian Miller. Dusty has noticed that his pitch count is at 89, close to what Baker wants him to throw, prompting debate that Maddux might be done for the afternoon and returned immediately to his hermetically-sealed cryo-chamber, the latest innovation for 40-something pitchers.
3.40pm - Bottom 5th - CHICAGO
Matt Murton gives support to the controversial new theory that redheads cannot steal bases, getting thrown out on his first attempt of the season to end the 5th inning.
3.33pm - Bottom 5th - CHICAGO
Holy Moses! Either Ronny Cedeno just smashed a two-run homer to left [it looked as pretty as it sounds], or I've built an immunity to my medication. 5-2 Cubs, and Walker's on first with a single and no outs.
3.29pm - Top 5th - MILWAUKEE
Geoff Jenkins' "stellar plate coverage" bags him 2 RBI for the ride home, cutting the lead to 3-2 with guys still on 1st and 3rd with one out. His location let him down a little bit, and three consecutive greasy groundball singles to the outfield [including one to the pitcher] certainly don't help. However, the Cubs turn a nasty double-play on the Lee grounder to Cedeno [it certainly makes your defense look incredible when Carlos Lee is slow and fat], and Maddux escapes with only two Brewers runs on the board. 3-2 Cubs, bottom 5.
The superb commentary team mentions that Bush should be a good pitcher because he double-majored in Psychology and Humanities at Wake Forest. The Cubs do roll over meekly for examination in the inning, however, so there's hope for him yet.
3.14pm - Top 4th - MILWAUKEE
Another 1-2-3 inning for Maddux - he's looking extremely comfortable now. If the commentary team does not stop referring to Damian Miller as "the former Cub", although it is true [he did leave, oh, right after 2003 playing just one season in Wrigley?], I might be forced to send a threatening fax to their PA booth.
3.08pm - Bottom 3rd - CHICAGO
No such luck - the Cubs leave Cedeno on 3rd and Walker on 1st -- Ramirez lofted a huge pop-out to the infield, Murton daydreamed his way to a strikeout, and Jacque Jones [presumably trying to copy his 2nd inning double] hit a sharp grounder right to Fielder at first. Still another run on the board, and Maddux has to be happy with a bit more breathing room.
3.02pm - Bottom 3rd - CHICAGO
The floodgates are in danger of opening : Pierre legged out a double on a base hit down the right field line, Cedeno's iffy bunt leaves the entire infield confused, reaching easily. Walker's dribble single up the middle scores Pierre and moves Cedeno to 3rd. Still no outs, but another run across the plate and 2 on the corner bags.
Maddux has settled down admirably, recording the 3 outs with little difficulty. 3 innings, 41 pitches, 29 strikes.
Jesus Christ. The Cubs seriously have about as much self-control as my grandmother after a few Christmas Day glasses of sherry. Dusty's pre-game talk seems to be apparent - swing hard, swing early, swing often. Aside from the 3 straight hits and 2 runs, the Cubs are feeling generous with their outs. I hope Maddux can handle the rollercoaster all afternoon long.
2.44pm - Bottom 2nd - CHICAGO
A-Ram collects his 13th hit of the season [BA up to .219 if you're keeping score at home], slamming the 1st pitch down the left field line for a double. Murton promptly kills a similar delivery to almost the exact same spot, scoring Ramirez easily. This prompts the commentary team to suggest nicknames for Murton, coming up with "Big Murt" and "Money Man". Fucking awful. Almost lost in the excitement was Jacque Jones' tickertape double to right, scoring Murton standing up. Dave Bush strokes his biker mustache in disbelief. 2-0 Cubs.
It's the imitation game - Milwaukee goes one better, recording 3 outs in just 8 Maddux pitches, including the mandatory strike-out by the pitcher.
2.34pm - Bottom 1st - CHICAGO
Pierre needs to quit his impatient pixie dance at the plate and start watching some pitches. The Cubs give an impromptu performance of video game baseball, giving up all 3 outs with just 9 pitches thrown. This game is easy without the controller!
2.30pm - Top 1st - MILWAUKEE
Maddux induces the soft fly out to end a shaky-ass inning, in which he nabbed a K, walked Hardy and then coughed up two straight singles. Milwaukee leaves the bases loaded in a scoreless 1st, and Maddux maintains his stretch of not allowing runs in the opening stanza. Wrigley Field can breathe again.