Friday, August 29, 2008

Cubs make it 6 in a row, 5-run inning sparks comeback

Cubs make it 6 in a row, 5-run inning sparks comeback

Ryan Dempster went to the mound Thursday night shooting for his 16th win. Instead he got a no-decision yet pitched well through 5 innings allowing a run. It wasn't until the 6th inning before Dempster found himself in a little trouble. The Phillies put a 3-spot on the scoreboard to take a 4-1 lead. After the Cubs veteran starter departed Sean Marshall came in to pitch a scoreless 7th frame.

Cole Hamels had the Cubs reeling, quieting the lineup with an array of changeups and fastballs. He left the game after 7 innings which was a blessing for the Cubs because the next inning Mike Fontenot creamed a solo homerun to right-center. Then Soriano hit a double, another man reached base before D. Lee was walked to load the bases. Aramis Ramirez strolled to the plate and delivered with a monstrous grand slam! That makes 8 for his career.

Rallied from 4 down the Cubs scored all their runs in the inning via the long ball. This marks the 25th time this year the club has scored at least 5 runs in an inning. Wow that is outstanding! All it took was bringing in the Phillies' bullpen. The lineup tallied 5 hits off their relievers and drew 2 walks. One main strength the Cubs have over their NL opponents is their bullpen. Kerry Wood captured his 28th save pitching a scoreless 9th, yielding only a hit. Bob Howry keep the game within reason, giving the Cubs a chance late as he pitched an inning and picked up the win to improve to 6-4. Last night's outcome shows the Cubs reaching 50 wins at home with the other 34 on the road.

Aramis Ramirez is on the verge of catching fire as he closes in on 100 RBIs. He's going to blow by his numbers from last season: 26 homeruns, 99 RBIs, 35 doubles, and 72 runs. With him and Lee making solid contact in the middle of the order the Cubs will become even tougher to handle in late game situations. The clutch hits are there as a hot streak has developed. I'd like to see it resume uninterrupted for the rest of the series at Wrigley. Cubs' fans have to feel confident about the outlook for Game 3 with Rich Harden (4-1, 2.00) vs. Joe Blanton (1-0). This contest could result in another close one down to the wire in Chi town. Keep those bats cracking Cubbies!

Car Crash, as Described by a Bunch of Phillies Fans Who Got Creamed

Car Crash, as Described by a Bunch of Phillies Fans Who Got Creamed

From reader comments during Thursday night's stirring 6-4 Cubs victory, the Cubs' 50th home victory of the season, as they appeared at The Good Phight, an excellent Phillies fans blog:

Oh Baby, Cole is on tonight. 7:19 pm

Good work Cole. He's on tonight. 7:35 pm

Cole is going good so far tonight. 9:07 pm

Oh crap, get Madson out of there. 9:26 pm

We're heading for another 8th inning meltdown! 9:29 pm

How many times recently has the bullpen crapped the bed? 9:31 pm

Bases loaded no outs. Wow. 9:33 pm

Were fucked. 9:33 pm

And a fucking Grand Slam…Charlie you should of just left Cole in... 9:35 pm

Utley never comes through in the clutch. 9:51 pm

man, phils could use somebody like kerry wood…throws strikes! 9:53 pm

they let that one get away. that was a win. they blew that one. damn it. 9:58 pm


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sarcastic Kiss-Off Memos Don't Get Much Better Than This

Sarcastic Kiss-Off Memos Don't Get Much Better Than This

A quick timeout from the Cubs to consider other news on the Chicago sports scene...

Longtime sourpuss columnist Jay Mariotti announced on Wednesday that he had resigned his position at the Chicago Sun-Times, a development which occasioned a pointed reaction from Sun-Times editor Michael Cooke. Per Phil Rosenthal in the Tribune:
Cooke issued a decidedly unsentimental statement concerning Mariotti's exit..."We wish Jay well and will miss him--not personally, of course--but in the sense of noticing he is no longer here, at least for a few days."
The irony of all this is twofold.

First, the Sun-Times agreed with Mariotti on a contract extension until 2011 less than three months ago.

Second, Cooke's brief statement is more memorable than anything Mariotti has written in the past 17 years.

With Wednesday's 2-0 win at Pittsburgh, the Cubs finished the fleshy underbelly part of their late-season schedule—a sequence of three series and nine games against the Reds, Nationals, and Pirates—with seven wins and two losses and a six-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central. Now the Cubs have to get back to work.

On Thursday, the team will open a four-game set against the Phillies at Wrigley Field. Though the Phils lost to the Mets Wednesday to fall a half-game behind New York in the N.L. East race, they will come to Chicago still able to lay claim to a distinction unique so far this year in the National League:

The Phillies are the only team to enjoy an edge in their season series with the Cubs. (Charlie Manuel's team took two of three from Lou Piniella's boys at Citizens Bank Park back in mid-April.)