Saturday, May 19, 2007


I was all set to publish a piece today about the Cubs reaching the quarter pole of the season in disappointing fashion. Something has changed the last few days. Following what may have been the most discouraging loss of the season Thursday afternoon in New York, the Cubs returned to Wrigley Field and showed some real heart and grit. The Cubs have taken two games from the rival Sox, and both days they have done it in dramatic comeback fashion. Making all of this even sweeter has been the fact that the Minnesota Twins have taken care of the Milwaukee Brewers the last few nights, moving the Cubs to within 5 games of the NL Central lead.

There were big plays throughout the game today. The Cubs and Sox played one of those Wrigley Field games that everybody talks about. Wind blowing out, several homeruns and several lead changes. Michael Barrett and Jason Marquis would hit dramatic homeruns for the Cubs. Joe Crede would counter for the Sox.

The eighth inning would be the most dramatic of the game. The inning would start out as a real bummer for the Cubs and us fans. In the top of the inning Paul Konerko took Bobby Howry deep to give the Southsiders a one run lead. Baseball fans know that on a day like this with the wind blowing out a one run lead is not safe. Thankfully that was the case today. What followed in the bottom of the inning has to be one of the most exciting half innings the Cubs have played in recent years. The bottom of the eighth inning would see two triples and a grand slam(has that ever happened?). Just for fun, here was the glorious inning:

Bottom 8th: Chi Cubs
- D. Aardsma relieved
- R. Sweeney in left field
- R. Theriot tripled to deep right
- C. Floyd hit for M. Murton
- C. Floyd grounded out to second
- A. Soriano singled to left center, R. Theriot scored
- A. Ramirez tripled to deep right, A. Soriano scored
- D. Ward intentionally walked
- M. Barrett singled to pitcher, D. Ward to second
- B. Logan relieved D. Aardsma
- D. Lee hit for J. Jones
- D. Lee homered to deep right, M. Barrett, D. Ward and A. Ramirez scored
- A. Pagan hit for B. Howry
- A. Pagan popped out to shallow left
- C. Izturis singled to center
- R. Theriot struck out swinging
6 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors
Chi White Sox 6, Chi Cubs 11

Oh what fun it was! Where to start? Once again Theriot got the rally started. This time with a leadoff triple. The Floyd AB had me thinking: "here they go again". But Soriano took the first pitch from Aardsma and swiftly singled too left to tie the ballgame. Next Ramirez tripled to right(if you get a chance to hear the radio audio it's classic. Santo yelling at Soriano to score. I was doing the same thing at home.). Aramis' triple gave the Cubs the lead!

The most dramatic moment of the inning and game would come three hitters later when Derrek Lee stepped out of the Cubs dugout and headed to the plate, playing the role of Roy Hobbs (alright maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but it was pretty damn close--hell for Cub fans it was better). Lee who has been sidelined for nearly a week with back troubles looked rusty and fooled on the first pitch from Boone Logan. Then with a 3-1 count, the shot heard round Chicago. Lee delivered a grand slam to right center and uncharatcteristically showed emotion with a fist pump. In my quiet neighborhood on Northwest side of Chicago people watching and listening to the game screamed out in joy(yours truly sitting on my back deck included!). Carlos Marmol would close the game out, and the party was on in Wrigleyville.

What a game! What a game! What a game! In years past the Cubs would not have won these games following the debacle on Thursday. I hand it to Lou Piniella and the players for not allowing Thursday to spiral into more losses.

So we head to Sunday. Now it is up to Big Z as the Cubs look to get their record back to .500 and Cub fans look for their brooms. Sweeping the Sox would be grand.

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