I was at the game last night and thought when they rolled the tarp out with two outs in the bottom of the ninth they were just calling it a year. Put a lid on this one. Thanks, it's been great. As they say, wait until next year.
Alas, per league rules
will have to play out the remainder of their games. We'll bring you this one against the dreaded
as the Men in Red look to officially clinch the
Central title at
As for the Cubs, let the
According to the
cards neatly filled out and submitted by Dusty Baker and his counterpart Tony La Russa, it's
against Cubs fan favorite
. Should be swell.
flies out to Corey Patterson in center to start this one off.
goes the other way and pokes
a homer into the left-field bleachers
. That was quick.
pops up the first pitch to
in shallow center.
sends one deep to center and Patterson makes a nice over-the-shoulder catch on the dead run towards the wall to end the inning. That had more trouble written all over it.
Cardinals 1, Cubs 0
fouls one off his leg and is attended to by the trainer. He's OK enough to then ground out to short. Perez grounds out to
into the wind and onto Waveland. Jeromy Burnitz grounds to Pujols to end the first.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 1
Grudzielanek singles to center. So Taguchi pops one up, Lee fights the wind and gloves it. Yadier Molina draws a walk. Rusch fans Hector Luna on a full count.
Morris chops a single up the middle, scoring Grudzielanek.
Rusch threw him a fastball right down the middle and not a very fast one. Eckstein bunts down the third-base line for a hit, loading the bases for Edmonds. Whoa, Edmonds squares to bunt and squibs it foul. What the...? You get the feeling La Russa and the Cardinals are just toying with the Cubs. Edmonds then pops out to Lee to end it.
Cardinals 2, Cubs 1
hits the first pitch into right for a single. By the way, I saw
this week at the
Run Hit Wonder race.
pops out. Patterson digs in to the usual smattering of boos. Eckstein robs Patterson of a hit with a diving stop and flips to second to get Nomar. Morris fans Blanco and that's that.
Pujols grounds out to Nomar at third. Sanders falls behind and then pops out to Blanco. Grudzielanek pops out to Walker ending a 1-2-3 inning for Rusch.
Morris plunks Rusch on the right shin to lead off the Cubs' half of the third. Hairston tries to pull the bat back on a bunt attempt, gets into it briefly with the first base umpire and then strikes out looking. Perez hits one sharply to Pujols, who starts a nice 3-6-3 double play.
Hairston's been run. He got into with second base umpire Randy Marsh on his way out to left.
takes his place and now there goes Jerry Hairston Sr., who was at the game. He just got out of his seat and took off. Nothing left to see here, I guess. Taguchi singles to right. Molina follows with a single to center and Taguchi, who was running on the play, takes third.
Luna hits the third straight single of the inning and that scores Taguchi.
Sergio Mitre gets up in the Cubs' pen. Morris bunts both runners over on the first pitch. Eckstein pops up a high fastball for out No. 2. Rusch fans Edmonds looking and avoids and further damage.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 1
Lee grounds out and Burnitz draws a walk. Nomar bloops one to right and Taguchi makes a nice sliding catch. Walker pulls a page out of the Cardinals' book and lays a two-out bunt down the third-base line for a hit. So it's up to Patterson with two on and two out. Patterson hits one to left where Sanders dives, misses it and plays it into an RBI double.
Walker stops at third. Blanco strikes out but the Cubs get one back.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 2
Rusch walks Pujols on four pitches. Sanders dribbles one up the middle, Perez gloves it, steps on second and throws out Sanders for the double play. Grudzielanek grounds out to Walker, who makes a nice back-handed stop and off-balance throw on the play.
Rusch chops a leadoff single up the middle. Here's Murton, who replaced Hairston, who was tossed. Murton singles to center and the Cubs have the first two batters aboard. Perez bunts the runners along. The Cards intentionally walk Lee to get to
Burnitz, who singles to right, scoring Rusch and Murton.
Lee is cut down trying to take third. Nomar grounds out, but Cubs get a pair and--gasp!--take the lead.
Cubs 4, Cardinals 3
Taguchi grounds it to the hole and Perez makes a sweet running stab and throw to get the runner. No matter that the replay showed Taguchi was safe. Rusch fans Molina. Luna rips one at Nomar, who makes the pick and the throw. Hey, the Cubs can play defense. Who knew?
Walker and Patterson both ground out to Grudzielanek for a quick two outs. Blanco flies out to Edmonds to complete a seven-pitch inning for Morris. That's more like the Cubs.
John Gall pinch hits for Morris and strikes out. Eckstein hits one off Walker's glove and reaches. That's an error. Edmonds hits a slow roller to Lee, who throws to second but the relay is too late to get Edmonds. Dusty Baker comes out and gets Rusch, who leaves to a nice hand. Enter
to face Mr. Pujols. Pujols sends a single up the middle; Edmonds takes third. Wuertz fans
to end the inning and escape the potential horror.
Bob Sirot sings TMOTTBG. Next.
hits for Wuertz and lines out to Pujols. Murton walks. Yes, a strange concept. Brad Thompson is the Cardinals' new pitcher, by the way. Perez hits into a fielder's choice. Lee walks and La Russa yanks Thompson for former Cub "Every Day"
. Yeah, yeah, Macias hit for Wuertz to start the inning. My bad.
Burnitz grounds one through the hole on the right side and Perez scores.
Molina picks off Burnitz and that ends the chat with Sirot and the boyz.
Cubs 5, Cardinals 3
Roberto Novoa's the new pitcher and Grudzielanek takes him deep to center, but not deep enough. Patterson makes the catch on the run. Taguchi flies out to Burnitz and all of a sudden the sun is shining at Wrigley Field. Molina grounds to Nomar and Novoa cruises through the inning, 1-2-3.
Lefty Randy Flores comes on to pitch and will face Nomar, who grounds out to Eckstein. Walker hits a double deep to center over Edmonds' head. Patterson hits a one-hopper to Eckstein for the second out. Walker holds at second. And here comes another former Cubs pitcher,
. Blanco bounces out...and we move to the ninth.
is on and he'll face pinch hitter John Rodriguez, who bats for Luna. Rodriguez lines out to Perez.
now bats. Walker works the count full and then takes a fastball on the outside corner for strike three. Eckstein grounds out and the Cubs deny the Cardinals a celebration.
Final: Cubs 5, Cardinals 3