Greetings Cubs fans and welcome to another edition of From the Cubicle.
The ageless Greg Maddux goes for victory No. 5 this season--against zero losses--and No. 323 in his career. He leads the National League with a 0.99 ERA and recently has been accused of , which has to be a sure sign to the pitcher that he has recaptured the movement on his fastball that made him one of the toughest pitchers of the '90s.
The Brewers counter with David Bush, the right-handed pitcher, not the Christian musician. Bush, the pitcher, tossed a four-hit, complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds his last time out. Bush, the musician, lists his favorite snack food as Hot Tamales and Raisinets. Onward.
In two career starts against the Cubs, Bush is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA. Maddux, meanwhile, is 12-3 lifetime against the Brewcrew with a 2.16 ERA.
We'll have baseball soon on what I'm told is a lovely day in Chicago. Considering I'm two levels below ground where they used to house the old printing presses, I have no window to confirm this.
I can confirm this: today's lineups on 1932 Babe Ruth jersey day at Wrigley Field. How Cub is it to honor an opposing player who hit a home run against you in the World Series? What's next, Steve Garvey Day?
Rickie Weeks starts things off for the Brewers and takes two called strikes before lifting a lazy flyball to fan favorite Jacque Jones in right for the first out. J.J. Hardy draws a walk. Geoff Jenkins singles to right; Hardy stops at second. Carlos Lee singles to load the bases for the gigantic Prince Fielder. Maddux gets two strikes on Fielder who is swinging from his heels. Maddux then drops a sinker on the inside corner for a called third strike. Fielder takes a seat on his sizable fanny. Corey Koskie flies out to Matt Murton and Maddux strolls off the mound like no big whup. So he loaded the bases?
Auto-refresh update: It's at three minutes today. I'm not on top of these things, but I think it may be changed to a minute in the future. I know all of you are on the edge of your seats waiting for that. And the reverse order thingy that Rahula tried out, that's not how I roll.
Skilling update: There's a slight, 8 mph breeze off the lake keeping temps at 65 under sunny skies on the North Side of Chicago. Humidity is low.
And welcome to everyone on the message board, including Bob from Madison who changed jobs just so he could follow FTC. Excellent. Juan Pierre bounces out to Fielder. Ronny Cedeno skies one to shallow center where Brady Clark gloves it. Update on the auto-refresh update: It was changed to one minute last night. I told you I'm not up on these things. Todd Walker flies out to right and Bush rolls through an easy half inning.
Maddux gets Damian Miller to fly out to right. Brady Clark flies out to center. A Comcast guy just interviewed a fan, whom I think said he was Dutch and who won one of the Babe Ruth jerseys. Comcast guy noted he hadn't even taken it out of the plastic. "Let's do that right now!" he said. Dutch guy refused. Maddux strikes out Bush.
Question: Does an already-opened Gatorade need to be refrigerated or can you just keep it on your desk for future use--like right now? Well, we'll find out later, I guess. If this play-by-play suddenly stops in a few innings, we'll have our answer. Aramis Ramirez hits the first pitch into the left-field corner for a double. Matt Murton drives in Ramirez with a double to left. That's the seventh RBI this week for the Big Murt*. Jones now doubles to right and it one-hops that knot-hole door, scoring Murton. Neifi Perez ruins the double party with a popout to short. Henry Blanco flies to center. Maddux grounds out to end the inning, but the Cubs get two on the board with three straight doubles.
*--copyright Erin Davidson's sister.
Cubs 2, Brewers 0
Health professional: who's to say I didn't just hop off my bike and need to replace my electrolytes? Maddux fans Weeks. Hardy bounces out to Perez. Jenkins drops a single into center. Lee grounds out and we move on.
Girl at work, yes, I'll attempt to bring the funny today. Sometimes it doesn't work, though. And, yes, how about Arsenal! However, I must say they got lucky in that second semifinal leg. They looked brutal and need to play way better May 17. Hopefully all the French Gooners will be inspired playing in Paris. Pierre pokes one down the right-field line and hustles into second with a double. Cedeno then lays down something I'm told is called a bunt. You don't see those around here much. But Koskie does some kind of two-step charging the ball and then backing up and everyone is safe--Pierre at third and Cedeno at first. Walker then bounces one by Weeks, scoring Pierre. First and third again and Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux and his moustache pay a visit to Bush on the mound. Ramirez pops up in the middle of the diamond and Koskie and Fielder bump into each other as Fielder makes the catch only because he's an inch taller. The Big Murt, who's growing a beard, takes a called third strike. Jones grounds out to Fielder.
Cubs 3, Brewers 0
More message board stuff: Girl at work, you still hanging out at Rock Bottom? Gatorade might not require refrigeration, but it sure helps the taste. And why do I like Arsenal? Because among other reasons, I've always liked Dennis Bergkamp, much like the Dutch guy with the Babe Ruth jersey. That's probably enough soccer talk. People tend to get angry about that. Fielder flies out to Murton in left for the first out. We've lost the Comcast feed. Wonderful. .... We're back. It's still a bit sketchy, but Maddux strikes out Koskie. At least I think that was live and not a tape of a previous at-bat or some CGI trick. Maddux. Strikes. Out. Miller. The. Picture. And. Audio. Is. Now. Intermittent. But the commercials sure come in clear. Maddux now has five strikeouts.
Neifi pops out to left. Blanco flies out to right and we nearly had a collison between Jenkins and Clark. Nothing like an outfield collision. Granted I don't want anyone to get hurt, but it's right up with the umpires' luggage getting lost and they're having to wear a bunch of stuff from the concession stands as baseball moments go. Maddux grounds out and this game is pretty much rolling along.
Cubs 3, Brewers 0
OK, see what I mean about the soccer talk?
This: Normally I am not a soccer hater, and a person to complain about content, however, I am stuck with a sucky computer and no radio, and no gametracker, and a refusal to pay Bud Seiligs gouging wage for internet radio, and getting off track, but could we have more baseball info? Like, if that cuts into soccer so be it.?. Thanks from a frustrated man.
At least Gordon was nice about it. But I wonder if he thinks Arsenal is out of Europe next year or will Tottenham lose a game as the season winds down. Clark flies out to left and Murton barely had to move on that. Bush singles to right. Weeks, whom I always thought was a pretty solid young player but now is really struggling, singles to left. Hardy singles through the hole on the left side and the bases are loaded with one out. Jenkins bloops a single over Neifi's out-stretched glove, scoring Bush and Weeks. First and third for Lee, who has done some damage against the Cubs in his time. Lee hits it to Cedeno's left. Cedeno makes a nice pick and gets rid of it quickly to Neifi, who makes a nice turn and gets the lumbering Lee for an inning-ending double play.
Cubs 3, Brewers 2
Comcast barely gets back in time to see Pierre's bunt single--but then quickly goes to a shot of Len and Bob. Cedeno gives one a ride to deep left for his first homer of the year. Ronny follows up his nice play at short with a bomb to left. Walker singles to left for the Cubs' third straight hit. Ramirez strikes out. As for the picture, well, someone has to read the Fun-Times. But I maintain that's the Daily Racing Form. Murton bounces into a fielder's choice and now there are two outs. The count goes to 3-1 to Jones, Murton takes off for second and is thrown out by Miller.
Cubs 5, Brewers 2
The snack cart can come around any minute now. Speaking of snacks and a guy who's likely never missed one, Prince Fielder strikes out. Jorge De La Rosa is up in the Brewers' pen. Koskie grounds to Walker, who flips to Maddux covering. That's 3-1 for those of you keeping score at the office. Miller doubles to left and, according to Len, Maddux is in the 80 pitch range. He bats fourth in the top of the sixth and there are a couple guys up in the Cubs' pen--Comcast has yet to identify them--so this probably is the last inning for Maddux. Someone wakes up pitching coach Larry Rothschild and he strolls out to the mound. Maddux has to ask Blanco who Rothschild is and then goes 3-1 on Clark. Clark then pops out to Cedeno to end the inning.
Bobby Howry is the Cubs reliever up throwing. Jones hits a leadoff single to right. Neifi fails to connect on a hit and run and Miller guns down Jones. Neifi eventually strikes out. Blanco flies out to right. So much for that half inning. We'll never get it back.
Cubs 5, Brewers 2
Enter Howry. Exit Maddux. Jeff Cirillo bats for Bush and hits a one-hopper to Cedeno, who handles it easily. One out. Sorry about the typos. I blame the Gatorade. Howry plunks Weeks with a 1-2 pitch. With Hardy up Weeks takes off and steals second. Blanco's throw is high but Weeks over-slides the bag and Cedeno slaps the tag on and he's out. Hardy sends it deep to left-center and Pierre makes a great running catch at the wall.
The Babe's daughter and grandson along with Ron Santo warble TMOTTBG. The grandson fancies himself a singer. Jorge De La Rosa is the Brewers' new pitcher and Michael Restovich is the Cubs' hitter. He pops out to Weeks, who has trouble but holds on. This whole Babe Ruth day thing, can someone please explain? Pierre bounces one to Fielder and almost beats the throw to the bag. Almost. Also, this camouflage undershirt Pierre wears, again, can someone please explain? Cedeno chops one to Koskie and he has to eat it. Infield single. A pitch goes through the wickets of Miller and Cedeno takes second. The grandson fancies himself quite the raconteur, as well. Is there a game going on or what? My colleague Ryan Jaster provides the answer to the camo shirt. Walker checks his swing on a full count. It's close but it's called a ball. Two on with two outs for Ramirez and here's Mike Maddux and his moustache visiting the mound again. After an interminable at-bat, Ramirez walks. Ned Yost yanks De La Rosa for Justin Lehr. Longest. Half. Inning. Ever. Murton bats with the bases loaded. Uncharacteristically Murton has an impatient at-bat and pops out in foul territory.
Cubs 5, Brewers 2
Lefty Scott Eyre comes on, while righty Scott "I did not balk" Williamson gets warm. Eyre strikes out Jenkins. Lee walks. You would think this would be a double play waiting to happen with these two battleships--Fielder at bat and Lee on first--involved, but Fielder kills lefties. Not this time as Fielder strikes out. Eyre strikes out Koskie as well.
Jones leads off the eighth with a large opposite-field home run off of Lehr. Boo that. Neifi follows with a weak opposite-field flyout to Lee. Blanco singles to left. John Mabry bats for Eyre and skies out that Koskie gloves in the Cubs' bullpen. Pierre bounces out to Weeks. And we move to the ninth.
Cubs 6, Brewers 2
No save situation because of the home run, as Len says, so it's Williamson in the ninth rather than Ryan Dempster. Williamson strikes out Miller and then does the same to Clark. Everyone is standing, including a guy in the Brewers jersey and the couple behind home plate wearing the matching leather bikers jackets. Williams fans Gabe Gross to end it. High-fives all around.
Final: Cubs 6, Brewers 2
That's it, folks. There's nothing else to say. Enjoy the weekend and the NFL draft. I predict the Bears trade out of the first round to get a couple more picks. Greg Maddux picks up career win 323 and he's only 188 behind Cy Young. I think he'll get him. Thanks for reading.