From the Cubicle

Hey, remember when people in

the Cubs

organization, presumably with a straight face, compared Juan Cruz to

Pedro Martinez


That one didn't work out so hot. Kind of like how people compare (compared?)

Rich Hill


Barry Zito

. Well, Hill just nailed down that elusive first major league victory. It took him 10 tries. Maybe, unlike Zito, it's because his chakras are out of alignment.

I'm not sure what's worse -- the Cubs' constant inflated view of their farm system or their cryptic information on injuries? We're still not sure what was wrong with Mark Prior last year. Was it his Achilles, his arm or something else?

That's a topic for another day. We've got two games at hand and we'll bring 'em both to you through the magic of the Internet and television.


So here's Juan Cruz, with his third team since the Cubs traded him to Atlanta for Andy Pratt and comedian Richard Lewis, facing another young Cubs pitcher,

Carlos Marmol

, whom I've never heard compared to anyone. Maybe that's a good thing.

And maybe these


reveal the secrets to ever-lasting life.

Update: If this weather keeps up, they'll be luck to play two innings, possibly setting up the rare triple-header tomorrow--two against the D'backs and one against the Pirates. No, they don't do such things, unfortunately.

First inning

Here we go: There is no one at

Wrigley Field

on a much-needed 72-degree day. The winds are swirling as Eric Byrnes works the count full before just missing a homer down the left-field line. Byrnes draws a walk. Byrnes takes off for second and veteran tub of goo Bruce Froemming, who's rooted near second today, calls him safe. Chad Tracy pops up and new guy

Cesar Izturis

makes the grab. Former Cub

Luis Gonzalez

rips one deep to right for a two-run homer. Remember when this guy used to hit like .260 for the Cubs and then remember when he used to hit 50 for

the Diamondbacks

? Well, anyway that was his 11th of the season. Conor Jackson flies out to

Juan Pierre

. Some news:

Glendon Rusch

was put on the DL with tennis elbow. Yes, surprisingly tennis elbow and not whiplash.

Shawn Green

draws a walk. Marmol hits Orlando Hudson--barely. Maybe got a piece of his jersey. Anyway, the O Dog is on and Larry Rothschild is out of the Cubs' dugout early. It is good sign when your starter struggles to get out of the first inning on a day when you play two.

Stephen Drew sends one to the right-field corner and out of camera range. Something not good happens and Drew ends up third with a two-run triple.

WGN just showed three replays from different camera angles and none of them caught what happened down there.

Chris Snyder knocks in Drew with a single to left and I have tennis fingers already from typing so much.

Here's Cruz, who sends one deep to right where

Jacque Jones

makes a nice running catch.

D'backs 5, Cubs 0

Pierre grounds out to Hudson at second. Will Bernacki and Ember Graf are today's wavin' Walgreen's Celebrity Bat Kids. You can stop waving now. Really. Stop waving. OK, that's enough. Please. Just asking but where does celebrity factor into that equation? Izturis grounds to his counterpart at short, Drew.

Michael Barrett

draws a walk.

and strikes out swinging.

D'backs 5, Cubs 0

Second inning

Byrnes bloops a single to left that should have been caught by either Izturis or Angel Pagan, who took his sweet time getting there. Len Kasper blamed the wind. The wind must've held up Pagan. Byrnes takes second on a pitch in the dirt. Tracy pops out to Neifi on the outfield grass. Marmol wheels in attempt to pick off Byrnes at second but instead throws a grounder to center field. Byrnes takes third. This is going to be a long day.

Gonzalez drives in Byrnes with a single.

There's no way they can make a pitching move this early. Marmol has just crossed the line between starting pitcher and sacrificial lamb. Jackson bloops a single to right and Larry Rothschild helps himself to some Gatorade. Green grounds to

John Mabry

at first. He's not messing around with any double plays and just steps on first. So second and third for Hudson, who pops out to Ramirez in foul ground near the photographers well.

D'backs 6, Cubs 0

A couple of things, as far as I can tell the auto-refresh works. E-mail me if you see otherwise. And, no, I'm not doing both games. Chris King will bring you Game 2, aka

Juan Mateo

's MLB debut. He's doing some deep-breathing exercises right now. Jones leads off the second and strikes out swinging. Mabry flies out to Byrnes in center. Pagan fans.

D'backs 6, Cubs 0

Third inning

Drew strikes out and I'm pretty sure WGN showed only the final strike. Gotta get in those Ilinois lottery commercials. Snyder bounces out to Izturis, Cruz flies out to Jones and Marmol goes 1-2-3 through the back third of the D'backs' lineup.

Neifi works the count full and then grounds to Hudson at second. Marmol lines a hit to center, breaking up Cruz's no-hitter. There you go, Carlos. Pierre lines a double past the out-stretched glove of the first baseman Jackson. Izturis lines out to third and Marmol gets back to the bag. Barrett pops up and Jackson catches it around the D'back's ondeck cirlce after almost running into the catcher.

D'backs 6, Cubs 0

Fourth inning

Anyone catch

Todd Walker

playing third in his Padres debut last night? I almost felt bad for the guy. He has trouble handling second, who in

the Padres

organization thought he could play third? Anyway, Byrnes flies out to center. Tracy sends one foul down the left-field line and maybe it's just me or maybe it's just the angle on TV but it sure looks like Pagan gave up on that ball. Doesn't really matter because Tracy takes a called third. Gonzalez bounces out and the immortal Carlos Marmol has now retired eight straight.

Ramirez bounces to the left side where Tracy cuts in front of the shortstop to make the play. Jones hits one off Tracy's glove and reaches safely. It's ruled a hit. Mabry walks on four pitches. Pagan lines it to right but it's right at Green. Neifi, as someone on the message board predicted, pops out to end the inning.

D'backs 6, Cubs 0

Fifth inning

This may be a first but we now have an argument on the message board between two readers taking their handles to heart: Gary Varsho and Aramis Ramirez's agent are having it out. Nice. Jackson singles to right. Marmol goes Nuke LaLoosh and whips one to the backstop with such force that he handled the carom himself. Jackson takes second. Green draws a walk. Hudson grounds to Mabry who attempts to start a quite ambitious 3-6-1 double play but the return throw to Marmol at first is late.

Drew knocks in Jackson with a sac fly to right.

Green hangs at first. Marmol gets Snyder but not before Arizona gets another run.


D'backs 7, Cubs 0


Mark Grace

will sing

. I guess there have been some efforts towards a detente. Sosa singing in Game 1?

Matt Murton

hits for Marmol and grounds out. Pierre singles to left. The ball gets away and Pierre takes second. Izturis bounces out; Pierre takes third. Barrett singles home Pierre for the Cubs first run of this one. Ramirez draws a walk. The count goes full to Jones. He fouled one into the upper deck where a kid, who had previously been handed a foul ball by a WGN camera man, made a nice catch with his glove while holding the other ball. Good day for him. Meanwhile his friend sits next to him looking not so pleased. Jones walks. Mabry strikes out with the bases loaded.

D'backs 7, Cubs 1

Sixth inning

David Aardsma is the Cubs' new pitcher and he strikes out pinch hitter Andy Green to open the sixth. Aardsma strikes out Byrnes, as well. Tracy grounds to the right side where Neifi ranges onto the grass to make the play. Nice inning by Aardsma, who I'm sure you all know is first alphabetically in a list of all-time major leaguers, ahead of

Hank Aaron

. Something to hang your hat on.

Pagan grounds out to Jackson at first. Neifi singles to left and Brandon Medders has been pitching for the Diamondbacks this inning.

Ronny Cedeno

hits and gets drilled on the hand. That has to hurt a lot. Pierre bloops a single to left right in front of a sliding Gonzalez to load the bases. Izturis ends any chance of something positive happening for the Cubs by bouncing into an inning-ending double play.

D'backs 7, Cubs 1

Seventh inning

Will Ohman

is the latest greatest to toe the slab in this one and he gets Gonzalez to fly out. Jackson walks. Ohman gets Green looking.

The O Dog gaps a triple the other way, scoring Jackson.

Drew draws a walk and Rothschild gets in some more cardio trotting out to the mound.

Snyder singles to left to score Hudson.

Carlos Quentin

--the Q Dog?--and is robbed of a hit by a nice diving catch by Pierre. Here's Bob Brenly to sing TMOTTBG.

D'backs 9, Cubs 1

A Luis Vizcaino sighting! He'll face Barrett, who lines a single to left. Ramirez works the count full and fouls off a number of pitches. He takes a called third strike on the outside corner. Jones squibs one towards first and Jackson handles it. Mabry bounces out to second and that does it for that inning.

D'backs 9, Cubs 1

Eighth inning

Ohman fans Byrnes to start the eighth. The Cubs have made soem other changes but I'm not too sure about them. I believe

Ryan Theriot

has replaced Neifi at second and will take Ramirez's fifth spot in the order. Neifi, you can't get him out of the game, moves over to play third. Tracy flies out. Ohman walks Gonzalez but then gets Jackson to fly out.

D'backs changes for those of you keeping score at the office: Jeff DaVanon comes on to play left and Greg Aquino will pitch. Pagan gives DaVanon some action with a fly ball to left. Neifi bounces out to Jackson at first.

Phil Nevin

hits for Ohman. The count goes full and Nevin takes a fastball right down the middle for strike three. We move to the ninth.

D'backs 9, Cubs 1

Ninth inning

The Cubs trot out

Michael Wuertz

and Green grounds out. Hudson rolls out to Theriot.

Drew rips a solo homer to first row of the right-field bleachers.

Maybe that was in the basket. Either way that's a 10-spot for the D'backs. Snyder cues one to the right side of the mound. Wuertz gloves it but then drops it. Snyder reaches on the error. Wuertz strikes out DaVanon and the Cubs have some work to do in the bottom half of the ninth.

D'backs 10, Cubs 1

Pierre strikes out looking particularly bad in the process. He clearly was looking for something else and swung when the ball was in the catcher's glove. Izturis draws a walk. Barrett lines a single to right-center and Izturis takes third.

Theriot's scatch double down the right-field line drives in Izturis.

Jones walks to load the bases and the Arizona pen stirs to life. Lefty

Randy Choate

gets up. He'll sit down now as Mabry hits into a double play to end this one. Bag it and tag it.

Final: D'backs 10, Cubs 2

Well, that's it for this one and this guy. Thanks all for sticking it out. For those punishment gluttons, there's another game shortly. Chris King and Rahula Strohl will team up for that one.