In case you missed , some Cubs players believe they're still in this thing. By "thing" I mean the wide-open National League wild-card race. But when you consider the Cubs have the second worst record in the NL, does that mean every team is still in it?
I think it does.
They're 10 games back of Cincinnati and catching the Reds is not an entirely impossible task but highly unlikely, especially if you've watched this team this year. It would take some major alignment of the stars, plus a few miracles, another non-waiver trade deadline and possibly the abduction by aliens of half the National League.
It's important to note the two players who mentioned this were Carlos Zambrano and Scott Eyre, two guys who have done their jobs all year.
The Cubs are 11-5 in their last 16 games. OK, I'll admit, I needed something to write about.
So let's pretend we're in the thick of the wild-card race. You'll be sorry you didn't set the DVR. I did but for some reason it always records "Ellen." Not that I'm complaining.
Mark Prior goes for the Cubs, while the Brewers counter with lefty Doug Davis.
Anyway, welcome to this chorizo-free edition of From the Cubicle. We're here for you. So are these lineups.
The roof is closed as Doug Davis starts Juan Pierre with a strike. Pierre doubles down the left-field line. I think it was the left-field line but I'm not sure; WGN had some Bud Billiken parade promo on the screen at the time. Ryan Theriot bunts Pierre to third. Aramis Ramirez knocks home Pierre with a sac fly. Phil Nevin, who struck out four times last night, strikes out to end the inning.
Cubs 1, Brewers 0
Prior walks Brady Clark. Jeff Cirillo dumps a bloop single between Pierre and Angel Pagan that should've been caught by one of them. They each looked at each other before it fell to earth. The count goes full to the quite large Prince Fielder before he walks to load the bases. And here comes pitching coach Larry Rothschild, possibly making his earliest appearance of the season with no outs in the first--and that's something. Prior's on the DL by the second inning. I'm just saying. Kevin Mench sends one down the right-field line that could be trouble. Jacque Jones gives chase but it goes foul. Prior then puts Mench in the dirt with a ball near his head. I'm not sure how that missed him. Mench sends the next pitch deep to left where Pagan hasn't a clue. He's not even close to the ball. He leaps but the ball lands at the base of the wall. Then the throw gets away from Ramirez. Chaos. Two runs score. Gabe Gross flies to shallow right and Jones' throw ends up in a brat stand behind home plate as another run scores. To quote Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on out there?" Prior drills Tony Graffanino in the hand to put runners on first and third with one out. David Bell flies to Jones and Jones makes another high throw, sailing the cutoff man with no chance of getting Mench at home. Mench scores and Graffanino takes second on the bad play by Jones. Mike Rivera lines out to Ramirez to end a nightmare. But, hey, the Cubs are fighting for the wild card!
Brewers 4, Cubs 1
That, my friends, was a truly awesome display. Jones grounds to second. Here's whoever hits behind Jones in this rag-tag, Dusty-Baker-special lineup. I believe it's Pagan, who singles, which is a good thing because it's clear he can't catch the ball. The immortal Neifi Perez works the count 2-2. Meanwhile, Doug Davis takes forever between pitches. Neifi chases a ball in the dirt for strike three and makes his way back to the dugout. Henry Blano drives one deep to left where Mench makes a nice catch on the run and then fires the ball back to the infield to keep Pagan from advancing. Hey, Menchy, that's three outs. Both teams are really in this one.
Prior makes quick work of Davis, striking him out on three pitches. Clark pops one up foul behind first base. Nevin wants no part of it and Theriot takes it. Cirillo pops one to shallow right-center where Niefi sticks his glove out and the ball falls right into it. Len called it a terrific play. I'm not sure about that and I'm starting to suspect both teams stayed out way too late last night raging at the Mars Cheese Castle.
Brewers 4, Cubs 1
Prior strikes out. Pierre beats out a bunt down the first-base line. Someone needs to tell Doug Davis to hustle up. Not only does he take forever between pitches he takes forever throwing a pitch. Then he gets the ball backs and sulks around the mound for a bit before starting the whole vicious cycle. Theriot slaps a single past the drawn-in Bell at third. Pierre has to stop at second. With Ramirez at the plate the Cubs pull off the ol' double steal on Davis. I'm not sure he even noticed. Ramirez draws a walk to load the bases. Good lord, have you seen the moustache on Robin Yount these days? They just showed him next to Mike Maddux in the dugout and it looked like the Village People reunion tour. Nevin strikes out again and he's halfway to a double golden sombrero. Has that been done before, I mean by someone besides Corey Patterson? We'll call it a platinum sombrero. Jones fans and the Cubs get squat, leaving the bases loaded.
Prior walks Fielder to start the bottom half of the third. Mench flies out. With Gross up, Prior whips one to the backstop and Fielder takes second. Prior walks Gross. Graffanino flies deep to Pierre and Fielder takes third. Bell rips a single to left, scoring Fielder. Rivera bloops a single just out of the reach of a diving Theriot, allowing Gross to score. Theriot landed on his wrist and his glove went flying off. But he's OK. It looked ugly like he might have broken his arm. Davis grounds out to Neifi but the Brew Crew gets a couple more.
Brewers 6, Cubs 1
Pagan grounds to third. Neifi walks. Blanco strikes out, chasing a ball in the dirt. Cedeno hits for Prior and flies out on the first pitch. Quick afternoon for Ronny, unless he's going to come on to pitch, which would be great. We've seen a lot of weird things this season but we've yet to seen a position player pitch, which is one of my favorite things in baseball next to when the umpires' luggage gets lost and they have to wear stuff from the concession stands.
Clark pops out to Nevin. Juan Mateo replaces the great Mark Prior. Cirillo rolls one to Neifi at short and Neifi boots it. Mateo walks Fielder. Again with Larry Rothschild. Len just said "There may be more dirt on this field than any other baseball field." OK, moving on, Mench walks to load the bases. Mateo strikes out Gross looking. Graffanino singles to center, scoring two more runs. Bell flies out to Pagan to end the glorious fourth.
Brewers 8, Cubs 1
Pierre grounds to Cirillo at second. Theriot rips one off Bell's glove or arm or face and it's ruled...I'm not sure. A hit. Ramirez rips a towering two-run homer to left. Nevin does not strike out, but he flies out to left. Jones draws a walk. Pagan bounces to Graffanino, who flips to Cirillo for the third out.
Brewers 8, Cubs 3
Rivera singles and Davis bunts him over to second. Clark flies out to Pagan in left. Cirillo pops out to Neifi and we nearly had ourselves a 1-2-3 inning. Nearly.
Neifi flies out to shallow right. Blanco flies out to shallow left. And here's former message board favorite, the Big Murt, Matt Murton. Murton bounces out.
Will Ohman takes over on the mound and he'll face Fielder, who has walked three times today. Ohman drills Fielder in the elbow. Mench pops out to Ramirez. Gross strikes out looking. For those of you not watching on TV you missed a great shot of Mench's head. Large. Graffanino strikes out and here come the sassages! Polish sausage ... Ditka.
Brewers 8, Cubs 3
Love the sausages. Here they go. It's the brat and hot dog in the home stretch and the hot dog wins. They need something like this at Wrigley. Perhaps they could have people dressed as giant cell phones. Someone could be a Razr and someone else could be the really bad LG model I have that would surely lose every race. It could have major commercial tie-in potential. Get back to me on this, Cubs promotion department once you get off the phone with David Cassidy. Pierre grounds out. Theriot singles and steals second. Ramirez strikes out. Hey, the Cubs have now out-hit the Brewers, 7-6, according to Len. Nevin nearly gets hit in the head with a cut fastball. He comes back and lines a single to center to score Theriot. The ball goes through the legs of Clark in center and even still Nevin is nearly thrown out at second. Regardless, he snaps an 0-fer-13. Also, the Brewers end some kind of error-less streak. Jones strikes out and we stretch.
Brewers 8, Cubs 4
David Aardsma come on to pitch for the Cubs. Bell pops out to Theriot. Rivera pops out to Theriot. That's it for Davis and hopefully he'll be replaced by someone who works a bit faster. Geoff Jenkins hits for the lefty. Jenkins hits it deep to right where Jones makes a nice running catch on the track. Had it all the way.
Jose Capellan is the Brewers' new pitcher. Pagan rips one through the legs of the drawn-in Bell at third. Another error. Neifi flies out to Mench, who had a little trouble with the lights there. Henry Blanco--Henry Blanco?!--rips a two-run homer to left. Michael Barrett bats in the pitcher's spot and grounds out to short. Here comes Ned Yost to yank Capellan. Lefty Brian Shouse will face Pierre with two outs. Pierre slaps a single past Cirillo. Pierre is thrown out stealing to end the inning with Theriot, who's got three hits today, at the plate.
Brewers 8, Cubs 6
Bobby Howry comes on to pitch; Barrett to catch. Clark will hit, but he's been in the game the whole time. Clark grounds to Theriot. Cirillo pops out to Nevin. Howry fans Fielder and we move to the ninth.
Brewers 8, Cubs 6
Francisco Cordero will try to close this out, but walks Cesar Izturis to open the inning. Ramirez flies out to right. No, he doesn't. Clark and Gross collide in right-center and the ball drops. Izturis stops at second. John Mabry will hit for Nevin. Mabry lines out to left. Len is excited, Carlos Zambrano has his warmups off like he may pinch hit but Jones hits into a 4-6-3 double play to end it.
Final: Brewers 8, Cubs 6
Bernie the Brewer is waving a flag in the outfield as the Cubs have dropped two of three in Milwaukee. Thanks for reading, everyone. That's it for Miller Park. Now off to Coor's Field now. George Clooney narrates a Budweiser commercial in the background as I type this. George Clooney! Godspeed, Rick Sutcliffe.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times