This season, the Cubs have owned the St. Louis Cardinals--served 'em, beat 'em down and whatever other violent terms the kids are using these days.
A rather stunning 10-3 against their rivals and 7-0 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs swept a four-game series at Wrigley last month, the first time that's happened since before cars were equipped with catalytic converters.
The Cubs parade another rookie starter out to the mound on this muggy Friday in Chicago, while the Cardinals counter with right-hander Jason Marquis, who, let's face it, has been brutal as of late. He's lost four straight starts and is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA against the Cubs this season.
And, hey, the annual Air and Water show is this weekend, which means a few F/A-18 Hornets will buzz Wrigley and hopefully send pseudo tough guy Tony La Russa and his band of goons scurrying up the tunnel.
Meanwhile, the and he'll bat sixth today.
Did I mention it's Friday? Did I mention these lineups?
A game involving a ball, a bat and Angel Pagan soon. That is if we don't get some rain.
Lovable pest David Eckstein leads off for the not-so-loveable Cardinals. Eckstein pops out to Cesar Izturis on the outfield grass. Ozzie Guillen favorite Chris Duncan drives it deep to right center and it lands in the second row of the bleachers where a fan takes a big spill chasing the ball. Replay, please. Izturis makes a nice back-handed play on a ball hit in the hole by Albert Pujols. Scott Rolen pops out to second baseman Ronny Cedeno for the third out.
Cardinals 1, Cubs 0
OK, the message board user with the handle "Every Cards fan on N. Michigan" is the leader in the clubhouse for post of the day. That basically is my lunch hour when the Cardinals are in town. Juan Pierre leads off the Cubs. Pierre flies out to left and Izturis pops out to Pujols near the dugout. Michael Barrett gets a hold of one and it lands way up in the left-field bleachers. We've got ourselves a tie game. Aramis Ramirez pops it up foul and Gary Bennett makes the catch in that little cutout between the dugout and those ridiculously expensive seats behind home plate.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 1
Juan Encarnacion pops out to Barrett near the first-base line fungo spot. I'm glad they've decided to switch up the way they introduce the Walgreen's celebrity bat kids. No longer to they show them waving incessantly. Today they were chatting up Matt Murton. I like to think I had something to do with that. Preston Wilson singles to center and then takes second on a wild pitch. Ronnie Belliard pops out in foul ground to John Mabry. What's with all the pop foul? That's four of them. Here's another by Bennett; it's in fair ground and Marmol takes it away from Barrett.
Jacque Jones takes a backdoor curve for strike three. He doesn't like something--either the call or that he was fooled. He drops his head and stalks back to the dugout. Belliard handles a high hop at second to get Pagan. Mabry strikes out swinging.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 1
Is anyone besides A-Rod charged with an error any more? Marquis bounces one to Cedeno who boots it. Of course it's ruled a hit because Cedeno made some sort of sliding attempt at it, making it look like a much tougher play and than it actually was. Even E-Rod had an error taken away last night and given to Jeter after he tried to take a pop up away from Jeter. The Cards hit and run and Eckstein slaps it over Cedeno's head as Marquis digs into third. Duncan lifts a fly to left, Pagan comes up throwing but the throw is cut off by and booted by Ramirez, allowing Eckstein to take second. Marquis scores and Ramirez is charged with an error. Guy on second with one out for Pujols. Defense and the Cubs, they don't really go together. Let's see: Pujols lines a single to left, Pagan's throw makes it to home on about 15 bounces, Eckstein is safe when Barrett can't handle the roller, Marmol picks up the ball, runs at Pujols who was caught up between second and third, Marmol's throw skips into center field and Pujols takes third. Said Bob Brenly: Cue the calliope music. Marmol plunks Rolen and warnings are issued. Dusty comes out. La Russa comes out. Nothing doing and both go back to their respective dugouts. Marmol's throw to first to keep the speedy Rolen at bay gets away, allowing Pujols to score. Error No. 3 of the inning. Cue some more calliope music. Encarnacion bounces a single by Izturis; Rolen takes third. Wilson lines out to short for the second out. Belliard flies out to Pagan to end the nightmare top half of the third.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 1
Eckstein hurt himself taking infield before the inning. Huh. He had to have gotten hurt when he slid into home. At any rate, he walked off the field, gathered his bats and hat and headed back to the clubhouse. Aaron Miles takes over at short. Roberto Novoa is up in the Cubs' pen. Cedeno strikes out. Novoa's up, yet Marmol hits for himself and grounds to short. I'm not sure what Eckstein hurt. Duncan robs Pierre of a hit with a nice diving catch in left.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 1
Again to quote Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on out there?" Dusty lets Marmol hit but then brings in Novoa to start the fourth. Bennett chops a single down the right-field line. It would've been a double for anyone besides a veteran catcher. Marquis strikes out, Miles pops out to short and Duncan grounds out to second.
Big Red, waste a bench player? Who cares? God forbid he wouldn't have Neifi Perez available in the late innings. Izturis flies out to left. Barrett draws a walk. Ramirez drives a homer to the back row of the left-field bleachers where a woman nearly made a one-handed grab. Nearly. Jones bounces out to Belliard at second. Miles boots a routine grounder as Pagan reaches. Mabry bounces out to Belliard.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
Pujols grounds out to Izturis, whom I've got to say is pretty solid in the field. Now I'm sure I've jinxed him. Wishful thinking on the scoreline there. Sorry. It's fixed. Rolen bounces out to Izturis, who has not been jinxed. Izturis handles Encarnacion, as well. The scoreline's fixed. Get over it already.
Cedeno nearly beats out a grounder to second. Nearly. He's out. I'm not sure I've seen Novoa bat before. Have I? Len just mentioned his double in St. Louis. I remember that. I wish I hadn't seen his latest at-bat. He strikes out and Brenly said that "looked like he was being attacked by a swarm of bees up there." He had one foot already in the dugout on that swing. Pierre fouls off a number of pitches before lining a triple to the right-field corner. Solid at-bat right there. Alas, Izturis flies out to left, stranding Pierre at third.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
Wilson deposits a solo home run into the left-field bleachers. It's good to see Wilson scored one of those little beanies he's so fond of in Cardinal red. It's probably the first thing he asked the equipment guy when he showed up today. Belliard hits it off Novoa, who recovers to throw out the runner. The Blue Angels are over the park. Gary Bennett, representin' Waukegan, homers to the junipers in center. That's all for Novoa. Let's see what David Aardsma's got. Sure, Timo Perez. He hits for Marquis and grounds to second. Miles lines out to Pierre.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 3
Adam Wainwright, solid first name, is the new Cards pitcher. Barrett grounds out to Rolen. Ramirez flies out to all-time Cardinals great Preston Wilson in right. Jones slices a single to left-center. He takes a big turn around first but thinks better of it. Wainwright strikes out Pagan to end the sixth.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 3
Duncan slaps a single to left. Pujols goes all Pujols on that Aardsma offering and sends it to the left-center field bleachers. Well, I can keep the bold tags open as Rolen sends a solo shot to left field where a guy decked out head to toe in J-Crew makes a nice one-handed catch without spilling his beer. Encarnacion singles to left. Wilson pops out but Belliard homers to left. Homers, get your homers here. That's all for Aardsma. Double switch: Michael Wuertz comes on to pitch, while Matt Murton takes over in left. Bennett grounds it by Ramirez, but Izturis is there behind him to make a nice play and an even nicer off-balance throw to get Bennett. Wainwright grounds out and here's Tom Dreesen to sing TMOTTBG.
Cardinals 11, Cubs 3
Braden Looper comes on to pitch for St. Louis as Comcast shows a Wrigley security person hustling out to fetch a cap off the field. That guy was moving. Aramis Ramirez looks on and thinks, Oh, so that's running? Mabry flies out to left. Cedeno lines out to Miles. They have a rimshot noise cued up for Dreesen. What the? Murton lines a single to right. Pierre grounds to Miles who makes a wide throw to second but Belliard holds the bag. We move on and so does Tom Dreesen.
Miles grounds out to Mabry and I'm thinking that's not Aaron Miles at all but David Eckstein with a fake beard. He looks like a teenager. Duncan fans. Pujols singles to left. Rolen pops out to Mabry.
Here's everyone's favorite Neifi Perez, who took over at short in the top half. Neifi grounds out to short. Eckstein we're told left with the trendy injury, an oblique strain. Thanks for the update seven innings later. Barrett doubles over Encarnacion's head in center. Ramirez pops out to Miles. La Russa, in a fit of micro-management up eight runs, takes out Looper and goes with the lefty Tyler Johnson to face Jones. Jones grounds out to Belliard and we thankfully move to the ninth.
Cardinals 11, Cubs 3
Will Ohman faces Juan Encarnacion. Henry Blanco will catch and Ryan Theriot will play third. Encarnacion fouls a pitch off his foot and goes down quicker than Cristiano Ronaldo. Encarnacion bounces out to Neifi. So this is the reason Dusty let Marmol bat for himself--so he could put all these guys in late in the game down eight runs. I see now. Wilson pops out to Neifi. Neifi is taking over the world. He will not let anyone else field a ball, which is the way it should be. Yes, Neifi handles Belliard, too, and this one's over....aw, man, bottom of the ninth coming up. Big rally plus a rain delay. I can feel it.
So Taguchi new center fielder. Josh Hancock new pitcher. Ryan Theriot batter. Verbs overrated. The Riot flies out to Taguchi. Wilson turns Mabry's flyball into a misadventure in right. He gets turned around, partially lost in the vines and Mabry ends up on second. I thought that was destined for the basket. Cedeno pops out to Miles. Murton flies out to Duncan on the track and the Cardinals have won a game at Wrigley for the first time this season.
Final: Cardinals 11, Cubs 3
That's all, folks. Enjoy the Air Show, the Bears game, the PGA, whatever ... just enjoy it. Thanks for reading.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times