Greetings, baseball lovers, North and South. Lets' get right to Round 1, Game 2 of the annual crosstown hatefest. It's an absolutely beautiful Saturday afternoon in Chicago for just about anything, save sitting at a desk in an empty newsroom. Such is life. I'm here for those of you who don't get this game in your market. Speak well of me.
Not to rehash too much from yesterday for the sake of Sox fans, but you've got to love that not only does Ozzie Guillen listen to the Score on his way to the park like anyone else, but he calls in, too. And then over his decision to got with the recently called-up Toby Hall over A.J. Pierzynski.
The strangest part was North actually turned out to be prescient. Who knew? While Hall did get three hits, he committed two errors and his passed ball in the seventh let in a run. I'm sure that wasn't lost on North.
Today is another day, Sox fans.
And let's get right to that. Some : Angel Guzman is back in the pen, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing. And Derrek Lee will not play in the crosstown series.
Javier Vazquez goes for the Sox, while Jason Marquis toes the slab for the Cubs. Joe Crede and Pierzynski are back in the lineup today for the Sox. Unfortunately so is Rob Mackowiak. On the other side, Daryle Ward will play first, while Jacque Jones takes over in center for Angel Pagan, who had a big game yesterday. Dusty Baker back for this game?
You don't believe me? Here are the lineups.
I'm flying solo here, so I'll get to your comments as much as I can. But don't hesitate to leave them or drop me an e-mail. Or not.
Puck drop soon.
Based the steady wind I biked through along the lakeshore this morning to get here, I'd say the wind is blowing straight out to left. That is if it hasn't shifted since. As I peer out the window behind me, the flags on the Michigan Avenue Bridge are pointing to the east. Either way, the wind is blowing out.
Kenny Albert and Joe Girardi, who should be taking over for Lou Piniella around the All Star break, on the call for Fox. Darin Erstad leads off for the Sox and gets ahead 2-0. Erstad bounces a routine grounder to the right side and Ward boots it. Went right off his glove and the Sox have their leadoff guy on. Marquis strikes out Juan Uribe swinging. Pierzynski walks to the plate and hears a lot of boos. No surprise there. Pierzynski lines one the other way but it's right at Soriano. Jermaine Dye grounds one to DeRosa at second. DeRosa can't field it cleanly but has time to recover and throw out Dye.
Meanwhile, we've played a half an inning and already Girardi has been really good in the booth. Ryan Theriot is announcing the Cubs' lineup on Fox and called Matt Murton "Dirty Red," Aramis Ramirez "Luis Vuitton," Daryle Ware "Ice Cube" and Make DeRosa "the pulse of the Cubs." Interesting. Makes you wonder what exactly goes on in the Cubs clubhouse. And can you say "Dirty Red" on TV? Theriot grounds out to short. So does Murton. Uribe makes a great off-balance to get the lumbering redhead. Sorriano grounds out to third to end the first.
Cubs fan James D. Fox, a Major in the Air Force, writes in from Iraq to say thanks for Cubicling this weekend game. My pleasure, Major. Also, ET on the message board, I agree with you. I never understood the obsession with Girardi either. He is pretty good on TV. Also, Tom on the board, who needs the sun, right? Well, besides plants and the planet. Konerko leads off the second with a walk. Mackowiak works the count full. Mackowiak rips one to Ward, who boots it -- literally. It goes off his foot but right to DeRosa, who throws it back to Ward to get the runner. Konerko takes second on the play. Tadahito Iguchi, henceforth "The Gooch," strikes out. Crede lines one to deep center. Jones catches up to it just in front of the track.
Ramirez hits the first pitch into left for the game's first hit. Here's the early lock for the Gold Glove award Ward and he rips one into the right-center gap, scoring Ramirez. Yes, scoring Ramirez from first. Has that ever happened? Luis Vuitton showing much hustle there. That's why Ward is in the game. Michael Barrett grounds to second; Ward takes third. HL on the board suggests Ward is today's Toby Hall. It looks that way. Good hit, no field. Jones sends one to deep center that Erstad grabs but it's deep enough to score Ward. DeRosa strikes out but the Cubs take an early lead on some stunning fundamentals.
Cubs 2, Sox 0
Vazquez, who was a good hitting pitching in the NL, not so much in the AL. He strikes out. Fox has homeplate ump C.B. Bucker miked up. We definitely need an Ozzie or Lou tirade today. Erstad grounds it to the right side where Ware gets out of the way and lets DeRosa handle it. DeRosa throws to Marquis covering first. Uribe fans.
With Marquis up, the umps rule Vazquez licked his fingers while still on the mound and issue an automatic ball. It doesn't really matter because Marquis flies out to center. Theriot skies one to right where Dye fights the sun and makes the catch. Murton goes down on strikes and Vazquez cruises through the third.
Cubs 2, Sox 0
Pierzynski lines a single to center for the Sox's first hit. Dye doubles down the left-field line and the Sox have two runners in scoring position with no outs. Sox fans are chanting "Paul-lie!" Cubs fans are on their cellphones. I kid. Cubs fans try and drown out the Sox fans. Konerko bounces to third. Ramirez looks back PIerzynski and throws out Konerko. Konkero can't get it done but Mackowiak does. He lines the first pitch into center to score Pierzynski. Dye holds at third. The Gooch knocks in Dye with a single to left. Mackowiak stops at second. Another hit -- Crede grounds it through the hole on the left side. Soriano has a chance at Mackowiak but the throw is off the mark and the Sox take a 3-2 lead. First and second for the pitcher Vazquez, who bunts 'em both over. Carlos Marmol gets up in the Cubs' pen. 'bout time. Erstad grounds to second, ending the inning and leaving the two runners stranded. But five hits in the inning.
Sox 3, Cubs 2
Soriano swings at a ball near his feet and grounds out to second. Ramirez chases a ball in the dirt for strike three. Ward hits it in the air to center and Erstad is there. The momentum of this game has changed big time. The Sox have been struggling at the plate all season and had a minor break out in the top half. Plus Marquis threw 30-something pitches. And as we've seen lately, who knows what will happen with Piniella goes to the pen. Or when Ozzie does, for that matter.
Sox 3, Cubs 2
Uribe, the only guy who didn't bat last inning, flies out to left. Pierzynski grounds out to Ward, who fields the ball cleanly and steps on the bag himself. Dye flies out to Soriano and Marquis has himself a six-pitch inning. So all that stuff I wrote at the end of the last inning, I might want to reconsider.
I'm sure all the people on the board from markets not showing this game will appreciate this: Fox keeps going out of its way to give us Yankees and Red Sox updates. The only saving grace is whenever they show the Yankees, someone is limping off the field. Barrett drives one deep the other way for a solo home run to right. High fastball right over the plate. Girardi says the wind helped that one. Jones flies out to center. Fox pesters the managers between innings and Piniella says Derrek Lee could pinch hit, if needed. At least I think that's what he meant. DeRosa draws a walk. The count goes full to Marquis and Vazquez is really taking his time now. Marquis gets ahold of one and drives it just short of the junipers in straight away center for a two-run homer. Theriot follows with a single to center. Marquis went down and got that ball and ripped it out. It bounced off the top of the wall between the basket and batter's eye. Girardi called that, too. Albert asked why he wasn't bunting with a runner on first and Girardi said because he could hit it out. Murton strikes out. So does Soriano.
Cubs 5, Sox 3
Konerko grounds out to third on the first pitch. Mackowiak pops out to the shortstop Theriot. And we go to our 400th Yankees-Mets update. The Gooch singles up the middle. Crede drives one into the left-field basket that gets out in about two seconds. Tie game. Vazquez grounds out to short but quickly the Sox get right back in it.
Tied up at 5-5
Ramirez grounds out to Uribe. Ward strikes out. And Barrett strikes out. Vazquez has a much easier time in the sixth, setting the Cubs down in order.
Here we go. Into the Cubs' pen. Lefty Will Ohman comes on to face Erstad. Erstad bounces it up the middle and off Ohman's glove. Erstad beats it out. Ohman had to jump to get that but should've had it. He pounds his glove in disgust. Uribe shows bunt but pushes it foul. This time Uribe gets the bunt down but it's right at Ohman, who wheels and throws out Erstad at second. Pierzynski shows bunt, but pulls the bat back. Pierzynski checks his swing and fouls it right off Barrett's head. A little payback. Full count. Ball four and here's Lou. Wiggles his fingers and Michael Wuertz will come on to face Dye. But first ... these commercials. Dye grounds to Ramirez, who steps on third and throws to first for an inning-ending double play.
Good lord. More E.D. commercials. You know, for the kids watching today. "Daddy, what's priapism?" So no idea who sang TMOTTBG, which I think is a good thing. Jones rips one to right ... but it's foul. And actually not even deep enough. Never mind. David Aardsma and Boone Logan in the Sox's pen. Bobby Howry across the field in the Cubs'. Vazquez retired Jones but I missed how because someone was walking by with a big tray of Starbucks. And I was momentarily distracted. Sorry about that. DeRosa strikes out. Cesar Izturis hits in the pitcher's spot and flies out to a running Erstad.
Sox 5, Cubs 5
More Mets-Yankees highlights. Theriot moves to second base. Izturis will stay in the game and play short and Bobby Howry is the new pitcher. Konkero the batter for the Sox. And he crushes one to left that may have maimed someone in the Bud Light bleachers. As Hawk would say, "He got a cookie." Speaking of which, I could go for some of those oatmeal chocolate chip numbers someone had here the other day. Mackowiak flies out to left. The Gooch doubles down the left-field line. Crede flies out to "Dirty Red" in shallow right. Ryan Sweeney hits for Vazquez and taps one back to the pitcher.
Sox 6, Cubs 5
Former Cub Aardsma comes on to pitch and Theriot greets him with a triple to the right-field corner. Former Expo, Marlin, Met and Thornwood Thunderbird Cliff Floyd will hit for Murton. With the infield in Floyd grounds one to The Gooch. Theriot stands pat at third. Not sure if he could've scored. Girardi thinks he could've had he broken right off the bat. Soriano ties it on the first pitch with a single to left. Ramirez doubles down the right-field line and Soriano comes all the way around to score standing up. Ramirez took third on The Gooch's throw to the plate. The Sox will walk Ward. Barrett bats with runners on the corners and one out. Barrett line it back through the box and off Aardsma's arm. He tries to recover and can't come up with the ball. Bases loaded. Aardsma looked Ramirez back while he was fumbling for the ball, which is why he didn't score. The Sox actually caught a break there because that could've gone right up the middle had it not hit the pitcher. At any rate, the bases are loaded and here comes Ozzie to get the pitcher. And I missed the Preakness. Oh, darn. OK, I guess I did hear Piniella correctly. Derrek Lee will hit against lefty Boone Logan. Lee waves at the first pitch and Logan follows with three straight balls. Lee shortens his swing and rips one the other way for a pinch-hit grand slam. Boone Logan had no chance there. Lee takes a curtain call. Ozzie looks pained. Angel Pagan hits for Howry and pops out. Izturis singles to center for the sixth hit of the inning. Here's Theriot again. He strikes out and Logan screams something into his glove as he walks to the dugout. The Cubs bust this one open and we move to the ninth.
Cubs 11, Sox 6
Here's to guys who want to spend more time fishing and less time in the bathroom. Apparently Curlin won the Preakness. I had my money on Jeanne Zelasko. Carlos Marmol will pitch the ninth for the Cubs and he strikes out Erstad. Marmol has thrown about three pitches to the backstop. Uribe pops one foul that Ramirez gloves near the Cubs' dugout. Marmol throws one inside to Pierzysnki. Everyone oohs and ahha. Pierzysnki glances back at the pitcher. No big deal. Then he pops out to end the game.
Final: Cubs 11, Sox 6
Well, that's it. Thanks for reading, everyone. Sorry about that, Sox fans. Enjoy, Cubs fans. I'm out of here.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times