From the Cubicle

Couple of things: Could Barry Bonds be more lame? He's out of the lineup AGAIN today. What's with this guy? Ankles still swollen? Menopausal? Maybe he doesn't like the humidity.

This is the biggest sham since an injured A.C. Green played 10 seconds with a broken jaw so he could break Red Kerr's NBA consecutive games streak. (Look that one up.) Bonds has some formula in his over-sized head to ensure that he will tie and break Hank Aaron's record at home, so someone will actually cheer the accomplishment.

And second -- and in my mind, more importantly -- stop , you idiots. Were you people raised by wolves?

It's Carlos Zambrano versus the 3-10 Matt Cain, who, after watching Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito toss nice games, might help explain the Giants' 39-52 record. Well, that and Zito's overall record and ERA.

At any rate ... Jason Kendall, nice debut. Geez, Michael Barrett can drop throws from the outfield and botch pop-ups. Actually, for all of Barrett's defensive deficencies, I don't recall him dropping too many pop-ups. And Rob Bowen can go 0-for-3. Apparently the Kendall experiment is over. Koyie Hill is behind the plate today to catch Zambrano. It's all here in the lineups.

I'm in that initial stage of a cold, which explains my mood. I apologize. Baseball is always a good tonic for whatever ails ya', so here we go.

Oh, and also no Derrek Lee, who has decided to drop his appeal and serve his suspension for throwing a few haymakers at Chris Young. Taking over for D-Lee at first is the immortal D-Ward. And Aramis Ramirez is taking the day off.

First inning

Renowned Irish folksinger and merrymaker Larry Kernagis does the honors with the Anthem. As for my picture, one of these days I'll get around to putting a new one up there. I am not wearing a white shirt today (rather blue) and, yes, I have a new machine and flat-screen monitor. I think tech support shipped that one in the picture to the Smithsonian. Or took it out in a field somewhere ala "Office Space." Zambrano starts Dave Roberts off with a couple of balls. Wind blowing out towards right, by the way. Roberts lines one back at Zambrano, who knocks it down with his bare hand, picks it up and throws out the runner. Of course, trainer Mark O'Neal hustles out there. Zambrano throws a few pitches to see if his hand still works. It does. Here's Fred Lewis. Not the best baseball name. Fred strikes out. Randy Winn doubles down the right-field line. D-Ward does not like the call. Here comes Lou waddling out there. They're having a discussion with first-base umpire Lance Barksdale (now that's a name) and appear to be checking the ball mark like it's the French Open. Anway, the double stands. Ryan Klesko walks. Ray Durham bounces back to Zambrano, who fields this one with his glove, and the top half is history, folks.

Soriano grounds out to third. Theriot flies out to Fred in left. OK, I pretty much was kidding about Kendall in my intro. And the guy who posted saying the Cubs got stuck with his salary, uh, the Cubs aren't paying his salary; the Pirates and A's are. Ward strikes out and Cain plows through the top of the Cubs' lineup.

Scoreless draw

Second inning

Pedro Feliz pops out to Mike Fontenot at second. Kevin Frandsen flies out to center. Guillermo Rodriguez walks. Zambrano strikes out his counterpart, Cain to end a quiet inning.

Cliff Floyd bounces one towards first. Klesko takes and just beats Floyd to the bag. Mark DeRosa draws a walk. Fontenot strikes out on a 3-2 pitch and Rodriguez throws out DeRosa at second for the ol' strike 'em out, throw 'em out. And once again, somewhere Steve Stone predicted that.

No score

Third inning

Roberts bounces back to Zambrano again. Goes with the glove for the first out. Fred singles to center on the first pitch. Winn grounds into a potential double play but Fontenot's throw short-hops Ward and goes into the seats. Winn takes second on the error. Kerry Wood's wife, Sarah, is in the booth talking about this urinal, which looks like it hasn't even been cleaned. Is that a dribble stain? Zambrano fans Klesko.

On the first pitch, Jacque Jones flies out to Fred, who's getting a lot of action today. Koyie Hill takes a walk down to first. And here's Zambrano, who should be batting seventh today. Showing bunt all the way, he works the count to 3-1 and then takes a mighty hack and misses. And swings and misses again and hits himself in the head with the bat as he walks back to the dugout. Soriano bloops an inside pitch right back at Cain, who gloves it for the third out.

Nothing doing

Fourth inning

In an attempt to make the Walgreen's Celebrity Bat Kids look less wooden, they now casually toss a baseball in the air as they're introduced. But instead it looks just as awkward as the zombie waving. Durham grounds out to second. Feliz lines one to left. Floyd takes about three steps to his right, which about exhausts his range, and makes the catch. Frandsen grounds out to short.

So I was walking around downtown on Friday and by the looks of the people gaping away at the buildings I could've sworn the Cardinals were in town. Then I realized there was a NASCAR race out in Joliet over the weekend. Theriot flies out. Ward grounds out to Klesko. Floyd lines the Cubs' first hit into center. DeRosa pokes a single through the hole in the left side. The count goes full to Fontenot and ... he fouls it out. Ball four on a close call loads the bases. Cain doesn't like the call at all. It appeared to be a bit outside. Jones takes the first two pitches, both of them strikes. He doesn't like either call. Jones hits one in a good spot--right at Klesko, who boots it and then has no idea it bounces into shallow right. Two runs score. Fontenot takes third. Jones stays at first. Hill lines one down the right-field line. Fontenot scores. Jones beats Durham's relay and Hill winds up on third. Sure, two-run triple by the backup catcher. Gotta say I didn't see that one coming. Zambrano pops up and out to end it.

Cubs 4, Giants 0

Fifth inning

Rodriguez grounds out to Fontenot. Cain bounces out to first. And Roberts grounds to first. Sprinkle the infield. Zambrano goes 1-2-3.

Soriano fouls one back behind the Giants' dugout and heaves his bat in the crowd behind the Cubs' dugout. Kind of a dilemma for the Comcast producer on which to follow. They went with the ball. Soriano draws a walk. And then takes second on a Rodriguez passed ball. Pitching coach Dave Righetti comes out to talk to Cain. I have no idea what was said. Theriot draws a walk on a ball in the dirt that gets away from Rodriguez. Soriano takes third. Not the best inning for the Giants catcher here. Bruce Bochy makes a pitching change. Patrick Misch, perhaps the second best Glenbrook North athlete behind Jon Scheyer and ahead of Chris Collins, comes on to mop up this mess. Cain throws his glove in the dugout. We go to commercial. Hey-o, pitch right down the middle goes off Rodriguez's glove and to the backstop, allowing Soriano to score. Soriano takes a walk and then takes second, third and home on some sweet plays by the catcher, who now appears to be pretending he's injured. Everyone has converged on the mound. The trainer is out there. Rodriguez is wiping his brow furiously. They're checking his eyes. He hands the ball back to Misch and heads back behind the plate. Bengie Molina is suiting up and that's it for Rodriguez. Perhaps he got over-heated on this hot and humid day. Get that man some Gatorade and draw him an ice bath. Molina warms up. And we're back. Ward taps one back to Misch and he juggles it and kicks it but still gets the runner. Theriot doesn't take third on the play and probably should've. Floyd hits one right at Feliz at third who boots it so bad it goes all the way to the side wall and wedges under the tarp. Theriot scores. Time to cue "Yakety Sax" or some calliope music or something. In fairness to Feliz, that ball was hit pretty hard and was ruled a hit. Floyd ends up on second. DeRosa strikes out swinging. As Fontenot bats, Misch and Molina get crossed up a few times. Not a good inning for the Giants. The count goes full and I may have to start a new paragraph. Ball four. As Len points out, Jones gets a rare at-bat against a lefty. Meanwhile, Zambrano is so bored in the dugout he's resorted to picking his nose. Seriously. Jones ducks out of the way of a pitch over his head. And again we go to a full count. Good at-bat by Jones and he draws a walk to load the bases. Zambrano is now out in the parking lot washing his car. Hill hits the first pitch deep to center over Roberts' head and to the base of the wall, clearing the bases with a double. Again, bases-clearing double by the backup catcher ... didn't see that coming. Five RBIs for HIll today. So much for Kendall. Zambrano grounds to first and I think that was on purpose. The guy hasn't thrown a pitch in a half hour.

Cubs 9, Giants 0

What inning is it? What day is it? Sixth inning

So Zambrano sat too long. Lou lets him bat and then makes a pitching change. Enter righty Sean Gallagher. Angel Pagan replaces Floyd in right. Fred flies out to Jones in center. Fred's got his own web site now. Winn lines out to Theriot. Klesko flies out to Soriano and Gallagher comes in and has a snappy inning.

Reader Jamie Slotten writes in to tell me his wife, who went to Glenbrook North, would be very upset that I overlooked former Cub Scott Sanderson and even sent a photo. I apologize to all the Spartans out there. Soriano flies out. Theriot hits one deep to left and Fred makes a spectacular leaping catch going going back to the wall. I was right about this guy all along. Fred power. Ward singles to center. Pagan flies out to right. Fred's still awesome.

Cubs 9, Giants 0

Seventh inning

Durham pops out. Feliz walks. Frandsen singles. Molina throws loses his bat, someone retrieves it for him and he flies out to Jones. Mark Sweeney hits for Misch. No way: Scott Sanderson will sing TMOTTBG. Weird. He's dressed in a lime green polo and some plaid Bermuda shorts, so, yeah, he's from Northbrook alright. Grounder to Ward at first and here's Glenbrook North's greatest living athlete.

Steve Kline, former Cardinal, eternal jerk, is the Giants' new pitcher. DeRosa flies out to right on the first pitch. Wait, isn't Kline a jerk or am I confusing him with some other jerk? Fontenot singles to center. And there's nothing wrong with Northbrook or Northbrook Court. Is that still there? Jones takes a walk. And he's been on base three times today. Future Hall of Famer Koyie Hill digs in and gets a nice hand. Couple more ducks on the pond for him here. He strikes out and walks back to the dugout. Cooperstown will have to wait. Gallagher hits from himself and grounds out to second. And there goes Glenbrook North's greatest living athlete. Godspeed, Scott Sanderson.

Cubs 9, Giants 0

Eighth inning

Fred leads things off in the eighth. Fred flies out to left. Fred's bummin'. Meanwhile, Giants catcher Guillermo Rodriguez was dehydrated. So, my initial diagnosis was correct. Always make sure you're properly hydrated. Very important. Let's all make a note of that. Winn is hit by a pitch and Klesko bounces into a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.

OK, and the steroid denial guy on the message board, "a question," that's just a lame argument. No, steroids cannot make you hit a baseball. But steroids can make really good baseball players hit a baseball further, making balls that normally go to the warning track go out and increase bat speed. No one was convicted, no one tested positve but that's because the clear and cream were undetectable. HGH also is known to improve eye sight. We're not talking about pulling people out of the crowd, juicing them up on Victor Conte's conncoctions and then watch them hit 73 homers. Got some swamp land for you, if you're interested. Soriano strikes out. Theriot walks. Ward walks, as well. Pagan drives one deep to the right-center gap, scoring Theriot. Another run. Yawn. And, yes, "hit the ball FARTHER." Sorry. DeRosa singles; Ward scores. Fontenot sends one deep to left-center. Roberts drifts over into left. Roberts and Fred converge and nearly collide. And who comes up with it? Fred. The 12th run crosses the plate. And for no good reason other than boredom a tepid "Barry sucks" chant breaks out and then peters out. Jones pops out to right to end it. Three more for the Cubs, Len says rather unenthusiastically. I think he's had enough.

Cubs 12, Giants 0

Ninth inning

Durham singles to center for his first hit of the series. Len is reading the credits already. Yeah, he's definitely ready to hit the road. Feliz singles to left. Is that necessary? Well, at this rate maybe Fred will get another at-bat. Frandsen singles to center, scoring Durham and ruining the shutout. Larry Rothschild makes his first appearance of the day to talk to Gallagher, most likely to say "C'mon now!" Billy Petrick up in the pen just in case. In case of what? I'm not sure. Molina hits into a 6-4-3 double play. Rich Aurilia will hit in the pitcher's spot (whoever that was) and I just realized I probably missed a few Giants pitching changes. Aurilia pops up to shallow center. Fontenot and Jones nearly collide but Fontenot makes the catch to put an end to this one.

Final: Cubs 12, Giants 1

That's that. A pretty entertaining game as blow outs go. We'll be back tomorrow for more fun. Maybe Bonds will play tomorrow and hit five homers. Until then, enjoy the humidity. And remember: stay hydrated.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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