Now that the circus has left town, we're left sweeping up the peanut shells, or in this case welcoming the Arizona Diamondbacks to the North Side of Chicago. It's a rather anticlimactic end to a week full of craziness and the Barry Bonds traveling road show and a letdown heading into the weekend.
The Cubs have made their daily roster move, calling up Scott Moore from Iowa and immediately inserting him in the lineup at first base. Closer Ryan Dempster is back, as well. It's all here.
On the mound today we have Jason Marquis, who's allowed 12 runs in his last two starts, against reigning NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb, who isn't going so hot lately either -- zero wins in four starts. Something's gotta give.
Have your scorecards and pencils ready because here are the lineups on a beautiful day in Chicago. We're ready to go here just as soon as I scarf down this cafeteria lunch.
Wayne Messmer is back and belting out the anthem with his wife, Kathleen. Not sure where he was but it's nice to hear him again. Mark Grace tosses out the first pitch and is wondering why Mike Fontenot is wearing his number. Yes, this is my third straight Cubicle. I need the weekend, so I can rest my fingers. Speaking of uniform numbers, Scott Moore is wearing No. 4. Jeff DaVanon, wearing the Diamondbacks hideous red and gray uniform, digs in. This probably makes me look like an idiot, but do they not wear purple anymore? DaVanon pops out to Alfonso Soriano in shallow left. Orlando Hudson grounds to new guy Moore, who flips to Marquis covering the bag. The wind is blowing straight in from center again, but not as strong as yesterday. I rode home yesterday into the teeth of that wind and it was probably 30 mph and Bonds hit two bombs through it. The waves were crashing over the seawall and onto the bike path around Oak Street Beach. Eric Byrnes pops up to shallow left and Soriano coasts in and misses it. Jeff Spicoli ends up on second with a gift double. Chad Tracy grounds out to Ryan Theriot at short to end the top half of the first.
And as far as I know Byrnes' bulldog Bruin is not at the game. He still may be swimming around McCovey Cove. Or maybe he's down at the lake. Soriano tries to bunt for a hit but Webb fields it cleanly and throws out Soriano. Theriot lines one right back at Webb, who snags it for the second out. Mike Fontenot grounds out to second to end the first.
Mark Reynolds taps one back to Marquis for the first out. Stephen Drew, J.D.'s younger bro, singles to center. Chris Young lines a foul ball off the shin of third-base umpire Larry Young. He plays the tough guy role and doesn't even flinch or rub it. Drew takes off for second, Young bloops one into shallow left. Soriano takes it on the run and in one motion throws to first to double up Drew. Nice play and more than makes up for that missed ball in the first.
Ramirez grounds out to short on the first pitch. Fan favorite Jacque Jones, coming off a four-hit day, grounds to short and Drew boots it, recovers and then his throw pulls Tracy off the bag. E-6. Jones breaks for second, Angel Pagan grounds to the second baseman and nearly beats the throw to first. Nearly, but alas. Moore bats with two outs and Jones on second and he grounds out to end the inning.
Yes, many ground balls yet far. Webb throws a nasty sinker. Len says he misses the purple and teal uniforms. Bob, former manager of the purple and teal, doesn't comment on the new look. Chris Snyder grounds to Theriot. If you love ground balls, this game is sweet! Walgreens Celebrity Bat Kids are still hypnotized just no longer waving. Instead they're staring a hole in the camera. Must. Wash. Jockstrap. Marquis strikes out his counterpart Webb looking at a curve. DaVanon flies out to center.
Kendall grounds out to second. Marquis hits it in the air, but it's right at Byrnes. Soriano grounds the first pitch right at Reynolds at third and Webb is having his way with the Cubs early.
Imagine that, a ground ball to short. Theriot has some trouble with it but still throws out Hudson. Moore makes a nice pick at first. Byrnes, ever the iconoclast, pops out to third. Tracy bloops out to Fontenot at second and once these teams are done with infield practice we'll start this game.
Theriot grounds back to Webb, who's looking like the 2006 Brandon Webb so far. Fontenot draws a walk and -- correction -- he's the Cubs' second baserunner. Fontenot breaks for second, but Ramirez fouls it off his foot. Fontento fakes towards second, the Diamondbacks pitch out and nothing doing. A regular chess match here. Ramirez strikes out swinging at a sinker in the dirt, which is where most good sinkers end up so maybe that goes without saying. Fontenot goes again, the pitch to Jones is outside and he's safe at second. Jones grounds a single to right and knocks in Fontenot with the first run of the game. Up to that point the most exciting thing that's happened was this cup of tea I made between innings. Pagan grounds back to Webb but not before the Cubs get on board with a bit of small ball.
Cubs 1, D'backs 0
Reynolds grounds a single past Ramirez and then Theriot. The tea is China green, An Ji Bai Cha, to be exact. Thanks for asking. Drew flies out to Pagan in shallow right. Young rips the first pitch into the fifth row of the left-field bleachers to give the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead. Snyder pops one foul down the left-field line. Soriano gives chase and just misses it on the bullpen mound. That's dangerous over there but he's OK. Snyder then pops out to third. Webb taps one back to Marquis and his shot put to first dies before it reaches Moore, who craddles the ball on a bounce for the third out.
D'backs 2, Cubs 1
Moore grounds out to second. Kendall does the same thing. Marquis strikes out and that's that for the fifth inning.
D'backs 2, Cubs 1
To answer some pressing questions, yes, I believe Chris King gave blood that day. I did yoga before yesterday's Cubicle. And, no, I am not responsible for the redesign. DaVanon grounds out to Fontenot at second. Hudson flies out to Jones in center. Marquis drills Byrnes in the back. Simonjello on the message board asks a good question: When's the grace period for Jason Kendall up? He has not looked good. Another question is when are people going to quit saying how good he's going to be and to just give him a chance? Because I haven't seen it. Byrnes steals second. Kendall's throw wasn't even close but Byrnes had a great jump. Tracy pops out to Ramirez in foul ground.
Soriano chases a sinker for strike three. Make that a curve. Either way, he's out. Theriot takes a backdoor sinker for a called strike three and if it weren't already clear, the Cubs can't touch Webb today. And as soon as I write that, Fontenot lines a single to center. Fontenot swipes second on the first pitch to Ramirez, knocking the ball out of Hudson's glove with a hard slide. Ramirez fights off an inside pitch and lines it to right. Fontenot scores, DaVanon boots the ball and Ramirez takes second. You cannot stop Jacque Jones. He drives home Ramirez with a single to center. Both Len and Bob thinks Young had a play on Ramirez at the plate but didn't even bother making a throw home. Jones tries to steal second and Snyder finally throws someone out. End of the inning but the Cubs take the re-take the lead.
Cubs 3, D'backs 2
To answer more pressing questions, last I heard from Rahula via IM he was at home flipping between the game and "Arrested Development" reruns. And now I have "The Final Countdown" in my head, which is never a good thing. Reynolds taps it back to Marquis for the first out. Big Lee Smith will handle TMOTTBG duties today. Kendall holds on to a two-strike foul tip for the second out. Young flies out to Jones and here's Lee.
Pagan bounces one over Webb's head and beats it out for an infield single. Moore grounds to the second baseman. They get Pagan, but the throw to first goes out of play and Moore is awarded second. Lee Smith needs to switch to decaf. Good lord. Come up for air, big guy. Kendall grounds out to short, but Moore somehow takes third. Marquis grounds to second and they'll have to cut Lee off in mid-sentence to go to commercial.
Cubs 3, D'backs 2
Between old episodes of "American Idol" and classic "Soul Train" on WGN, I may not leave the house this weekend. Lookee here, Augie Ojeda bats for Snyder and flies out. Miguel Montero hits for Webb and will stay in to catch. Montero strikes out swinging at a high fastball. Marquis is beyond the seventh inning for just the third time this year, reports Len. Ryan Dempster's off the DL, but Carlos Marmol is up in the pen. DaVanon battles and draws a walk. Here comes Lou. Marmol starts to jog in from left, but Lou stops him in his tracks. Once he reaches the mound, Lou say now you can come on down. Marquis gets a nice hand as he exits. The phone is ringing, we're back from commercial, I'm mixing up the bullpens, nature is calling and Hudson fouls one off. Fontenot ranges to his left and onto the outfield grass to field the Hudson grounder. The Cubs are coming up in the bottom of the eighth.
Brandon Lyon is the new Arizona pitcher. Soriano leads off and takes a big, fat curve for strike three. It's safe to say he did not like the call. It buckled his knees, but looked a bit high and outside, but whatever. We move on. Marmol is now doing Sammy Sosa heart taps to the dugout camera. Theriot slaps a single into right-center. Fontenot singles to right, past Tracy and Theriot, who may have screened Tracy as the ball shot by. Bob Howry is up and will pitch the ninth. Dempster is down in the pen, but he's sitting down and resting his head on his hand like Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker." Fontenot is dancing around on second causing all kinds of problems. Ramirez gets ahold of one to left -- this one he can watch because it lands way up in the bleachers. The guy just drives in runs. Jones strikes out. And what's up with Matt Sinatro not giving up a high-five as Ramirez rounded first? I guess that's kind of a crap shoot for a first-base coach. Pagan shoots one down the third-base line. Reynolds makes a diving stop but doesn't even bother with a throw. Moore takes a called third strike and we move to the ninth.
Cubs 6, D'backs 2
Howry comes on and Koyie Hill will catch him. Byrnes, 1-for-2 with a double, leads off the ninth. He checks his swing and bounces it down to Moore, who steps on first himself for the first out. Len is reading the credits. Tracy pops out to Fontenot. More pressing matters, "Go, Cubs Go" was written and performed by the late Steve Goodman, who also wrote and sung "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" and "The City of New Orleans," among other gems. Everyone on their feet. Howry will try to get Reynolds to end this. He does. Strike three swinging.
Final: Cubs 6, Diamondbacks 2
Marquis matches Webb and comes out on top. Fontenot bats third, gets three hits, scores three runs, steals two bases. Jacque Jones gets two hits and knocks in two. Ramirez hits a big homer. It all adds up to another victory. Thanks for joining us, everyone. Enjoy the weekend.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times