Are you ready for some football?
This August, it's summer, it's hot, it's baseball and
miraculously are in some sort of race.
This is important, people.
rematch with the
, is not, even considering the epic battle waging between Mike Haas and
for the sixth receiver spot.
So what was the point in even starting that game last night? Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the
could predict they'd play for about an hour and then go into a nine-hour delay, which is what happened. It looks like we're in store for more rain today.
start is washed out. The only saving grace was a few thousand Cardinals fans got wet. And we were spared Jon Miller gushing about "the great
" on first, second and ninth references to the bloated slugger.
This is the one game this series in which the Cardinals do not send a pitcher to the mound with or approaching double digit losses. Today lefty
, unbeaten in his last three starts, goes against Joel Pineiro, former member of The Nation (man, I hate that), who is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts for the Cards.
Yes, it's my day off today. And, yes, I'm in the office. And, no, I'm not that upset. I would be watching this game anyway. I'm here for you people who actually are supposed to be at work. Stinks, doesn't it?
Overtime? Ha, that's a good one. We're told Zambrano will come back a day early and pitch Thursday in San Fran. Brendan Ryan leads things off and takes a strike down the middle from Lilly. Ryan pulls a curve past a diving
for a leadoff single. Rick Ankiel slices a double to the left-center gap. Ryan slips rounding second. They nearly get Ankiel at second. But, no. Second and third with no outs. The Great Albert Pujols pops up the first pitch to
fouls back a pitch to even the count 2-2. The wind, I'm told, is taking the day off. Encarnacion pops up in foul ground and
, hitless in the series, takes two balls. Lilly comes back to even the count. Rolen fouls one back to the right side, then the left and we're still at 2-2.
Rolen rips a double into the left-field corner to score both runners.
That ball hit the line right where the line and the wall are almost the same.
flies out to
Cardinals 2, Cubs 0
leads off with a drive off the left-field wall. Ankiel jumps into the ivy and nearly makes the catch. I think it bounced off the wall and hit him in the head. Theriot tries for third and is gunned down by Ankiel. Out by a lot. That's the first strike Ankiel has thrown in about six years.
bounces out to second.
takes a called strike three on the outside corner. Saturday he drove a few of those the other way, but now he reverts back to taking those.
Cardinals 2, Cubs 0
will be activated tomorrow and
, who's back with the team, could be ready soon, too. Yadier Molina leads off the second. Lilly walks him. Pineiro bunts him to second. Sneaky
tries to bunt his way on but pops it up and Lilly snares it. Comcast has reduced the role of the Walgreen's Celebrity Bat Kids to nothing. They just showed two different sets and I'm convinced they're just airing stock footage from last year. The count goes full to Ryan before Lilly freezes him with one of those signature curves.
Ramirez flies out to center on the first pitch.
What's gotten in to Daryle Ward?
Mark DeRosa follows with a solo shot to left.
Len's getting excited. Total meatball from Pineiro. That was on a tee. Matt Murton hits it not so deep and Encarnacion catches it in shallow right. Kendall singles to left. Lilly takes a called third strike, but the Cubs tie it up at 2-2.
Cubs 2, Cardinals 2
Someone on the board asked about the Zambrano signing. I like it. And disagree with
, who say it's a dumb deal. Well, yes, history says longterm deals to pitchers will become an albatross, but seriously what are the Cubs supposed to do? Let their best pitcher walk and watch him sign a similar deal somewhere else? It would be a PR nightmare. Even chairman Reinsdorf, typically against such deals, did the right thing and signed
. Ankiel flies out. Pujols walks. Of course the Cubs and Trib Co would've saved $10 million had they signed Zambrano in
. Encarnacion doubles to left. Pujols stops is held at third. Big confab at the mound now with runners at second and third and one out with Rolen up. They're going to pitch to him with a base open. Rolen chops one towards third. It eats up Ramirez. He came in and then tried to back up at the last second and it bounced right by him.
Pujols scores but Theriot hustles out to get the ball and keeps the second runner from scoring.
Rolen ends up on second. Pretty ugly play by Ramirez. He slipped and fell over to make it look even worse. Lee makes a nice play on an Edmonds grounder and throws him out from his butt.
Rolen takes third. They'll walk Molina to get to the pitcher in the eighth spot. Pineiro flies out to Murton. The Cardinals score a couple more.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 2
Theriot swings at the first pitch again and singles to right. Jones falls behind 0-2 before striking out swinging. He's not happy about it. Theriot takes off for second, but Lee fouls it off. Pineiro nearly picks off Theriot but he dives back just beating the tag by Pujols. Theriot runs on the pitch and Lee shoots a single through the hole on the right side. Theriot goes to third. Text book.
Ramirez lines a single to left about three feet off the ground and over Eckstein's head, scoring Theriot.
Ward grounds into a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
And start the debate about Theriot remaining in the leadoff spot when
returns. Oh, wait, someone already started it. Eckstein flies out to Ward in right. Now there are at least two people behind home plate talking on cellphones and waving. Gramps in yellow in the first row, time to hang it up. Maybe it's time to get rid of the screen back there. Ryan lines out to Ward. Ankiel rips it down the first-base line. Lee makes another sweet play and throw from his backside. LiIlly covers and that does it.
DeRosa lines out to Ankiel in left. Murton flies out. Kendall flies out to left and the Cubs go down 1-2-3 for the first time.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
Pujols puts one on Waveland.
His third homer of the series and his third solo shot. Lilly grooved him an 0-2 fastball and so much for that. Encarnacion grounds out. Rolen singles to right.
is up in the Cubs' pen. Edmonds grounds to DeRosa, who tries to tag Rolen in between first and second but boots the ball in the process. Everyone's safe on the error. Molina grounds into a double play and the Cubs avoid any further damage.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 3
Lilly leads off the Cubs' half of the fifth and grounds to short. Theriot squibs one to his counterpart at short and Eckstein just gets him at first. Jones grounds out to first and Pujols steps on the back himself. That's seven straight Cubs set down by Pineiro.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 3
Ryan Ludwick bats for the pitcher as the rain starts to fall. Lilly strikes out Ludwick. Eckstein lines out to Ward. Ryan and Lilly battle in an 11-pitch at-bat. Lilly strikes him out on a pitch out of the zone. We may see
in the seventh.
He hit that so hard it made the rain stop. Ramirez grounds to short. Eckstein throws a lollipop across the infield, but Pujols leaps and tags Ramirez just before he got to first. First base coach Matt Sinatro argues but it was the right call. He was out. That's it for Percival. Randy Flores will be the new pitcher when we return from commercial. First pitch swinging and Ward nearly knocks it out. It hits off the top of the wall in right, just below the basket. Ward chugs into second. Here comes La Russa and there goes Flores.
will be the third Cardinals' pitcher of the inning ... after these car commercials. Check that, it's the Keith Hernandez - Clyde Frazier Just For Men one. DeRosa grounds out to second on the first pitch. Ward goes to third. Ball one to Murton with the tying run on third. Murton walks. Kendall strands 'em both with a flyball to right.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 4
That's it for Carmen. See ya, buddy.
brings in Wood to face Pujols. It's now raining again. Hard. Pujols sends it deep to right where Ward gloves it on the track. Encarnacion flies out to Murton. We may have a delay soon, though, there's nothing behind this on the radar. Rolen falls behind 0-2 and fouls one back. Rolen pops out to right. Here's
to sing TMOTTBG.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 4
We're in a rain delay. The grounds crew is rolling out the tarp. I'll keep you posted.
It's now approaching 4 p.m. in Chicago. We're still in a delay. Comcast is showing lame rain delay programming. No TWIB, just guys talking in the studio. Wait, Len's on now and so is the tarp. Comcast is now showing something on the Cubs' no-hitter drought. Milt Pappas, Bruce Froemming, the whole bit. I'll keep you posted.
Now we've got a sports blooper show that looks like it was produced in 1985. And ... here's that guy getting his pants ripped off by a bull who then parades around the ring with the tighty-whities hanging from his horns.
According to "my buddy is at the game," always a reliable source, the tarp is off the field. Rahula is at the game and I'm getting nothing from him. On Comcast we've reached the point in the blooper show where sideline reporters are taken out by linebackers and careening go carts.
OK, according to Rahula, the tarp is indeed off. The grounds crew is sprinkling Diamond Dry, the scoreboard says the game is scheduled to resume at 4:55 and there's a Cards fans wearing a shirt that says "maybe last year."
But you won't get any of that on Comcast. This blooper show is so lame they can't even get the rights to professional sports clips. It's all minor league baseball and hockey, college and Canadian football.
And I never doubted you, "my buddy at the game." I just had to check it out myself.
I'm now eating my afternoon snack. Anyone seen's "Superbad" yet? I have plans to go tonight.
And ... action. Franklin is the Cardinals pitcher still.
leads off the bottom of the seventh and strikes out on a pitch in the dirt. Theriot gets ahead 3-0, Franklin comes back with two strikes before Theriot grounds out to short. Jones strikes out swinging at a high fastball.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 4
Michael Wuertz to face Edmonds, Molina and whoever else the Cardinals want to bring up there. Edmonds grounds out to Lee. Molina strikes out swinging at a slider. Big dope Chris Duncan pinch hits and strikes out.
comes on to pitch the eighth and walks Lee. Ramirez takes a mighty hack and flies out to shallow right. Hot-hitting Daryle Ward bloops one to left for a hit. Lee has to stop at second.
runs, denying Ward a chance for the cylce. DeRosa grounds into an inning-ending double play. So much for that.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 4
Pie remains in the game to play center; Jones moves over to right. Wuertz still is on the mound. Eckstein at the plate. We're in the ninth, I believe. Len is reading the credits already. Eckstein draws a walk. Ryan bunts Eckstein over. Ankiel, who's had himself a game with a double, a homer and an outfield assist, hits and strikes out. They'll walk Pujols, who is having himself a laugh with Kendall and homeplate umpire Mark Carlson. Wuertz gets two strikes on Encarnacion. Encarnacion flies out to left. We go to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs down two.
Isringhausen is still in there. Murton flies to Ankiel in left. Jason Kendall hits with
on deck. Kendall lines out to Rolen and here's the free-swinging Fox. Fox swings at the first pitch and sends it deep but Ankiel grabs it just short of the track.
Final: Cardinals 6, Cubs 4