I don't think I can compete with . But we'll try.
When we last saw the Cubs, they were looking like something that could possibly pull this off and make it happen. That, of course, depends on your definition of "it." The two previous performances were pulled right from the traditional school of Cubs baseball, or "it" as in "blowing it." Today they try to salvage a split in this four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles. Which team will show up? Which is it?
For starters sinkerballer Jason Marquis takes the mound, while Aramis Ramirez takes a seat on the bench. Mark DeRosa takes his place at third.
For the Dodgers, All-Star catcher Russell Martin, who was held out of last night's game after tweaking his knee in Tuesday night, is back behind the plate. He'll catch Derek Lowe, who's 11-12 with a 3.78 ERA and also throws a sinker. Love the groundball.
As for the rest of the NL Central, the Cardinals play Pittsburgh this afternoon and the Brewers are idle, which means with a half game lead and a Cubs loss, we've got ourselves a tie atop this division.
Day baseball to follow as we still mull the philosophical sports debate of whether or not it's acceptable to boo home players.
I'm torn on the issue. I do think the booing at Wrigley has gotten a bit out of hand. I mean, c'mon. People are just booing for the sake of booing, like it's the thing to do. Granted when you're the pitcher, you run through a stop sign with no outs the top of the lineup up and Rafael Furcal taking the relay, well, have at it.
From Mini Ditkas to , let's get this going.
Now that Wayne Messmer has belted the Anthem, let's find our seats. But first a weather update: There is rain coming from the south-west and I've been told the Cardinals and Pirates are in a delay in St. Louis. It's 81 degrees and humid at gametime with the wind blowing from the south at 16 mph, which means it's blowing out to left. I will say the flags at Wrgley don't look to be doing much and the sun is shining but they've turned on the lights just in case. Rafael Furcal leads it off for the Dodgers and fouls one off his shin. He's down like a portuguese soccer player and the trainer is out checking on him. Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, Furcal actually is hurt. He's limping around, trying to walk it off. OK, he's back in the box and flies out to center on the next pitch. Derrek Lee makes a nice back-handed pick of a Juan Pierre grounder and Marquis hustles over to the bag as the Cubs just get Pierre at first. Matt Kemp grounds to Ryan Theriot for the third out and the Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the first.
No, We want Rahula, but most normal people stand during the National Anthem. Alfonso Soriano leads off with a homer to left. Theriot grounds out to third. Derrek Lee singles to center. I think Rahula agrees with me. Next. Daryle Ward draws a walk and then gets picked off first by Martin. DeRosa walks and that brings pitching coach Rick Honeycutt out to the mound. Jacque Jones chases a pitch low and away for strike three and the Cubs strand two.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 0
Luis Gonzalez taps one to Mike Fontenot for the first out and Marquis is perfect through 1 1/3. Martin flies out to Jones. Marquis fans James Loney to end another quick top half.
Jason Kendall flies out to left. Fontenot bounces out to second and that brings up the pitcher Marquis, who grounds to second.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 0
The wind appears to have picked up; however, the sun still is out. And for being the so-called most interesting man on earth, that guy in the Dos Equis commercial keeps repeating the same line. We get it; you don't like tight pants. Andy LaRoche grounds out to third. So Andy LaRoche is Adam LaRoche's brother but Tony Abreu is not related to Bobby Abreu, right? Abreu and Lowe both fly out to center.
OK, Bobby is Dominican and Tony is from Venezuela. Anyway, hey how about Jason Marq... OK, I won't say it. Soriano waves at a pitch low and away and takes a seat. Theriot strikes out looking at a fastball on the outside corner. Full count to Lee and he walks. Ward chops one towards first. It goes off Loney and right to Abreu, who throws to Lowe covering the bag.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 0
Yes, I would think in the future we'll have a guest Cubs Cubicle. Stay tuned. Unfortunately you'll have to sit in Rahula's cubicle and will have to provide your own Hazmat suit. He's got old socks airing out over there. Furcal bounces back to Marquis for the first out. Pierre grounds to Fontenot, who throws wide of first. Lee, however, with his giant wingspan is able to slap the tag on Pierre and record the out. Kemp pops out to second.
DeRosa grounds out to second. Ooh, they've switched over to Vin Scully for a bit. Jones grounds out to Furcal and Lowe has joined Marquis in the cruising department. Cruise over. Kendall walks. Fontenot lines a single to right; Kendall takes third. Marquis bounces out to second. Someone get his hat and glove for him.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 0
By the way, Rudy and Vance Law, not related. Well, let's hope not considering they were born six days apart, one in Idaho and the other in Texas. Depends on Vern Law, I guess. Gonzalez flies out deep to Jones at the edge of the track. Martin swings at a slider for strike three. Marquis falls behind 2-0 to Loney, who belts the next pitch to the first row of the right-field bleachers to break up the perfect game and tie it at 1-1. LaRoche sends one deep down the left-field line ... but it goes foul. Marquis fans him on the next pitch.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 1
They've been called Leather Necks, they've been called Devil Dogs... Soriano flies out to center on the first pitch. Theriot hits one to the right-center gap. Pierre hustles over and cuts it off but has no arm and Theriot is not stopping at first. Lee, on his 32nd birthday, hits with one out and a runner on second. Meanwhile, the wind really has picked up. People way up in the center field bleachers, fearing for their lives, are clinging to that chain link fence. We may lose a few. Lee strikes out swinging. Ward rolls out to second and so much for that double.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 1
Abreu leads off the sixth with a single to center. Lowe bunts it back to Marquis. He looks at second but opts to go to first. Bob says he had a play a second. Looked like it from here. Furcal grounds out to second and Abreu takes third. Pierre makes no effort to get out of the way and takes a slider off his elbow. That made a wince-inducing sound. Marquis nearly beans Kemp, too. Kemp then grounds out to short.
Carlos Marmol is up in the pen as DeRosa bats. DeRosa grounds out to short. Jones strikes out on a pitch out of the zone. Kendall grounds to Furcal. All these ground ball have a hypnotic effect.
Cubs 1, Dodgers 1
Marquis freezes Gonzalez with a backdoor slider. One out. Martin hits a broken-bat single to left in front of Soriano. I'm not sure he could've gotten to that. Wait, yes, I think he could've gotten there. But he's supposed to be taking it easy and he is. Loney fouls off a 2-2 pitch and then lines a double to the gap in right-center. Jones cuts it off, but Martin scores easily ahead of the relay. Jones made a good play to cut it off and a jump throw on a bounce to Fontenot. But the throw turned Fontenot around. Not sure if they would've had a chance at Martin. LaRoche pops out to third. They'll put Abreu on to get to Lowe. Lowe flies out to Jones and here's Bill Kurtis to sing TMOTTBG. I'm sure he can sing.
Dodgers 2, Cubs 1
Kurtis went with a bit of a Christopher Walken version. Then Len thanked him for being here and he replied, "Thank. You for having. Me." I'm not even sure he's really talking. His voice isn't synched with his lips. Fontenot singles. Cliff Floyd bats for Marquis and gets way ahead in the count, 3-0. Ball four and the Cubs have something going here in the bottom of the seventh. That's it for Lowe. Kurtis says, "He's lasted a long time. Probably longer than he deserved." Enormous right-hander/defensive tackle Jonanthan Broxton is the new pitcher. The guy named Sam Fuld runs for Floyd. Soriano takes a mighty hack and misses the first pitch. Huh, I really thought he'd be taking there. He lays off the next three pitches and then just tees off on a 3-1 fastball for a three-run homer. As if it were scripted. Soriano takes a curtain call. That was a rocket to the first few rows in left that got out in two second. Replay shows that not only did Soriano unload on that pitch, but as soon as he hit it, he spit. Impressive. Theriot grounds out to second. Lee bloops a single interrupting Kurtis' "American Justice" plug. Grady Little yanks Broxton and Len tries to show Kurtis the door but he ... won't ... stop ... talking. Lefty Joe Beimel pitches. Aramis Ramirez hits -- for Ward. Ramirez turns on one and nearly hits it to the fire station, which is way in foul territory. On an 0-2 pitch, Beimel beans Ramirez on his right elbow. Ronny Cedeno runs for Ramirez. DeRosa bounces into a 5-4-3 double play. The Cubs retake the lead and we go to the eighth.
Cubs 4, Dodgers 2
My guy Fuld stays in to play right. Bobby Howry takes the mound and will have to deal with the top of the Dodgers order. Howry jams Furcal and Furcal pops out to Lee. Pierre pops up to right and Fuld doesn't look so comfortable out there. He makes the catch but had to make some last-second adjustments. Kemp homers to left field. Gonzalez pops out to Theriot in shallow left.
Cubs 4, Dodgers 3
Jones pops out to third. Kendall grounds out to short. Fontenot take a called third strike, denying Fuld a chance to bat.
Cubs 4, Dodgers 3
Ryan Dempster will try to save it. Felix Pie takes over in center. Jones moves over to play right. Fuld is the odd man out. Harsh. Martin pokes one past Lee. Jones hustles over to get it. Martin takes a big turn around first and then retreats. Loney reaches on an infield single off the glove of Lee. Lee had to stretch to back hand it, knocked it down and couldn't recover in time to get the runner. It's ruled an error. Wilson Valdez runs for Loney. Andre Ethier pinch hits and pinch hits a three-run, wind-blown homer to the left-field bleachers. Talk about harsh. Anyway, that ball off Lee's glove has been changed to a hit. Abreu grounds to second for just the first out. Mark Sweeney hits for Beimel and singles down the right-field line. The boos have arrived. Michael Wuertz gets up in the pen. Great shot of some crestfallen Cubs fan slumped in his seat with a sign that reads "Real Cubs fans don't boo." A lot of Cubs fans will be booing Dempster shortly. Furcal forces Sweeney at second but beats the throw to first. Pierre shows bunt, pulls the bat back and Furcal swipes second. Fontenot makes a diving stop on the outfield grass but Pierre beats the throw. Fontenot's play saved a run. That's it for Dempster. Some boos but not the amount I would expect. Wuertz enters and his first pitch goes through Kendall's legs and to the backstop, allowing Furcal to score. Pierre takes second. Kemp strikes out swinging but the Dodgers put four on the board in the ninth.
Dodgers 7, Cubs 4
Ethier stays in to play left. Sweeney at first. Ramon Martinez will play third. Closer Takashi Saito to pitch. Pie strikes out swinging. Soriano gets a hand as he steps to the plate and then strikes out. Theriot pops out to second and the Cubs blow one. Big time.
Final: Dodgers 7, Cubs 4
The Cubs fall into a tie for first with the Brewers after a 5-5 homestand. Soriano hits two homers, but Dempster blows it. That's all I got. Good afternoon, Kelly Fallon-Wilson, wherever you are.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times