After that interesting, busy and rough day in Chicago sports, in which the Bears defense played their knees out only to watch the offense muster diddly, the Cubs were punted into second place with a heartless performance against the Pirates and that guy Tiger Woods dropped a 63 on Dub's Dread, here we are on a dreary Monday watching makeup baseball.
Good thing for the Cubs, Ted the Stopper Lilly, 8-1 with a 3.79 ERA after Cub losses, takes the mound.
And, boy, do the Cubs need one of those slide stopping performances. They've dropped five of seven, including yesterday's debacle in Pittsburgh when Steve Trachsel and Jacque Jones teamed up and nearly allowed an inside the park grand slam. Don't see that every day. Plus, this home game is in the midst of a road trip. They'll head to Houston tonight and then to St. Louis for more of the Cardinals, whom they play fives times this week.
To refresh this is a makeup of the Aug. 19 game. The one that was canceled after Carlos Zambrano threw three perfect innings and before it rained for 15 straight days.
Rain threatens to make a mess of this one too, with a giant blob bearing down on Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy dealers. They can't have a rain out on a makeup game, can they? It's of the yellow radar variety, which is somewhere between drizzle and Hurricane La Russa levels, meaning the sewer in front of my apartment will be flooded and people everywhere suddenly will lose the ability to drive.
The Cardinals have some problems of their own. They were just swept in Arizona. They trot out Joel "it's Joe-El" Pineiro.
It's the swooning Cubs versus the wilting Cardinals shortly. Lineups and we're off.
The sun makes an appearance as Brendan Ryan digs in and takes a ball. Ryan flies out to Soriano in left. So Taguchi does the same. Albert Pujols fouls off a 1-2 pitch. Pujols lines the next pitch off the bottom of the wall in the right-center gap for a double. Rick Ankiel, who's almost as tall as Manute Bol now, hears some boos as he steps to the plate. Lilly's 1-2 pitch is in the dirt. Jason Kendall bobbles it a bit. Pujols holds up and then takes off for third and makes it safely. That's a passed ball on Kendall. Ankiel swings through a high fastball for the third out.
Soriano one-hops the first pitch right to David Eckstein at short. Eckstein bobbles the ball, but stays with it and throws out Soriano. Ryan Theriot looks at a strike, fouls one off and then swings and misses at strike three. Derrek Lee slices a double into the right-field corner sending Ankiel a-runnin'. Batting clean up today: Cliff Floyd. Aramis Ramirez bounced down to the fifth spot. Floyd's broken-bat bloop to left-center scores Lee. Ramirez batting fifth for just the second time all year, flies out to Ankiel.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 0
And, yes, Josh Wolff was totally dragged down from behind. Yadier Molina pops out to shallow center. Jones takes it. Jim Edmonds ties the game with a solo homer to left. Aaron Miles hits a sinking liner to right. Floyd charges, stops, charges, dives and the ball goes off his glove. But Mark DeRosa hustles out and throws out Miles at second. Lilly strikes out Joelle to end the inning.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 1
DeRosa flies out to Ankiel in right. Jacque Jones strikes out swinging and Jason Kendall flies out to center. Sorry for the slow update there. Internet Explorer crashed on me. Not the first time and certainly won't be the last.
And the last word on this from me: Josh Wolff is about as American as it comes. However good showing yesterday by the boys but Brazil is Brazil. Britney Spears is rather frightening but the Kid Rock-Tommy Lee fight has the makings of becoming something fantastic along the lines of Tyson-Holyfield. Eckstein breaks his bat grounding out to Ramirez. Ryan does nearly the exact same thing. Bat shards are everywhere. Taguchi lines out to Soriano.
Lilly strikes out to open up the third. Soriano flies out to Taguchi in left. "What should I stop doing?" do you even need an answer to that. Clearly it's choice No. 3. And sorry, former Sen. Craig, despite making everyone in here laugh, that post won't get through. Theriot flies out.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 1
Pujols lines out to Jones, now more boos for HGH Rick and clearly there are some Britney fans on the board. Different strokes, as they say. Ankiel pops one up behind home plate. Kendall gloves it but it doesn't count because it grazed off the screen first. Lilly freezes Ankiel with a fastball on the outside corner for strike three. Molina bounces out to Theriot. That's seven straight for Lilly, who grabs himself as he walks off the field. Is that necessary?
Meanwhile, Joel "get off the babysitter" Pineiro has sat down seven straight himself. So much for that. Lee tees off on a fastball over the heart of the plate, sending a solo homer to left field. Floyd pops out to second. Ramirez homers to left and takes his sweet time rounding the bases. DeRosa singles to left. Jones drives a double over Edmonds' head. DeRosa comes all the way around from first to score, beating Eckstein's relay. ... Kendall lines a double down the left-field line and Jones scores the fourth run of the inning. What the? Lilly lines one to right that rolls to the wall in right. Kendall scores and here comes tight-pants Tony La Russa. That's it for Pineiro. PB&J , that was a "Risky Business" reference. Sorry, pretty old. Andy Cavazos is the new pitcher and he'll face Soriano, the eighth hitter of the inning, with one out and Lilly on second. Full count to Soriano and he fouls off a slider. Soriano walks on the 10th pitch of the at-bat. All of this offense and taking of pitches and clogging up the bases is just prolonging this game. The rain is nigh. Theriot lines out to Pujols and Lilly is doubled up off second.
Cubs 6, Cardinals 1
Edmonds bounces out to Lee. Edmonds thought it was foul and didn't even run. Edmonds is embarrassed and slinks back to the dugout. Lilly strikes out Miles. I love when Len or Bob does the Beastie Boys concert promo because they always play "Girls" and it always makes me laugh. Brian Barden hits for the pitcher and flies out to Jones.
Brian Falkenborg is the new Cardinals pitcher. Lee flies out to right. Floyd draws a walk. Ramirez drives it over Edmonds head. Playing shallow as usual, Edmonds went back with his back to homeplate and nearly made one of those catches he so famous far. Not today. Floyd held up at second and then had to stop at third. Second and third and one out for DeRosa. With a base open, Falkenborg drills DeRosa in the side. DeRosa isn't too happy about it. He's checked out by the trainer but stays and and takes first. That's what you call a Tony La Russa intentional walk. Two-and-two count to Jones ... what the Falkenborg? This guy keeps stepping off the mound. Now Molina goes out to chat. Jones pokes a single past a diving Eckstein, scoring Floyd. Everyone moves up a base. Kendall skies one down the right-field line. Ankiel takes it near the bullpen mound and throws a strike to the plate. No one was going anywhere anyway. What do you take Mike Quade for? Lilly strikes out. The Cubs leave 'em loaded but get one more.
Cubs 7, Cardinals 1
Eckstein bounces one into the Cards' pen. Floyd bobbles it, but Eckstein stops at second. Sharpshooter, I said the exact same thing earlier this year when Ankiel threw out a runner a the plate and then I got an angry email from a reader, calling me typical of my generation. Ryan pops out. Lilly knocks down Taguchi with a high and tight fastball. WGN immediately shows La Russa. Not much reaction. Taguchi may have injured himself diving out of the way. Is that really the guy you want to throw at anway? Apparently, not. Taguchi homers to left. At least he didn't give Mike Fontenot a forearm shiver to the face like Edgar Renteria. Pujols flies out to Jones and then had something to say to someone in the crowd as he descended the dugout steps. Lilly fans Molina with a curve. The Cards get two back on Taguchi's homer.
Cubs 7, Cardinals 3
The Ted Lilly Fan Club checks in with an email, asking if Lilly has replaced Zambrano as the Cubs' ace. They also call Sean Marshall "Smarsh." Nice. Bob from Florida checks in as well and asks the Cubs to save some of these runs for when he's in town next week for his birthday. They may need all of them today, Bob. But happy early birthday. Kelvin Jimenez is the latest Cardinals pitcher. Soriano greets him with a single to left. Theriot fouls a pitch off his foot or shin and he's in a considerable amount of pain. He bounces back but grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. Lee bounces a single up the middle. Floyd grounds out to Miguel Cairo, who's now playing third. Sure, a Miguel Cairo sighting.
Cubs 7, Cardinals 3
Jones moves to right. Felix Pie takes over in center. Floyd takes a seat. Molina lines out to left. Edmonds bats. Edmonds strikes out. Try to contain yourself: WGN will now air "Two and a Half Men" reruns twice a day. Miles fans and here's tough-to-book act Ron Santo to sing TMOTTBG.
Stunningly La Russa leaves in a reliever for two innings. Ramirez legs out a double to right, just beating Ankiel's throw with a short, pop-up slide. DeRosa bounces out to third. The Cardinals put Jones on. Jimenez drills Kendall. More shots of LaRussa. Now the ump warns both benches? Don't get it. Why not warn everyone after Taguchi got put on his butt? It would be over. Daryle Ward hits for Lilly with the bases loaded. Len reminds everyone he hit a grand slam against the Cardinals this year. A pitch squirts through Molina's five hole and Ramirez scores. Ward walks and the bases are loaded up again. La Russa is on the phone. Jason Marquis will run for Ward. Soriano breaks his bat flying out to Taguchi. The barrel of the broekn bat came all the way around and nailed home-plate umpire Ed Rapuano in the shoulder. Cubs trainer mark O'Neal is out checking on him and after a delay, he'll stay in the game. Theriot grounds out.
Cubs 8, Cardinals 3
Fontenot takes over for DeRosa at second. Bobby Howry to pitch and Cairo grounds out on the first pitch. Eckstein flies out to Jones in right. Matt, the injury delay was for the umpire. Skip Schumaker hits and strikes out and Howry has himself a quicky -- inning.
Mike Maroth is the Cardinals 16th pitcher of the day. Lee flies out to Taguchi on the first pitch. Pie bounces out. Ramirez hits his second homer of the day, this one to the first row in left. That's four extra base hits today. Fontenot singles to center. Jones singles to left. Fontenot stops at second. Kendall is fouling off numerous pitches in different directions. In the meantime, enjoy this. Kendall bounces to Eckstein, who thows high to first. Everyone's safe. Bases loaded with Craig Monroe up. Maroth tosses one to the backstop and Fontenot scores. Ball skipped right by Molina. Monore singles up the middle. Jones and Kendall score. OK, that's enough, guys. It's Miller time. Soriano sends one to right. Ankiel stumbles a bit but then makes a sweet diving catch to end the inning.
Cubs 12, Cardinals 3
Carlos Marmol to pitch the ninth. Sorry, make that Michael Wuertz. Yes, Ankiel is in right and made that diving catch in right. Taguchi walks. Two balls to Ryan Ludwick and Larry Rothschild comes out to the break the news to Wuertz that he has a nine-run lead and they have to catch a flight to Houston. Doesn't work. Ball three. Ball four and the fans are booing. Wuertz can't find the plate and Scott Eyre is warming up in a hurry. Wuertz strikes out Ankiel looking and Ankiel takes the Golden Corey Patterson. Russell Branyan strikes out looking, as well. Both of those calls were borderline and I think Ed Rapuano's shoulder is killing him and he wants to get the heck out of there. Anything close he's calling a strike, which makes the two walks to start the inning even worse. Waukegan Gary Bennett hits and chops a few pitches foul. Bennett strikes out and this one's done.
Final: Cubs 12, Cardinals 3
Lilly does his thing. Much hits all around. Aramis Ramirez with four of them, including two homers. The Cubs are a half game out with the Brewers in Pittsburgh tonight. Thanks for reading, everyone.