So the Cubs lost a game to the struggling Brewers, who, true to last season's form, are in the midst of a late-season collapse. Yes, they had lost five games in a row, sent manager Ned Yost packing, saw the untouchable CC Sabathia lose his first start in the storied mustard yellow and blue and then watched in horror as Ben Sheets left last night's game after two innings with an elbow issue. Yes, the Cubs couldn't touch the immortal bullpen combination of Mark DiFelice, Todd Coffey, Carlos Villanueva, Mitch Stetter, Eric Gagne, Guillermo Mota, Salomon Torres.
Yes, your heroes managed just two hits (count 'em!) off a parade of seven (still counting?) relievers out of the Milwaukee bullpen. And, yes, the Brewers are led by a man, whose name, Dale Sveum, I have trouble pronouncing. The "D" in Dale is silent, right? If Sveum doesn't rank up there with the all-time great Norwegian managers, he's at least shown he can make a pitching change with the best of 'em.
OK, so when you look at the loss that way, it looks pretty bad. But really with an eight-game lead, the only thing Cubs fans have their cargo shorts in a bunch over is whether their team can clinch the division at home.
Onward, and that brings us to today, which, as long as Prince Fielder doesn't get in the way, should be filled with sunshine. Dave Bush (9-10, 4.24) and Rich Harden (10-2, 2.04) will match wits in an epic game of global domination and hey, kids, look: Kosuke Fukudome's inthe lineup. I forgot about him. A baseball game will be played shortly.
Can Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews get a little more exposure lately? They threw out the first pitch and likely will sing later, eh. Crew chief Joe West looks tremendous in his tight light blue shirt and here we go. Harden starts off Cameron with three straight balls before lobbing one over for a strike. The next pitch is a ball and there's your dreaded leadoff walk, which means Prince Fielder could get an at-bat this inning. Ray Durham bunts down the third-base line and Aramis Ramirez let's it roll ... foul. Took a while. Full count, Cameron takes off and it's ball four. Ryan Braun sends one deep to straightaway center. Edmonds drifts back, blocks the sun with his glove and makes the catch near the track. Cameron tags. Here's Fielder. Who's hungry? The wind is coming right off the lake at 12 mph, which means it's blowing in and it certainly held up Braun's drive. Fielder hits a slow roller to second. Mark DeRosa decides to make a 360 and off-balance throw to second and it hits Durham in the back. Cameron scores and everyone's safe. Harden walks J.J. Hardy to load 'em up. Harden comes back and gets Corey Hart swinging at a change-up. Harden gets two strikes on Craig Counsel and misses inside. Harden fans Counsel with the bases loaded and escapes a jam of his own making.
Brewers 1, Cubs 0
Soriano hits a broken-bat, one-hopper to Durham for the first out. Ryan Theriot flies out to Cameron in center. To the genius who posted this on the board this: "Hey Trib, this new set up sucks. I'm still in the first inning,'" I say, IT IS THE FIRST INNING. Please, get a clue or learn the rules of baseball or how to count or something. Lee takes a called third strike, which he does quite often, for the final out of the FIRST INNING.
Brewers 1, Cubs 0
Harden strikes out his former Oakland batterymate with a high fastball to start the second inning. Harden fans out his counterpart, Bush, for the second out and that's four straight strikeouts. Harden quickly gets ahead of Cameron 0-2 with a fastball followed by a change. Harden tries the outside corner but Cameron doesn't bite. Cameron fouls tips one into the glove of Geovany Soto and Harden strikes out the side in the second.
Aramis Ramirez bounces out to third on the second pitch. Edmonds drives one deep the other way to tie the game up. DeRosa strikes out swinging. Soto flies to right where Corey Hart makes one of the lamest, unnecessary diving catches this side of Eric Byrnes.
Cubs 1, Brewers 1
Durham flies out to shallow left on the first pitch. Braun grounds to short; Theriot roams to his left, smothers it and makes the throw to first to get the runner. Fielder hits with no one on for a change. Fielder rips one foul into th ground and it gets a piece of a Brewers fan in a Fielder jersey. Harden blows a 94-mph fastball by Fielder for the final out.
Fukudome flies out to left. Harden bounces back to Bush. Soriano gets ahead 3-0 before taking two strikes right down the middle. Bush misses low and away and Soriano walks. With a 1-1 count to Theriot, Soriano takes off for second and Kendall throws him out.
Cubs 1, Brewers 1
Hardy sends it deep to center where Edmonds hauls it in on the track. Hart takes a called third strike, puts his head down and slinks back to the dugout full of shame. Counsell walks. Kendrall drives one to right that sends Fukudome scrambling backwards but he makes the catch to retire the side.
Theriot bounces out to short and neither team's offense wants to come to play. Lee does not take a called third strike or hit into a double play but flies out to center. Ramirez rips a solo homer to left nearly identical to that rope he hit last night. Edmonds flies out but the Cubs take the lead, one solo homer at a time.
Cubs 2, Brewers 1
Gotta be careful what I say here as Harden faces Bush to lead off fifth. Uh ... he walks him. Camerson squibs one back to Harden, who sprints to first and steps on the bag himself for the first out. Bush takes second. Durham rips one over Fukudome's head. Fukudome tricks Bush into thinking he was going to catch it and Bush is all caught up between second and third and can't score on the double by Durham. Say what you will about the guy's hitting, but Fukudome just saved a run with a play not many right fielders would make. So Bush on third, Durham on second and Braun at the plate. Braun pops out to Lee in foul ground. They'll put Fielder on intentionally. Hardy v. Harden with the bases loaded and two outs. Full count, Hardy swings at possibly ball four, sends it deep to right but it drifts foul. Harden's thrown about 108 pitches. Hardy flies deep to right where Fukudome makes the catch. The Brewers leave the bases loaded, Harden most definitely will leave the game and Fukudome made a tremendous decoy play to save a run. Next.
DeRosa swings at the first pitch and pops out to short. Soto takes a called third that the Pitch Tracker thingy ESPN must've forgotten when they blew out of town, show it was off the plate. Bush goes full to Fukudome and walks him. Here's message board favorite Micah Hoffpauir to hit for Harden and he flies out.
Cubs 2, Brewers 1
Jeff Samardzija to pitch the sixth and he'll face Corey Hart. Hart grounds out to short. Oh, dear, there's a beachball on the field. Counsell and his annoying batting stance draws a walk. Kendall hits a double-play ball to DeRosa who boots it. Everyone's safe. Mike Lamb hits for Dave Bush with two on and one out. Lamb grounds to Theriot and the only play is at second. Two outs; runners on the corners for Mike Cameron. Cameron rips an RBI single to left to tie it up. Full count to Durham and he singles through the hole on the right side to drive home Lamb. Neal Cotts is up in pen. Larry Rothschild's on the horn. Samardzija can't find the plate and Prince Fielder looms. Braun bloops a single to right to knock in Cameron. Fukudome throws to third and that allows Braun to take second. Lou Piniella just threw his arms up in the air. They'll walk Fielder again and Samardzija nearly sails the first ball over Soto's head. The bases are loaded and here comes Piniella. He wants not Cotts but righty Randy Wells to face J.J. Hardy. With nowhere to put Hardy, Wells throws three straight balls. Walks him on four pitches to force in the fourth run of the inning. Hart, who made the first out of the inning, flies out to right for the final out of the inning, but the damage has been done thanks Samardzija, who was hurt by that botched double play (but still), and Wells. Who's this guy again?
Brewers 5, Cubs 2
Righty Todd Coffey to face Soriano. Soriano singles to left. Theriot grounds to third and the Brewers force Soriano at second. Lee hits it hard to third but right at Counsell, who starts a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play. That inning took about 30 seconds -- or about 10,000 fewer seconds than it takes this page to reload.
Brewers 5, Cubs 2
The great Randy Wells remains in the game. Counsell bounces out to second. Kendall, also, bounces out to second. Brad Nelson will hit for Coffey and he flies out. Here's the two Blackhawks to sing TMOTTBG. Let's get some runs, eh.
Speaking of eh, French Canadian Eric Gagne enters to pitch. Ramirez dribbles one down the first-base line. Fielder's all over it like a jelly doughnut and tags Ramirez. Edmonds grounds back to Gagne. DeRosa flies out to center and Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews get shown the door after possibly the quickest bottom of the seventh in Cubs history.
Brewers 5, Cubs 2
Randy Wells still. Cameron flies out to left. Durham bounces out to second. Ramirez picks a shot from Braun and throws across the diamond for the final out.
Guillermo Mota toes the slab for the Brewers. Soto fllies out to Hart near the right-field line. Fukudome strikes out. Mike Fontenot hits in the nine hole and draws a walk. With Soriano up, a slider in the dirt gets away from Kendall but Fontenot doesn't take second. I'm pretty sure he couldn't see around Prince Fielder. Soriano chases that same slider in the dirt for strike three. We move to the ninth.
Brewers 5, Cubs 2
Neal Cotts finally makes it into the game. Fielder rips his first pitch deep to left over Soriano's head. Soriano misplays it quite poorly, nearly running into the wall as the ball bounces just under the basket. Fortunately, it's Prince Fielder running and he chugs into second. That's it for Cotts. And here's Michael Wuertz. Hardy bunts towards first. Wuertz fields it but can't decide whether to flip to Lee or step on the bag himself and does neither. First and third for Hart. Hart doubles to the gap in left. Fielder scores but Hardy tries to score from first and Soriano throws him out. With Counsell up, Wuertz throws a slider in the dirt that gets away from Soto. Hart takes off for third and Soto throws him out. Or at least that's how tubby Joe West saw it. Replays show he was safe. Counsell pops out to second.
Brewers 6, Cubs 2
Salomon Torres to pitch the ninth for Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for "the good land." Theriot lines out to short. Lee flies out to right. Ramirez lines one to left and Ryan Braun does a nice Adam Dunn impersonation out there. He charges but the ball goes right through his legs and to the wall. Ramirez gets a gift double. Edmonds bounces a single up the middle to score Ramirez. DeRosa singles to right that nearly goes to the wall. Edmonds to third. Soto hits the first pitch out to tie it up a 6-6. That was crushed. Braun didn't move in left. Two-out bomb from Soto and shirtless guys and young women in halter tops are jumping for joy in the bleachers. Soto takes a curtain call. Fukudome bounces out to second and we go to extras.
Cubs 6, Brewers 6
Carlos Marmol to pitch the 10th. Reed Johnson comes in to play right on the double switch. DeRosa makes a nice back-handed play to get Kendall. Ricky Weeks hits for Torres. Marmols gets Weeks looking. Marmol gets ahead of Cameron 0-2 before missing high. Marmol drops a slider in there that Cameron can only look at for strike three.
Seth McClung faces Reed Johnson. Johnson checks his swing at a pitch in the dirt. Home plate umpire Ed Rapuano calls him out with checking down at first. Soriano looks at 3-2 fastball right down the middle -- or make that outside corner. But it appeared to be a strike. Theriot fans and Kerry Wood will pitch the 11th.
Cubs 6, Brewers 6
Wood gets Durham looking. Wood drops a breaking ball in on the outside corner to Braun for strike three. Braun doesn't like it, but as Bob Brenly says, that's been a strike all day long. Wood gets ahead of Fielder 0-2 and then fans him with a high fastball. That was some pretty impressive pitching there.
It's well past my afternoon feeding. Who's making a run? McClung strikes out Lee. Ramirez draws a walk. Edmonds takes two strikes on the outside corner. The first one wasn't even close. The second one maybe. He barks at Rapuano and gets run. He's Lou. Edmonds is still out there in Rapuano's face. Joe West waddles over to get Edmonds away. The pitch tracker shows both of those pitches weren't even close, like Eric Gregg outside. So Felix Pie will hit with a 1-2 count. Pie hacks at the first pitch and fouls it back. Pie bounces to Fielder, who throws to second to get Ramirez but no chance turning that double play. DeRosa singles to left and Pie takes third. Soto drives it deep to center but not deep enough. Cameron catches it and we move to the 12th.
Cubs 6, Brewers 6
Pie stays in to play center. It appears Soto is making nice with Rapuano; they're both sharing a laugh. Maybe they're making fun of Edmonds. Kerry Wood remains. Hardy singles up the middle. Hart tries to bunt Hardy along but isn't having much success. With two strikes, Hart swings away and drives it to center. Pie has a play at second but Hart slides in safely. Second and third for Counsell with Bob Howry up in the pen. Counsell bounces to a drawn-in DeRosa for the first out. Runners stay put. Kendall grounds to Ramirez and they get Hardy in a rundown between home and third and he's eventually tagged out sliding back to third. First and second and two outs and Joe Dillon hits for McClung. Wood gets two strikes on Dillon and throws some high heat that Dillon just checks his swing on. Dillon grounds to short and Wood climbs out of second-and-third-no-out hole.
Carlos Villanueva is the Brewers's seventh pitcher of the day. Daryle Ward hits and draws a walk. Ball four was in the same spot as those strikes to Edmonds and Ward had to double check with Rapuano to make sure he called it a ball. Jason Marquis will run for him. Reed Johnson up and will try to bunt Marquis along. Johnson bunts a 2-0 pitch foul. This time he gets it down and the job done. Marquis takes second on the sac bunt. With first base open, the Brewers put Soriano on. Theriot hits with two on and one out. Theriot flies to right; Marquis tags and takes third. With Lee up, Soriano helps himself to second. It's 2-2 to Lee. Len and Bob are worried about Soriano getting picked off second, which, I guess, is a realistic concern. Lee singles to center to drive home Marquis. Big mob scene and this one's over.
Final: Cubs 7, Brewers 6
Thanks for reading, everyone. Great game. See you tomorrow when the Jorts Army invades our fair city.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times