Like you, we're stuck at work, forced to follow the game as discreetly as possible. We're hiding in our cubicle with the office chair cranked as low as it can go. It's important to keep up the illusion of actual work going on. That's why it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up the phone once in a while and pretend like you're talking. If you're without TV, hopefully we can be of service to you with this running commentary. So quit whining about Phil Rogers' All-City team and let the games begin.
Top of the first: Big kudos to Tom Skilling for making the rain stop. ... Sammy Sosa makes his usual sprint to right field, where, if this were Rogers' All-City team, Magglio Ordonez would be starting. ... Kenny Lofton steps in the box and we have baseball. A few boos. Matt Clement delivers low for ball one. Lofton one-hops it to Alex Gonzalez at short and there's one out. ... Clement gets one strike on Tony Graffanino and then finishes him with two nasty sliders. Two outs. ... Phil Rogers' starting right fielder, Magglio Ordonez, sends Corey Patterson to the wall, but the speedy center-fielder makes an easy catch. Three outs. No hits, no runs, no errors.
Cut to commercials: There's only one, Bob Roooooooohrman.
Bottom of the first: Former Cubs prospect Jon Garland delivers to Corey Patterson, who sends the game's first hit bouncing into center field. ... With Bobby Hill gone, Delino DeShields get a rare at-bat--and strikes out on three pitches. Garland has a nasty slider of his own, as DeShields can attest. ... Sosa takes his usual maniacal cut and bounces it foul and then swings and misses for strike two. Sosa hits a shot over Ordonez's head in right. Patterson has to hold up at second. Sosa pulls into second with a double; Patterson to third. Ordonez had trouble picking up the ball and got a bad jump. ... Fred McGriff up. McGriff sends a b.b. to Lofton in center, but it's deep enough for Patterson to stroll home. Look at that: The Cubs get a 2-out run. 1-0, Cubs ... Moises Alou up. Can't he find a bigger batting helmet? Alou chops one to Graffanino at third, who throws to first to retire the side.
We can sense that Britney Spears Pepsi commercial coming. No dice; it's only Car-X. So onto the...
Top of the second: Paul Konerko leads off the inning and drives a single through a hole in the left side of the infield. ... Bill Mueller makes a great play, diving to his left to snare a Jose Valentin grounder and throws Konerko out at second. Valentin doesn't draw a throw from DeShields at first. ... Ray Durham up. Valentin tries to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt, and, the stars must be aligned, Todd Hundley throws him out at second. Durham grounds weakly to second to end the inning.
Bottom of the second: Pudge Rodriguez, er, Hundley leads off the inning. The stars are clearly aligned; Hundley pokes a single to right. ... Gonzalez with the old swinging bunt to third. Graffanino throws him out at first and Hundley goes to second. ... Bill Mueller hits it to the right-center field gap, Lofton bobbles the ball and Lou Brock, sorry, Hundley scores from second. 2-0, Cubs Mueller ends up on second. ... Garland strikes out Clement in about four seconds. ... Patterson digs in and here comes the rain. Someone get Skilling on the horn. Patterson grounds out to second to end it.
Fox is really pushing this Tom Arnold sports show and the Sammy Sosa Beyond the Glory. The commercials are fine, but the little things that keep popping up on the screen with a "woosh" need to go.
Top of the third: Carlos Lee squibs one up the middle and it spins right out of DeShield's glove. Must be the rain. Chip Caray is all over the official scorer for giving DeShields an error. Cubs fans everywhere are saying, "Bobby Hill makes that play." ... Mark Johnson flies out to center; Garland sacrifices Lee to second. Chip continues to ride the scorer. ... From this cubicle, it looks like it's really coming down. A delay is imminent. ... Lofton walks and it's first and second, with two outs. ... But Graffanino pops to DeShields to end it.
These Heineken commercials are great. Did someone say Heineken? Again with the Tom Arnold show.
Bottom of the third: DeShields leads off with a single and here comes Sosa. DeShields takes off on the first pitch and steals second easily. ... Sosa doesn't look like he's trying to advance DeShields by going the other way. Good thing because he drives one to the upper bleachers in center. A big fly, indeed. 4-0, Cubs ... McGriff hits one to center and Chip explodes as if it's going to land on Waveland. Lofton snares it short of the track. ... Alou lines one to left where Lee makes what would be too kind to call a diving catch. Make it a falling catch. ... Remember the whole stars being aligned thing? Well Hundley puts the first pitch in the last row of the right-field bleachers. 5-0, Cubs ... Gonzalez pops out to end the inning.
Top of the fourth: Rogers' guy, Ordonez is up and he rips one down the left field line. A fan makes a stab at it but drops the ball and keeps his beer. That ball looked like it had a chance. Note to Chip: It's foul pole not "fair pole." Are the foul lines called "fail lines"? I rest my case. Ordonez walks. ... Clement jams Konerko and Mueller and DeShields turn a 5-4-3 double play that took about 10 minutes to get around the diamond. With Maggs and Konerko running, they could have thrown the ball around the horn five times and still gotten the two outs.. ... Mueller makes a nice charging play on a Valentin slow roller to end the inning. With apologies to George Harrison, here comes the sun. Skilling has been reached. ... Chip calls the White Sox "the enemy" as Fox breaks for commercial. Easy, Chip.
Fox shows the clip of Michael Jordan getting what might be the cheapest hit known to baseball. Did not know it was off Fox Sports Net's Dave Otto. Dave must be thrilled they dusted off that highlight.
Bottom of the fourth: Mueller grounds out to lead off the inning and Clement strikes out for a quick two outs. Patterson strikes out looking and Garland appears as if he's found a groove after getting hit early.
Is it me or does Fox run the same four commercials every break?
Top of the fifth: Garland is due up fourth in the inning and the Sox have Keith Foulke throwing in the pen. ... Durham leads off and lines the first pitch to Alou in left. Clement is really cruising now. ... With that said, Lee lines a double to the left-field corner for just the Sox's second hit. ... Fred McGriff makes a nimble play for Fred McGriff at first on a Mark Johnson grounder. ... Liefer bats for Garland and grounds to second to end the inning. Garland is roughed up by the team that drafted him and then traded him for Matt Karchner. Somewhere Ed Lynch is breathing easier and Larry Himes is napping.
Bottom of the fifth: Foulke enters the game and how weird is it to see him in the sixth inning? For a second, I thought it was the ninth. ... DeShields grounds out on the first pitch. ... Foulke fools Sosa with a couple of change-ups and makes quick work in striking out the slugger. ... McGriff hits one past a diving Ordonez in right-center and doesn't even think about taking second. A rare single to the gap. ... But that's it as Alou pops to right. Foulke resembled his former changing-speed self in that inning.
Top of the sixth: Clement strikes out Lofton looking. Typically, Lofton stands there in defiance. Next. ... Graffanino grounds out but Ordonez follows with a single to left. ... Konerko hits a sky-high, two-run homer to left that might have leap-frogged a cloud. Konerko looks as surprised as anyone. He'll take it. Cubs 5, Sox 2 ... Clement rebounds to strike out Valentin.
Incidentally, no Britney Spears commercial. Maybe that's only on WGN.
Bottom of the sixth: No lie, Hundley just put one on Sheffield. Cubs fans are now cheering him. Fickle crew. Cubs 6, Sox 2 ... Mueller strikes out for the second time today. ... Chip and Dave are discussing Saran Wrap. I haven't a clue. ... Clement grounds out and that's the inning.
Top of the seventh: Durham lines to left and Alou turns the wrong way and makes a stabbing catch for the out as he disappears into the ivy. Next time open your eyes. ... Clement retires Lee and walks Johnson. ... Frank Thomas bats for Foulke. The boos are tepid at best. Hardly Todd Hundley territory. Clement throws the first pitch in the vicinity of Thomas' head and Big Frank doesn't look pleased. Clement comes back to strike out Thomas and here comes Dan Hampton to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." John McDonough is holding his breath. Let's hope this goes better than Steve McMichael.
Danimal gets through his rendition without offending any umpires or getting tossed out of the park. And we move to the...
Bottom of the seventh: Former ChicagoSports.com correspondent Kelly Wunsch on to pitch as Hampton rambles on about the '85 Bears. Fox isn't even showing the game on the field. I'm at a loss. There are two out and I haven't a clue what happened. ... Back to live action, Sosa stands in and Wunsch wants no part of him. The lefty walks Sosa on four pitches to get to McGriff. The strategy works as McGriff grounds out.
Top of the eighth: Alex Gonzalez makes a nice play on a Lofton grounder but his high throw pulls McGriff off the bag and Lofton is safe. E-6. Chip goes easy on the scorer. ... Graffanino hit it to Gonzalez, who this time starts a 6-4-3 double play. Just asking, but has McGriff ever stretched for a ball at first? ... Gonzalez is busy. Ordonez lines one off the shortstop's out-stretched glove for his second hit. That's it for Clement. He leaves to a nice hand. ... Kyle Farnsworth enters the game. Ordonez takes off for second and DeShields makes a half-baked effort to pick Hundley's low throw. Ball into center, Ordonez to third. ... Konerko hits his second two-run homer of the day, this one way more legitimate. A woman in left makes a sweet one-handed grab leaning over the railing. Cubs 6, Sox 4 ... Farnsworth blows away Valentin to end the inning, but the Cubs' lead has shrunk to two.
Bottom of the eighth: Alou lines a single off Bobby Howry to open the eighth and here comes Hundley. ... Oddly Alou takes off for second and is safe on Johnson's Hundley-esque throw. ... That's more like it as Hundley pops up to Valentin. Hundley, though, with a huge day. ... Howry fans Gonzalez and that brings on the always popular "Smirnoff Raspberry Twist call to the 'pen." Lefty Damaso Marte enters the game and walks Bill Mueller. ... The Cubs send up the switch-hitting Mark Bellhorn to hit for Farnsworth. ... Just an observation but Jerry Manuel routinely has very cool sunglasses. ... Bellhorn clears the bases with a triple to left. Cubs 8, Sox 4 No surprise but Lee has trouble picking the ball up in the corner. Lee and Alou have the same defensive skills. The official scorer changes it to a double and an error on the left fielder. Chip is silent. ... Patterson lines out to Konerko at first and that's the inning.
Top of the ninth: Durham leads off the final--I hope because I haven't moved from this seat in over three hours--inning with a single to right. ... Lee hits a grounder to DeShields who boots it but still gets Durham at second. Should've been a double play. Cubs fans again pining for Bobby Hill. ... Newly promoted Willie Harris pops up and Cubs fans are cheering either the two outs of the fan who's running through the outfield. Of course Fox doesn't show the guy. Why not show the guy? People are going to run on the field whether TV stations show them or not. OK, where were we? ... Two strikes on Aaron Rowand and that's it: Alfonseca strikes out Rowand and the Cubs take the first game 8-4.
From the cubicle: Cubs win
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