It's been an interesting week for the Cubs. Just a day after Milwaukee went out and got CC Sabathia, albeit for half a season, Jim Hendry answered back by getting Rich Harden from Oakland.
Let's hope Harden, who's got an injury rap sheet to rival Mark Prior, can make it through the entire season. The Cubs have some special plans in store for the guy.
Now this trade makes you wonder. Billy Beane, whose reputation is probably a bit blown out of proportion and borders on that of some mystical baseball guru, has a decent track record of unloading pitchers when they're done, like Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. But then again Beane traded away Danny Haren, too. Hendry knows Harden's history and has acknowledged there was no way they would have a chance at getting him without that history, so it's a risk. We'll see.
As for the other guy they got, I don't know Chad Gaudin from Paul Gauguin. As far as I know, Gaudin has never visited Tahiti.
Where were we? Right. Today. Good afternoon sports fans, welcome to a Thursday edition of From the Cubicle. The Cincinnatah Redlegs are in town ... Dusty, Dunn, Junior and Marty along with their merry band of traveling hayseeds.
This pitching matchup of Ted Lilly and Bronson Arroyo does nothing for me. But don't let that dissuade you from enjoying this one. I'm just a jerk. I also don't like Arroyo's feathered hair or his singing.
As always when the Reds are in town, Adam Dunn will hit a homer and misplay a ball in left. It's a given. He poked one off Zambrano last night and then botched Fukudome's ball in the seventh.
What's up with Carlos Marmol? Is Marty Brennaman under police protection? Will I ever step foot in this Whole Foods store again? Answers to these questions and more ... shortly.
Lineups, get yer lineups!
Did someone ask about hockey? No? Well, here's a story about Blackhawks draft pick Kyle Beach. "There's no denying some of his reputation is justified -- he once apologized for mocking an opposing player who had a birth defect during a game..." He also got knocked the heck out right here. Worth watching. Skip to around the :40 mark.
American Girl Theatre sings the Anthem. Very traditional. The Cubs go for the sweep of the Reds after this commercial break. It's 84 degrees, a bit cloudy and the wind is blowing out of the west southwest at 14 mph (translation: it's blowing straight out to center). The lights are on. Apparently it's some American Girl day and the first 10,000 brats received some kind out outfit for their creepy dolls. Also, those bags from that store are big and sharp, if you've ever been poked by one walking down Michigan Avenue. And we're off. Jerry Hairston Jr. fouls one off and then pops out to the second baseman Mike Fontenot. Jeff Keppinger pops out in foul ground near the plate and Aramis Ramirez gloves it. Lilly walks Junior. Brandon Phillips flies out to Fukudome in right to end the top half of the first.
Ryan Theriot hacks at the first pitch and pulls it through the hole on the left side for a single. Fukudome takes a 2-2 backdoor breaking ball for strike three. Bob Brenly thinks it was off the plate. Then again, that's his job to think such things. Theriot takes off on a 3-2 pitch; Lee rips it into the left-field corner, Dunn's knitting a sweater out there digging that ball out, allowing Theriot to score without a throw. Lee knocks home the game's first run with an RBI double. Aramis Ramirez quickly falls behind 0-2 before moving Lee along to third with a flyball to right. Geovany Soto grounds out to third but the Cubs take a 1-0 lead.
Cubs 1, Reds 0
It's nice to see Alfono Soriano as a Walgreen's Celebrity Bat Kids. Gotta work on that wave, Fonzi. Here's Dunn to lead off the second for the Reds. Strike three in the dirt and Mongo only pawn in game of life. Edwin Encarnacion hits a towering shot to the first few rows of the left-field bleachers to tie the game. Joey Votto bounces a single past a diving Lee. With David Ross at the dish, Votto takes off for second. Ross pops up to shallow center where Theriot makes a nice over-the-shoulder catch and fires to first to get Votto. Votto is back in time and Lee makes a great play to scoop the low throw that even hit the runner. That was one great pick. Lilly strikes out Arroyo.
Cubs 1, Reds 1