Weekend Recap: Breaking Out the Gill Nets

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend Recap: Breaking Out the Gill Nets

. Monday, August 18, 2008

Of the series with the Marlins, Fukudome said, in part, "the." Of course, WAIW doesn't have press access, so we're guessing here. But we think we've guessed right.

So we finally snagged a series with the Marlins, after way too many humiliating defeats to mediocre and even bad Florida teams. Sure, we caught some dolphins, but that only makes ... umm, tuna more delicious ... aw, hell. Being a native Midwesterner whose only significant leave was to the Appalachian mountain area, I suck absolute ass at nautical metaphors. Sailing doesn't interest me, I hate Red Lobster, and I think a Jimmy Buffett concert is as close as I'll ever get to pining for the call of the sea. So pardon me if I don't have an appropriate Hemingway-esque lead in for the fact that just when it looked like we were going back to Chicago as series losers, we beat the absolute crap out of a bad Marlins pen to take 2 out of 3.

Daryle Ward: Just as surprised as you are

Friday's game saw high-socked Carlos Zambrano go through another rough outing. Although he lasted a much-better 6 innings, Z coughed up 5 runs on 4 hits, walked 5 (!!!), and gave up a home run. He left with the Cubs losing 5-3, and it looked as if the sluggish Cubs offense might prove to be victims of the insane Florida humidity. Certainly no one in Our Fair City was jumping for joy when Daryle Ward came to the plate with 1 out and 2 men on base in the 9th. Yet, in just another example of why you can never, ever take heed of my in-game bitching, Ward snapped out of an 0-13 slump with a 3-run pinch hit home run.

Zambrano's recent struggles have been attributed to his mechanics - namely, the pirouette

As high-profile as Z's struggles have been, and as fortuitous as Ward's homer was, serious credit should go to Chad Gaudin, who most fans saw as little more than a player to be named later in the Harden trade. With the team struggling and the ace in the showers, Gaudin pitched two solid innings, no-hitting the Marlins and keeping the visitors in a position to take the opening game.

Saturday saw the return of the no-go offense, with the Cubs only scoring a single run and leaving 13 runners on base. Our only run came from a Henry Blanco solo home run. I repeat, Henry Blanco's power at the plate was our only offense. It was not a good night for your Boys in Blue.

Sunday was a tale of two games. For the first six innings, it looked like we were going to have to try and just forget the entire Florida series. Dempster kept getting into trouble, and the offense was sparse. When someone made the idiotic call to send Theriot to 3rd with A-Ram at the plate, The Riot got tagged easily, and I about lost my shit. An entire weekend of not scoring much, and you're going to send Theriot to 3rd with your best hitter at the plate? Needless to say, I considered changing my car radio to something less infuriating - like the sound of toddlers screaming on the L. But in the end, I've seen or heard hundreds of Cubs losses, and I couldn't just up and switch to Willie Nelson on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Background: Soriano, recognized for kicking ass. Foreground: failure

Of course, we can also bring superstition into this. Innings 1-6 were heard from the finely crafted stereo of my Toyota Tacoma. Innings 7-9 were spent slouched in front of a large flat screen HDTV. Apparently, my lack of viewership was the thing holding the Cubs back. No sooner did I crack a beer and flop into a chair than our beloved team start distributing crushing hits with more frequency than a drunken step-dad with a belt.

I haven't seen a fat kid get abused this much since I watched "Angus" on cable

Alfonso Soriano again showed us how much he brings to the plate by tying the game with a solid 2-RBI double that got past the left fielder, and yet wasn't an error. Figure that one out. Then, after getting Theriot to ground out, former Cub (minor leaguer) Renyel Pinto intentionally walked Derrek Lee to load the bases for Aramis Ramirez. This turned out to be not so good an idea, as Ramirez smacked another double into the outfield to score two more and finally put us on top of the Marlins. Fuku scored a sac fly, making it 5-3, and Geo Soto was intentionally walked for Ronny Cedeno. Cedeno walked as well, and Reed Johnson twisted the knife a bit with a bases-clearing double to the wall.

Old Timey Socks Fever: Catch It!

You could almost hear the Florida fans hearts break - that is, you would have, had there been any in attendance. After the huge inning, Neil Cotts looked ... good (shiver) and Jeff Samardzija showed good presence in closing out the game. Tack on a Mark DeRosa sac fly, and you've got yourself a solid 9-2 win and a 5-win road swing. Fuck fucking yes. Sorry if I'm working a little blue this morning. I saw the Bob Saget roast last night.

Like a big-hearted philanthropist, we've adopted this Dempster Baby as our own

Ryan Dempster got the win to run his record to 14-5 - despite some early trouble, he pitched like an ace yesterday. At one point, the Marlins had the bases loaded with none out and a 2-0 lead. What could have turned ugly turned into an amazing performance by Dempster, and kept us in the game long enough for us to get to the Marlins crappy bullpen. Way to go, Dempster - your country may be sucking in the medal count at the Olympics, but you will always be our favorite Canadian starting pitcher.

This is for you, big guy

Our boys are now 5.5 up on the Sexy Brewers (more on that later today), and are off today. We're going to see Harden go Tuesday night against the Reds, and I can honestly say that even without Griffey and Dunn to hate on, I hope we destroy those godless communists.