Weekend Recap: It's Still Monday, Right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend Recap: It's Still Monday, Right?

. Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No one told Mather that he probably wouldn't be able to rob a home run in a park with giant green baskets

Apologies for the late posting. I've been occupied, fighting a battle that man has been locked in since time immemorial. I had to get a couch up three flights of stairs and through a door that was apparently built before man invented furniture. I believe I'll just live at the new place for the rest of my life - it'll be easier than moving. Either way, I got to listen (just listen - thanks Comcast) to our Cubs (minus Zambrano) pulling together for a solid weekend of baseball and a huge series victory over a team we all love to hate.

I'm getting to a very weird place with this Red v. Blue rivalry. More than the White Sox, more than the Mets, more than even the Fat Bastard Brewers, I fully enjoy Cubs/Cardinals games. The issue here is that I love seeing the Cardinals come into town so much, I'm struggling with feelings of gratitude for their continued antagonism. I'm starting to get happy when Tony .098 Larussa comes into town with those toothless meth addicts they call Cardinals fans. It makes for good shit talking, and better baseball. But once you start to love your rival, isn't the whole point of the rivalry lost? It's all very esoteric for a rivalry that mostly takes place through barroom taunting.

Mather remembers that he left the oven on in St. Louis

Friday's game was so good, it was almost poetic. A beautiful, clear afternoon in Our Fair City, and a back-and-forth extra-inning tilt where Jim Edmonds turned out to be the deciding factor. That's good rivalry. Ted Lilly, whose name I still fear on the lineup card, turned in a 7.1 inning performance, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits. He left in the 8th, and Carlos Marmol earned the next two outs to keep the game at 2-2. Both runs were from Jim Edmonds solo shots, and had I not known better, I swear I'd have thought that the crowd was cheering for the old Cub Killer. I may have suffered a petite-mal seizure, because I swear I saw the man get a curtain call after the second one. Jeff Samardzija, who looks more and more like he may be with us for the duration of the season, pitched scoreless innings in the 9th and 10th, giving up one walk and one hit. This left us in the care of Bobby Howry, which made me throw a histrionic fit worthy of Brett Favre's latest mid-life crisis. Fortunately, Mr. Slow Starter struck out two and grounded out another. It was a suspiciously perfect inning. I don't trust that it actually happened. But whatever did, Chicago's most celebrated hitters, D.Lee and (ahem) A-Ram, found themselves on first and third with the struggling Fukudome at the plate. Fortunately, Fuku's still-healthy on base percentage led Dewey (DUI) Larussa to intentionally walk the bases loaded for the chance at getting to Henry Blanco. And really, who can blame the guy? Hank White isn't striking fear every fifth or so day. But strike fear he did, with a solid single to left center. He may not get the at-bats of some of our other bench players, but Blanco is hitting a surprising .300 in 81 at-bats. Are you listening, Daryl Ward?

"Cue comical 'wah-wahhhh' noise"

Saturday ... didn't happen. Cerainly Carlos Zambrano didn't get knocked for 9 earned runs in 4.1 innings. Surely we would have taken a Big Z/Todd Wellemeyer duel. Nope, nothing to see here, move along.

Dempster in the relative safety of Chicago, away from the head-chopping Greyhound passengers in his home country

Sunday night was, as we thought it might be, the deciding game. Ryan Dempster brought his insane Wrigley record (10-2) against Chris Carpenter, the former Cy Young winner who I now call Red Mark Prior. For the first 5 1/2 innings, the matchup was every bit as tight as it was hyped to be, and Joe Morgan was even more of an idiot than I remember him being.

"Show me why they call you Goose."

The Cubs finally broke open a backsweat-inducing 1-0 game in the bottom half of the 6th. Blame in on Carpenter's tricep, or give credit to an explosive lineup, but after Cedeno was finally tagged out trying to stretch a triple out of a 2RBI double (why?), the Cards looked pretty beaten. Of course, Jon Miller was quick to give Tony Larussa credit, saying "no matter the score, the Cardinals don't stop playing the game," which is good becuase, you know, you still have to play 3 more innings, and stopping would be awkward. Miller then went on to say "you know, Tony Larussa, glugh phalppp shug mufflathou*"

* (Remainder of Miller's words muffled by Larussa's crotch)

The Cardinals did manage to take two back in the top of the 7th due to Dempster's fatigue (already in the 100+ pitches range) and Samardzjia's wild pitch and double to Pujols. Jackass Joe Morgan said something during this inning which I found hilarious. "Now you're in a situation where a grand slam could tie up the game." Sure, not a bad proposition when you're only down 6-2. Except Jackass Joe said this with a 6-0 scoreline and Cesar Izturis on second. Nice math skills, Joe.

Yeah, that seems about right. This isn't a Photoshop.

Woody came back to pitch the 8th to much applause, and the only thing blistering that night was his fastball. (I know, I know, I'm sorry. That was bad - not Joe Morgan Bad, but bad.) He pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th to the relief of Cubs fans and those 2003-era Wood jersey owners who have waited so long to get back in style. Carlos Marmol then closed out a sweet series win with two popouts and a groundout by some douche named Skip.

"If I act pissy and brooding, maybe girls will like me"

And thus did we defeat a team that I remember regularly eating our lunch as recently as a few years ago. Still, the Brewers get to play mostly AAA teams for the rest of the year, so don't get too excited. We've got the Braves coming up, and the Marlins after that. I love when we play the Braves, but for some reason, we can never, ever, beat the damned Marlins. Maybe we're due for a sweep.

Worry not, dear readers. At this very moment, Steve is hard at work in the WAIW labs, performing complex calculations to be employed on an adjustment to the ever-scientific Jimometer.


Bree said...

Next time you need to cue the comical 'wah-wahhhh' noise, use this -- http://sadtrombone.com

Hours of delight.

Bree said...

Oh yeah... I'm going to the game against the Marlins on Saturday. I'll be one of 12 people in the entire Dolphin Stadium outfield, so I'm hoping my signs get on TV. Any requests for a WGN shout-out?

John said...

You could put something about how you liked Atlanta better when General Sherman was around. Actually, that might be a very bad idea.