Cubs 5 - Astros 0: Zambrano Screams, Points at Stuff, But This Time in a Good Way

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cubs 5 - Astros 0: Zambrano Screams, Points at Stuff, But This Time in a Good Way

. Sunday, September 14, 2008

Zambrano pulls the rare single-knee Gracias a Dios

36 years ... it had been 36 years since a Cubs pitcher had thrown a no hitter. For those of you who care, it was Milt Pappas, one of the very men who put their signature on my blogged-about favorite hat. Tonight Carlos Zambrano absolutely dominated a very good Astros team (at least lately) and earned the first Cubs no hitter in 36 years. At this very moment, I'm listening to the WGN post-game, trying to suck up every precious molecule of glory. It's not often something as special as this happens, and I want to be able to appreciate the shit out of it.

Astros hitters: Out of focus. That's called a photo-metaphor

In the tradition of all great no-hitters, it was a performance that really snuck up on you. I happened to be enjoying the game at Emily's family's house, and what started as an apprecitation of Zambrano's rehabilitation quickly built to cautious awe and finally glorious frenzy. Tonight, finally, Big Z pitched like we all knew he could. Even when he was lights out earler in the year, he never looked this dominant. Given that I saw the great majority of this glorious game, I had a few stray observations:

Between strikeouts, Zambrano attempted to learn the Electric Slide. Boogie Woogie Woogie.

- If the camera zoomed in on the zero under H for the Astros one more time, I was going to stab my eyes out. If Z would have lost the no-hitter, I'd have called this repeated curse-taunting a supremely dick move.

- For nearly every ball after the 7th inning, Len said "Even when he's missing, he's not missing by much." The first time, it was observant and clever. The second through seventh times, it was getting a bit old. The fourteenth through sixty-seventh times, Len was practically inviting homicide. I guess the little guy was just excited. Can't really blame him.

- In his post-game interview, Z talked about how seeing his fastballs register at 97-98 MPH on the radar gun gave him the confidence to challenge Astros hitters early on. The thing is, the radar gun at Miller Park was broken, which is why it was registering so high. Z had to be tricked into throwing a no-hitter. Sort of like how they had to drug Mr. T's milk on "The A Team" to get him on a plane where he could proceed to kick ass.

- Carlos Zambrano is a multimillionaire and a famous All-Star athlete. On a separate note, he was also nearly too winded to participate in the post-game interview following the mound-hopping celebration with his teammates. This is part of why I love baseball.

Due to the unfamiliar surroundings, Sweet Lou eschewed the normal practice of hosting post-game press conferences in his underpants

Thanks to the Phillies sweeping the still-sinking Brewers, our Magic Number now stands at 7. It's getting to the point where I'm actually starting to feel bad for the Brewers. Either that, or I'm getting worried about seeing Philly in the playoffs. Even with a tough stretch to come against the Cards, Mets, and Brewers, it's hard not to feel good about flying the W flag tonight. Next time you deign to crack a cold beer, send a little thanks Z's way before that first icy sip.