Browsing posts from June, 2008
- Sunday June 29th – U.S. Cellular Field
- Game (82): White Sox 5 – Cubs 1
- Record (49-33) – 1st place NL Central
The skinny: Talk about things not going the Cubs’ way, it seems half the lineup is on the DL and not a single call favored the Cubs Sunday night. And now it’s back to the bloody left coast starting in San Francisco tonight.
Home plate umpire Rob Drake’s decision to toss Lou during the second inning was well within his limits: you can’t argue balls and strikes, even if it’s a terrible call.
Although Lou’s first ejection of the year will be remembered for arguing Joe Crede’s checked swing, I believe it was the inning’s previous at-bat that got under Piniella’s skin.
After Jermaine Dye leadoff the bottom of the second inning with a single to left, Sean Marshall battled back to apparently strike out Sox slugger Jim Thome on a fierce curveball that appeared to cross dead over the heart of the plate.
However, Rob Drake (home plate umpire) surprisingly called the pitch too high.
Thome, given a second life, singles to center field on the next pitch sending Dye to third.
Even ESPN’s Sunday Night telecast showed that its “K-Zone” technology placed Marshall’s strikeout pitch right over the plate.
Thus, in the following at-bat Joe Crede’s checked swing prompted a terrible no-call from first base umpire Chad Fairchild: Lou erupted.
And Sweet Lou was well within his limits too of arguing the two missed calls in back-to-back at-bats.
Unfortunately, Lou’s departure still didn’t swing the calls into the Cubbies favor.
Later in the fifth inning Fairchild blew another call (although, this time it was a bang-bang play) by signaling Ronnie Cedeno out at first base, which killed a Cubs rally while trailing the Sox 1-0.
But even as the Cubs put together a late ninth inning rally, things just didn’t go the Northsiders way; Edmonds crushing a Bobby Jenks pitch right at Nick Swisher who then doubled Mark DeRosa off second base. Geez.
Anyway, outside complaining about the calls, where was Aramis during this series?
Against the Sox last weekend Ramirez went 6-for-13 with 4 HR, 8 RBIs and four runs scored.
One week later, and eight miles south of Wrigley Field, the third baseman slumped into an 0-for-13 performance at U.S. Cellular.
And more, Aramis is out of the lineup the next three days due to family issues in the Dominican.
So, here we are, smack dab in the middle of a four-game losing streak, the Cubs longest drought of the season.
Plus, the Cards are 2 1/2 games back and the Giants are playing its best baseball of the season.
So who knows what this week has in store for the Cubs, let’s just hope it’s some health more than anything.
W: Buehrle (6-6) – Jenks (19)
L: Marshall (0-2)
- Notes: Here’s who’s out for the Cubs: Ramirez, Johnson, Eyre, Zambrano and Soriano.
- With Aramis not expected back until Thursday, it’s likely DeRosa and Eric Patterson will split time in left field and second base.
- Reed Johnson is scheduled to return Thursday as well.
- Big Z is on track to start Friday’s game in St. Louis.
- The Cubs finished its interleague schedule with a (6-9) record.
- Friday June 20th – Wrigley Field
- Game (74): Cubs 4 – White Sox 3
- Record (46-28) – 1st place NL Central
The skinny:At work this morning I hedged a bet with the boss, loser of the cross-town classic series buys dinner.
Of course, I’ve got the Cubs and the native Southsider is taking his Sox.
I don’t have one betting bone in my body, never have never will.
Las Vegas you say, I’m not interested – except for the food.
Super Bowl bets, nope.
March Madness: one time I bet a single dollar; call it peer pressure from the rest of the office.
Even during last year’s Kentucky Derby fellow employees became so frustrated with my lack of betting interest that they gave me their own money to squander.
So obviously, it’s not like me to settle on a sports wager.
And, the first six innings of today’s ballgame reminded me why I don’t bet in the first place; no one ever knows for sure who’ll come out on top.
Plus, with the Cubs trailing 3-1 heading into seventh I had my doubts about a comeback win.
To this point John Danks only allowed five Cubs to reach base, and he also had the Sox’s solid bullpen in the waiting.
Needless to say, the Cubs needed some help at the plate, especially with the flags flying limp in center field.
Who ever thought ‘luck’ would turn out to be the Sox’s Octavio Dotel, a right-handed reliever who’s allowed just two home runs in 33-plus innings this season?
And just when I thought the game reached its climax during the seventh with Lee and Ramirez’s back-to-back jacks, Aramis goes walk-off in the ninth! Awesome!
Okay, one more Cubs win and both my wallet and belly is a little fatter.
W: Wood (4-1)
L: Linebrink (2-2)
- Notes: The Cubs are 30-8 at Wrigley Field.
- This is the first time both the Cubs and Sox have held a first place lead in their respective divisions while meeting during interleague play.
- D. Lee and Aramis hit back-to-back jobs earlier this season in Philadelphia (April 11th).
- Ramirez’s last walk-off home run came nearly one year ago against the Brewers at Wrigley Field on June 29th.
- Aramis smashed a two-out, two-run game-winning home run against Francisco Cordero.
Watching the replay of Griffey Junior’s 600th career home run lifted my spirits higher than the arc on his 413 foot blast to right field.
What a great moment for Junior, the Reds, Major League Baseball and all of sports.
As usual, Griffey served up his humble pie after the game, flashing his trademark smile and suggesting he never envisioned himself smacking 300 dingers, let alone the big 600.
Of course, baseball fans know better, even to the point we all agree the guy could be sitting at 700 home runs had it not be for an unfortunate string of injuries.
Unfortunately, the stage for Jr.’s 600th blast should have been better than Dolphins Stadium and its whopping crowd of 16,000 fans.
Heck, even the Rays’ lowly stadium, just a few hours away in Tampa, would’ve been a better setting for such a milestone moment than the sandbox in Miami.
So, with Cincinnati beginning a nine-game homestand Tuesday, why didn’t Dusty Baker sit Junior this evening and let him chase history in the Queen City?
After all, Reds fans were left to watch Griffey hit No. 400 in Colorado and No. 500 in St. Louis.
So instead of letting history take place on the road again, I wish Baker would have explained to the media that he sat Griffey due to ‘general soreness’ and to avoid the lefty vs. lefty matchup of Florida’s starting pitcher Mark Hendrickson.
Besides the fact Griffey was 5-for-8 lifetime against the Marlins’ southpaw, no one would have questioned the move. And even if someone did, who cares?
Not to mention, Reds fans could use a good reason to head out to the ballpark with the club closing in on its eighth consecutive losing season.
Plus, with Griffey sitting at No. 599 the Great American Ballpark was bound to draw a sell-out or two with nine-straight home games on the horizon.
But there’s more to this moment than the business side of things. The city of Cincinnati and Griffey needed this moment to be shared together, a swan song for the perfect player whose celebrated homecoming never played out on the field as planned.
Instead, this special moment between Griffey and Cincinnati happened on a football field, a painted canvas of turquoise and orange instead of a sea of red.
Of course, there’s nothing that can be done now, No. 600 already landed in Miami.
But perhaps, the organization might give Griffey a proper ceremony at home tomorrow night.
Although, that’s asking a lot from an organization that hardly did anything worthy of promoting the event in the first place.
If anything, Reds fans deserve a few minutes to cheer its hometown hero in the hometown ballpark, even if No. 600 is after the fact.
1. Sun April 6th – Brett Myers – Great American Ballpark, Reds win 8-2
2. Tue April 15th – Ryan Dempster – Wrigley Field, Reds lose 9-5
3. Thur April 17th – Jon Lieber – Wrigley Field, Reds win 9-2
4. Wed April 23 – Chris Sampson – Great American Ballpark, Reds lose 9-3
5. Thur May 22 – Randy Wolf – PETCO Park, Reds lose 8-2.
6. Sat May 31 – Jair Jurrjens – Great American Ballpark, Reds win 8-7
7. Mon June 9 – Mark Hendrickson – Dolphins Stadium, Reds win 9-4
1 Barry Bonds – 762
2 Hank Aaron – 756
3 Babe Ruth – 714
4 Willie Mays – 660
5 Sammy Sosa – 609
6 Swingman – 600
More articles on Junior’s milestone achievement.
Even Griffey’s video game was great!