I enjoy every opportunity I get to watch the Cubs play at Wrigley Field, even when the team stinks.
And even though the Cubs finished the season with 101-losses, I was fortunate enough to see them go (16-14) at home in the games I attended.
Below I’ve listed a quick note about each of those 30-games…the good, the bad and all else I witnessed this season at Wrigley Field.
- Opening Day: Steven Strasburg. Phenom.
- April 9 – MIL: Aramis’ return to Wrigley, Bryan LaHair’s HR onto Sheffield Avenue.
- April 12 – MIL: Garza loses his chance at a complete-game when he throws a comebacker over LaHair’s head and into the stands with 2-outs in the top of the ninth.
- April 21 -CIN: Paul Maholm’s first win as a Cub, Marlon Byrd traded to Boston for Michael Bowden.
- May 6 – LAD: 2hr 41min rain delay, Travis Wood’s first start as a Cub, DeJesus’ walkoff hit in the bottom of the 11th.
- May 7 – ATL: Samardzija 7.0, 1-ER, 7-K, LaHair and Ian Stewart hit back-to-back home runs. A heavy fog blankets the field in the late innings.
- May 9 – ATL: Maholm, James Russell and Rafael Dolis shutout the Braves 1-0.
- May 16 – PHI: Matt Garza struggles to field Juan Pierre’s two bunts.
- May 28 – SD: Cubs snap its 12-game losing streak, eight combined HRs (4 each), Alex Hinshaw takes the loss for Padres.
- May 29 – SD: Jeff Samardzija picks up his 5th win on his bobble head day, Sveum calls Shawn Camp the team’s MVP.
- May 30 – SD: Darwin Barney hits a 2-R, walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth. Cubs sweep the series.
- June 25 – NYM: I see one of my favorite players in the flesh for the first time: Johan Santana. Travis Wood outduels the former Cy Young Award winner.
- June 27 – NYM: With the wind blowing out the Mets score 17-runs, including hitting for the cycle in HRs. The Cubs plate one run. My first look in the flesh at Anthony Rizzo.
- July 1 – HOU: It’s announced before the game Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair have been selected a NL All Stars.
- July 17 – MIA: Ozzie and Big Z’s return to Wrigley Field.
- July 27 – STL: I watch from a rooftop. Cardinals become the first team in eight years to hit a HR in each of the first five innings.
- July 30 – PIT: Cubs win scoring a season-high 14-runs.
- July 31 – PIT: Adrian Cardenas breaks up AJ Burnett’s no-hitter with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th continuing the Cubs’ major league record of avoiding being no-hit since Sept. of 1965 when Sandy Koufax turned the trick.
- Aug 9 – CIN: Soriano cracks an eventual game-winning 2-R HR in the bottom of the 8th.
- Aug 11 – CIN: It’s my first look in the flesh at the Cuban Missile Aroldis Chapman. He strikes out the side for his 27th consecutive save while reaching 102mph on the radar gun.
- Aug 13 – HOU: Samardzija strikes out a career-high 11 batters in 7.0 innings.
- Aug 29 – MIL: A throwing error charged to Darwin Barney is reversed enabling him to extend his record of consecutive games at 2B without an error. Barney’s streak reaches 114-games.
- Aug 30 – MIL: Ryan Braun hits a HR off the camera housing in CF, the Cubs rally to score three-runs in the bottom of the ninth in a wild 12-11 win.
- Aug 31 – SF: Chris Volstad outduels Madison Bumgarner, wha?
- Sept 14 – PIT: Starlin hits a 3-R HR, Chris Rusin earns his first big league victory.
- Sept 17 – PIT: My personal highlight of the season. I throw out the ceremonial first pitch after a 3hr 30min rain delay. It’s the latest first pitch ever in Wrigley Field’s history. AT 10:42pm Travis Wood tosses the game’s first pitch.
- Sept 18 – CIN: Darwin Barney stretches his errorless streak at 2B to an NL record 133-straight games.
- Sept 23 – STL: Kerry Wood Appreciation Day, Soriano hits his 31st HR of the season giving him a career-high 105 RBI.
- Oct 1 – HOU: The Cubs lose its 100th game of the season.
- Oct 2 – HOU: Chicago is shutout against the major’s worst team for a second consecutive ballgame. Ugh.
Congrats to Ryne Sandberg for being named the new third base coach of the Philadelphia Phillies.
It’s been frustrating watching Sandberg get passed over time and time again for a big league coaching position.
However, his latest promotion from Triple-A Lehigh Valley appears to have positioned Ryno to take over the reins for incumbent manager Charlie Manuel, whose contract expires after next season.
I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandberg replaces Manuel even earlier if the Phillies struggle out of the gate in 2013.
Here’s wishing Ryno all the best, except when the Phillies face the Cubs, of course!
The Cubs’ 2003 pitching record for most strikeouts in a single season is safe for now.
The Brewers, however, entered its final regular season game just 9 strikeouts away from eclipsing the Cubs’ mark of 1,404 K’s.
Six Brewers pitchers combined for 6 strikeouts against the Padres Wednesday night, leaving the staff 3 punchouts shy of setting the new mark.
The biggest break for Chicago was the decision of Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke’s to sit his ace pitcher, and strikeout master, Yovani Gallardo. The right-hander finished the season with 204 K’s, 6th most in the National League.