(Chicago Tribune photo by Nancy Stone)
(Chicago Tribune photo by Nancy Stone)
The oddest thing happened to me today. I went away for the weekend for my little brother’s wedding, had a great time, got a wonderful new little sister-in-law, and came back to find the Cubs in first place.
Mind you, all this appears to have happened with Uncle Milty AND Soriano finding ways to contribute to the game, Harden pitching well at Wrigley in warm weather, and Groggles saving games instead of blowing them.
Everything’s coming up Milhouse!
In order to celebrate whatever cosmic alignment has caused this latest win streak to take place, and to make whatever ritual sacrifices may be necessary to the baseball gods (I’m thinking we offer them millertime or summerguy), Matt and I will be hosting an abbreviated podcast tonight.
Grab your party hats and join us.
The call in number for questions, making fun of Julie, snarky comments, and threats is (347) 884-8570.
We’ve got a game coming up in just under three hours, so we’re going to combine our headlines and our game thread today.
The game last night was a real heart-breaker, as our not-so-hitsy team managed to squander a great outing by Rich Harden’s butt:
PHILADELPHIA — Jayson Werth’s two-out homer in the 13th inning Wednesday night, after Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez had walked, gave the Phillies a 4-1 victory over the Cubs.
The loser was Jeff Samardzija, who got the first two outs in the inning before issuing the walks.
The Phillies have won 10 straight games, while the Cubs lost their second in a row after starting with four victories in Washington following the All-Star break.
“We’ve see this movie before about not scoring runs,” manager Lou Piniella said.
“We’re challenged offensively, I can tell you that. You don’t score runs, you can’t win. We’ve played this game so many times before that you get tired of complimenting the other team’s pitchers. I’d like to compliment our hitters once in a while.
“We might need a couple of hitters at trading deadline.”
Joy. I can only imagine what kind of hitters we’re likely to get, what with the entire world knowing that we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. A fifth (sixth? sevent?) go around at Paul Bako? Another Jeff Baker? Is it too late to get Freddy Bynum back? Blah.
Did we win or lose last night? I wasn’t paying attention because Jack was there!
Happy Birthday to LOHO’s beloved Carl, who turns 23 today!
Before we get to the game thread, I want to thank Erin from the fabulous website Lemondrop.com, who invited me to help her respond to a previous dating article on the site, entitled Ten Things Not to Say To a Guy Who’s a Baseball Fan. I think you can all imagine how fellow-baseball-fan Erin and I felt about this little nugget of wisdom. Check it out!
I’m not going to talk about the game last night, or about people dropping balls, or giving up on balls, or not calling balls, or LOOKING LIKE GENERAL JERKS RUNNING AROUND OUT THERE. I’mjust going to trust that tonight will be better.
Don’t worry about hitting, just try to last more than three innings. . .
And we’re off! Welcome to the second half of the season, in which all things are possible. Derrek Lee will keep hitting like this is 2005, Ted Lilly will keep pitching like it’s 2000 and Ted, and Jeff Baker will turn out to be the second baseman we’ve waited for all our lives.
So. . .um hey! Good morning!
Uh, remember yesterday when I dedicated the entire game thread to declaring that Soriano wasn’t moving out of the leadoff spot and we all just had to get over wanting him to move down in the lineup?
Rookie Sam Fuld is expected to move into the Cubs leadoff spot Saturday with Alfonso Soriano moving to the middle of the order.
Manager Lou Piniella declined to discuss the move, except to say “we’ll probably make a few adjustments with our lineup.”
Soriano was 0-for-5 in Friday’s 2-1 victory over Milwaukee after a two-day rest and is hitting .173 over his last 36 games. He said he will hit anywhere Piniella wants and understands his reasoning.
So. . . yeah.
Among the lesser-known facts about pirates is their fanatical devotion to country
Avast ye mateys!
Yo ho ho and a buttle of rum!
Enough with the cryin’ and the bellachin’, ye lilly-livered landlubbers! If there be one place we can be picking up some games easy as a pirate hooker picks up the clap, it be in Pittsburgh.
Tonight Rich Harrrrrrrrrden (4-4, 4.95, 1.40) and his bonny wee arrrrse be takin’ the hill for the Cubbies. Walkin’ the plank for the Pirates be Cub-killer Zach Duke (8-5, 3.09, 1.19). Let me tell ye somethin’, matey’s. He might have split the Cubs from neck to navel on occasion, but he be a yellow-belly at hearrrrrrt. Tonight, he gets what’s comin’ to him. Arrrrr!
Bring it, Porcello
Enough messing around. Enough with going back to not being able to hit the ball. Enough with the pigpen. Enough with Aaron Miles being on this team.
All else aside, I refuse to lose to a guy named Fredrick Alfred Porcello. I mean, come on. His parents were apparently so into the name “Fred” they managed to fit two different versions of it into his name. So Cubs, despite all the hype about Porcello’s high school, college, and minor league career, if you lose, it will be to a guy basically named Fred Fred Mushroom.
If you can live with that.