And away we go with this traditional matchup between your Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles, with whom as a child I had a strange infatuation. But only because of the orange jerseys. The same reason why I liked the Denver Broncos and the Dutch soccer/voetbal team.
As always it's all right here in the lineups.
Marquis starts off Brian Roberts with a fastball down the middle for a strike. It's 85 degrees with winds blowing straight out and Roberts grounds out to the right side. Alex Cinton swings over a slider for strike three and Marquis is perfect through 2/3. Nick Markakis pops up on the left side, Ryan Theriot wages a mini battle with the sun and wins. Three up, three down.
Patterson tries to bunt is way on, pops it up straight back and just out of the reach of a sliding Guillermo Quiroz (he's the catcher) in front of the brick backstop. Patterson eventually strikes out. Theriot jumps on the first pitch and singles to left. Derrek Lee hits it hard but right at the center fielder Adam Jones, who's gotta be upset Pacman Jones is dropping the silly Pacman handle. Aramis Ramirez flies out to center, too, and the first inning is in the books.
Ryan Dempster's buddy Kevin Millar grounds out to third. And, yeah, Marquis' mutton chops, not good. Wait, those are part of a beard that he shaved too much off the neck. He's no Kyle Orton. Aubrey Huff riffles a few balls foul before straightening it out and doubling to the right-field corner. Jay Payton, who had two two-run homers last night, bats with a guy on. Amanda reports a friend saw Orton at the Cubbie Bear on Saturday. Neck bear was in full effect and he wasn't shirtless yet. Payton flies out to center. Bob Brenly just praised Jason Marquis for not going all Shawn Chacon on Jim Hendry or Lou Piniella when he was banished to the bullpen. "That's how you handle it like a man," Brenly said. Well, yeah. But that's not exactly a compliment saying at least the guy didn't grab someone by the neck and slam him to the ground. Jones hits it off Marquis glove. The pitcher has plenty of time to recover and throw out the runner.
Walgreen's celebrity bat kids are back! "Do not stop waving or you will never see your parents again!" Also, they just showed some convertible K Car speeding down the street with a Cubs logo on the hood and a guy in a bear suit in the back. Jim Edmonds draws a walk. Liz goes full to Geovany Soto before Soto hits a pop up that I thought would drift out of play but Millar grabs it in that little nook next to the visitor's dugout where the ball girl sits. She could've helped out there a bit, maybe leave a few balls on the ground, especially considering Millar's eye black goes all the way down his cheeks like Alice Cooper. Dumb. Seen it. Liz plunks DeRosa on the back of the arm. Fontenot, whom the O's drafted in the first round once upon a time and then traded to the Cubs for Sammy Sosa, hits with runners on first and second and one out and takes a couple of balls. Another full count. Another foul ball. And another visit to the mound by the catcher. Let's get things in order, guys. Fontenot singles to right and Mike Quade holds Edmonds at third. Now the pitching coach is out on the mound presumably discussing how they'll pitch to the other pitcher with the bases loaded. Come on. Marquis bounces to first; Millar throws home to get the second out. Patterson pops out in foul ground and the Cubs load 'em up with one out and get squat.
Marquis issues a leadoff walk to Quiroz. Liz is showing bunt all the way and it appears his heart isn't into it. He misses three times trying to bunt and finds a seat on the bench. AL pitchers batting is high comedy. Roberts, the long-rumored but never-happened Cubs leadoff man, singles to center. Quiroz, the catcher mind you, takes third as Edmonds takes his time getting to the ball. To make matters worse no one is covering second so Roberts helps himself to the bag. Second and third and one out for Cintron, who bounces back to Marquis for the second out. Lou Piniella strolls out to the mound which gives us a clear view of Marquis facial hair. Those ain't mutton chops, folks, that's just a patchy beard. They will walk Markakis to load 'em up and take their chances with Alice Cooper. Marquis falls behind Millar 3-1. OK, full count, people slowly rise to their feet as Marquis peers in for the sign. Ball four just misses high and the Quiroz walks home with the game's first run. Brenly points out Marquis has had some funky follow throughs and possibly, maybe, perhaps could've tweaked something. Huff tweaks that pitch to the right-field corner for a double that drives home two more runs. With runners on second and third, Payton knocks them both in with a base hit to left. Patterson boots it out there a bit, allowing Payton to take second. It's now 5-0. Jones bounces out to Marquis to end that thing.
Orioles 5, Cubs 0
Theriot bounces out to second. And, yes, hindsight and all that, but intentionally loading the bases with Marquis on the mound turns out not to be the best strategy. Lee swings over the top of a splitter for strike three. Ramirez draws a two-out walk. Liz goes full to Edmonds and just misses off the outside corner. Liz liked it. Home-plate ump Brian Knight did not. Edmonds then pops out to Payton near the Cubs' bullpen.
Orioles 5, Cubs 0
Couple of guys in the bleachers going with the Orioles orange jerseys. And to answer a question form a long time ago, I don't really like the Bears orange jerseys. Too bright. And the Tampa Bay Buc's old ones were too light. There's a certain orange, like the shade of orange Gatorade. Anyway, on to much more important matters, like this game: Quiroz singles past a diving Theriot. Liz gets the bunt down this time, but Lee pounces all over it and gets the lead runner at second. Gotta say, I love Liz but only because he's got a three-letter last name. The Mitchell Report's Brian Roberts singles for his sixth hit of the series. Runners on first and second with one out for Cintron. Neal Cotts and Jon Lieber get up in the Cubs pen. Larry Rothschild walks out just to give more time to the guys in the pen. I mean what could he possibly say to Marquis at this point? "Since you'll be out of here in the fourth inning, why don't you go wax my car"? Hold off on that for a bit. Marquis strikes out Cintron for the second out. Markakis rips one down the right-field line but just foul. Markakis goes the other way, slicing a double just inside the line and driving home both runners. Larry and Lou remain seated. Huff pops out to shallow right but this one has gotten out of hand.
Orioles 7, Cubs 0
Soto grounds out to short. DeRosa singles just out of the reach of Cintron. Fontenot flies out to right. Marquis hits for himself but only because I'm assuming Piniella's saving up his bench for the big, late-inning rally. Or something like that. Marquis strikes out. He'd done for the day. Jon Lieber coming up.
Orioles 7, Cubs 0
Lieber's first pitch runs right into Aubrey Huff's bat and ends up over Edmonds' head for a double. Payton strikes out. Jones reaches for an outside pitch and flies out to right for the second out. The backup catcher, The Guillermo Quiroz, drives Huff home with a single to center. The pitcher Liz grounds
out to Theriot, who boots it into shallow center. Quiroz never slows down and takes third on the error. Roberts takes a called third strike. I think the plate umpire started to feel sorry for the Cubs and called that a strike.
Orioles 8, Cubs 0
Yeah, it's official: home-plate ump Brian Knight wants no part of this game. He just called Patterson out on strikes on a pitch that nearly hit him (Patterson, that is) in the shoes. Theriot singles to left. Lee grounds up the middle. Roberts makes a nice play and flip to Cintron, who throws to first to complete the double play.
Orioles 8, Cubs 0
Scott Eyre is the new guy on the mound. Cintron grounds out to Theriot. Markakis works the count full before walking. This pretty much sums up this game: WGN just showed two young kids in the crowd. One was whistling across the top of a plastic Pepsi bottle and the other was banging repeately the seat in front of him with a Cubs car window flag. Now the trainer's out there talking to Eyre. Rothschild, who's getting a lot of exercise today, joins them. Millar singles and Piniella's seen enough. He takes his signature meandering, lollygagging stroll out to the mound that just screams, "Where am I?" Eyre is done, Michael Wuertz is just getting started. Well, just after WGN's Fan/Breast Cam. OK, here's Wuertz. Huff lines his fourth hit of the game into center to load the bases up with one out. First pitch and Payton singles to left to make it 9-0. Jones drives it deep to left just missing a grand slam. Instead Patterson grabs it on the track, but the 10th run skips home. Quiroz squibs one over the head of Daryle Ward, who somehow snuck in the game for Lee, to drive home another run. Runners on the corners for Liz. He strikes out but the Orioles have scored 11 runs without hitting a homer. Incredible.
Orioles 11, Cubs 0
Down 11, Ronny Cedeno hits for Ramirez. Cedeno draws a four-pitch walk, Spain wins 3-nil and the Cardinals and Tigers are tied in the 10th. With Edmonds up, a Liz pitch sails to the backstop and Cedeno takes second. Edmonds walks on four pitches. That's it for Liz. Bye, Liz. Let's hope they don't bring in a pitcher whose last name has 13 letters. Final in the Detroit: Tigers win 3-2. Brian Burres, the guy who was supposed to start last night, is the new pitcher. Henry Blanco hits for Soto and singles to center to drive home the Cubs' first run. DeRosa hits with runners on first and second and nobody out and grounds to third. Huff's throw to second is wide and the Orioles can manage just the one out. Runners on the corners and one out for Fontenot, who flies out to left. Ward singles Edmonds home. Patterson bloops a single to left. DeRosa cuts the bag and just beats the throw from Payton standing up. Comeback by a thousand singles right here. Full count to Theriot and he ... grounds weakly to first.
Orioles 11, Cubs 3
Wuertz strikes out Roberts to open the seventh. Cintron strikes out. Markakis pops out and here's longtime Cubs clubhouse guy Yosh Kawano and Hall-of-Famer Billy Williams to sing TMOTTBG. One time I tried to interview Kawano and he said something along the lines of, "I ain't ever talked before. I ain't gonna talk now," which translates to "Beat it."
Also Williams' introduction of Kawano went something like this: "He's washed a lot of uniforms over the years; now he's going to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame!" Extreme submariner/knuckle scraper Chad Bradford is the new pitcher. Matt Murton hits for Wuertz, swings at the first pitch and grounds out to short. Cedeno pokes a single to right. Don't know if you've ever read "Moneyball," but there's an entire chapter about Bradford. His high school coach converted him to a sidearm pitcher, but to get him to throw harder, he made the quiet and religious Bradford swear every time he threw a pitch. I love that and wonder if he still does it. Anyhoo, Edmonds flies out to left for the second out. Blanco grounds out to short.
Orioles 11, Cubs 3
Murton stays in and plays left. Patterson moves over to center. Edmonds takes a seat. Bob Howry is the new pitcher. Len Kasper says he saw a bunch of orioles, the bird, out at the golf course during Ron Santo's celebrity golf tourament. As the grandson of a hardcore birder, I must correct Len. Those most likely were red-winged blackbirds and watch yourself around them. They're on the attack! Orioles are rare in Illinois. They would stop by only on their migration and it would be brief. End bird nerd rant. Millar pops out to short. The Cubs finally get Huff out. He grounds to short after four straight hits. Payton grounds out to Ward.
So the Cubs are down eight runs and there's a couple standing in the back of the bleachers holding up a big "W" flag. There's alway hope, I guess. Or beer. Most likely the latter. DeRosa leads off the bottom of the eighth and grounds out to short. Fontenot singles to left. Ward singles to left; Fontenot takes third. Lou Piniella was added to Clint Hurdle's NL All-Star coaching staff to replace Willie Randolph. Also, Brian Runge that umpire who bumped Jerry Manuel was suspended a game. Had Manuel bumped him he would've been suspended at least five games, right? Weak. Patterson knocks home Fontenot with a sac fly to left. Theriot grounds out to end the eighth. And I think I speak for everyone when I say thankfully we go to the ninth.
Orioles 11, Cubs 4
Neal Cotts becomes the sixth Cubs hurler of the day and strikes out Jones. Quiroz takes a called third strike and doesn't like it. Doesn't like it at all. Oscar Salazar hits for Bradford. Salazar grounds out to first and stay tuned for the big eight-run ninth coming right up.
And they're off to a rip-roaring start already. They nearly batted out of order. Ronny Cedeno was all ready to go. Problem is Murton's up and he was late getting out of the dugout. Murton grounds to second on the first pitch and I believe he has just given up. The constant shuttling back and forth to Iowa have broken this red head. Cedeno also grounds out to second. So there's still time. Down seven runs. Two outs and ... Neal Cotts batting. Good night, everyone. Wait, he's 1-for-1 in his career with a double. Well, now he's .500 after striking out to end the game.
Final: Orioles 11, Cubs 4
That's it, everyone. The Cubs drop two out of three to the birds. They travel to the Southside tomorrow for Round II of the City Series. Thanks for reading and see you then.