No surprise that the Yanks swept that one, and, despite an appearance in the '45 Classic, it was all downhill from there for the Cubbies.
The lineups are in:
With the lefty Wells on the mound for the Yankees, Dusty Baker goes to his B team: Ramon Martinez at second and leading off for Mark Grudzielanek, which is great since I won't have to type that name again, and Eric Karros at first and batting sixth for the left-handed hitting Hee Seop Choi. Switch-hitter Mark Bellhorn gets a rare start, these days, at third.
In case you haven't heard, which would be pretty hard considering you've seen the front of the site, Sammy Sosa has been suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball for wearing that silly knit cap during batting practice. While his appeal is processed, he will be allowed to play in this series and will bat fourth today.
The Yankees' lineup is familiar to all: Frankie Crosetti leading off, followed by Red Rolfe, Tommy Henrich and then the big three: DiMaggio, Gehrig and Dickey...wait, that's 1938. Near Cub Alfonso Soriano starts things off, followed by Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Robin Ventura, Raul Mondesi, Hideki Matsui, Juan Rivera, John Flaherty and Wells.
There's a steady rain falling in Chicago right now and the tarp is still on the field. Looks like well have a delay. Somewhere there's a guy kicking himself for paying $1,500 a ticket.
It's official: We are now in a rain delay and Fox has switched to its gruesome blooper show, "You Gotta See This" --- aka skateboarders neutering themselves on railings. What ever happened to "This Week in Baseball" reruns? TWIB notes!
The grounds crew is slowly rolling up the tarp. Game on. We hope.
A number of readers with tickets to tomorrow's game have written in expressing concern they'll miss Roger Clemens' bid for No. 300 in the chance this game is rained out. I've been studying the radar for the last hour, and I think they'll get this in. Don't hold me to that. I'm not Tom Skilling.
After a 90-minute rain delay, Don Zimmer's triumphant return to Wrigley Field is under way. Zambrano delivers the first pitch to Soriano at the traditional start time of 3:49 p.m. Soriano grounds the second pitch to Bellhorn at third. Jeter is greeted by boos. What a strange sight seeing Jeter hitting with the brick backstop behind him. There's a real buzz in the park. Jeter draws a walk. Giambi takes a giant cut at the first pitch and misses. And then comes right back and jacks one the other way for a two-run homer. ... Ventura lines a single to center. Mondesi flies to left and the inappropriately nicknamed Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui dribbles one to Zambrano to end the inning.
Yankees 2, Cubs 0
Ramon Martinez pops to Jeter and then Alex Gonzalez grounds out to the Yankee shortstop. Corey Patterson gives it a ride to deep left but Rivera hauls it in on the warning track.
Zambrano gets two guick outs as Juan Rivera and John Flaherty ground out. Wells steps in for his seventh career at-bat and let's just say footage of his first swing will not be making its way to Cooperstown. He's laughing. Hey, he does make contact, on a comebacker to Zambrano. Quick second inning.
Corky Romano lines Wells' first pitch up the middle for the Cubs' first hit. And fellow Pepsi spokesmen and Everest summiteers, Sosa and Giambi, share a laugh at first. ... Alou goes down swinging. ... Karros lines one to left and Sosa has to stop at second. Now Jeter chats up Sammy. ... Bellhorn grounds weakly to Jeter, who flips to Soriano. But that's it. Bellhorn runs too well for them to turn two. ... Zambrano hits the first pitch back to Wells and the Cubs strand two runners.