From the Cubicle: Earthquake edition

Live play-by-play of today's Cubs-Pirates game from a guy who was shaken from his slumber by The Great Quake of '08.

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We've moved past mountain lions to earthquakes in Chicago. What's next, an avalanche? Coastal seiche?

The whole town's talking about the earthquake, the earthquake (sorry Webb Boys). It's all I've heard all morning. Did you feel the earthquake? Where were you when the earthquake hit? Earthquake, earthquake, EARTHQUAKE! Unfortunately this rare seismic shift has created a bit of a rift between people like cracks in the southbound Edens Expressway. On one side you've got the people who felt it and want to talk about it. On the other, those who didn't and feel left out. Then there's the third group out in left field: the earthquake denialists, who don't believe it ever happened, and, frankly, I have no time for those people.

Saw a few joes on the street on the news this morning talking about it. One guy said he was in the shower, another watching TV and a third said he was eating breakfast. A guy who opens the Tribune gym at 5:30 a.m. said he was on the Blue Line at the time and didn't feel anything beyond the usual shaking and rattling. My mother said she was up reading. This guy was on his couch. What was I doing at 4:40 a.m.? I was racked out in my bed, which started shaking like Jell-O.

Perhaps the earthquake has shaken some sense into struggling lefty Rich Hill. He goes for the Cubs today in their weekly grudge match with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Righty Ian Snell toes the slab for the Bucs.

It's unfortunate the Pirates don't travel with their mascot, the Pirate Parrot. Thankfully someone uploaded this clip of the Parrot from last week's 14-inning game in Pittsburgh. The lascivious, lecherous and downright lewd pelvic thrusts preceding Adam LaRoche's homer were tremendous, that is, if you've got a furry fetish. Earlier he was sitting behind home plate talking on a giant cellphone and waving at the camera.

And speaking of bushy-haired mascots, I failed to mention this yesterday while the Reds were still in town, but to say Reds announcer Marty Brennaman did not approve of Cubs fans littering the outfield with 15 baseballs Wednesday night after Adam Dunn's homer is an understatement. Did not approve at all. Give that audio a listen, if you haven't already. Wow.

Marty's always struck me as the type of hayseed who says things like Cincinnatah and Missourah and, frankly, I have no time for those people.

Lineups. Baseball soon.

Upate: We've got a fourth group of earthquake survivors: Those who didn't feel it and didn't know about it until 1 p.m. when I told him on the phone. Hello, Rahula.

First inning

And we're off. Rich Hill starts off the hot-hitting Highlander Nate McLouth with a strike and then walks him, nearly drilling him in the ribs with ball four. Hill strikes out Luis Rivas with a big, ol' curve. With Freddy Sanchez at the dish, Hill throws over to first and they've got McLouth hung up. Lee throws to second and Theriot tags him out after McLouth over-slide the bag. Sanchez flies out to Kosuke Fukudome. Hill issues a leadoff walk but calms down a bit after that.

Probably should've mentioned this earlier above all that other nonsense, but Eric Patterson gets the start and leads off today. Why, here he is. One time a few years ago, I saw the Patterson brothers eating breakfast at Nookie's on Wells. I've got a million of these awesome stories, like the one time I saw Jon Lieber at Wendy's on Michigan Avenue the day he signed a big extension with the Cubs, so stay tuned. Patterson strikes out swinging at a pitch in the dirt. Theriot bounces a single back up the middle. Lee flies out to shallow right. Aramis Ramirez singles out of the reach of the shortstop Rivas and Theriot takes third. Fukudome flies out to left to end the inning and that gets a big cheer from the Wrigley crowd off the bat. Same with Lee's flyball to right. This must stop now.


Second inning

Theriot slides, knocks down a grounder by Jason Bay in the hole but can't come up with it. Infield single for the Pirates left-fielder. Yet far, Hill's giant curve is working. He just dropped one in there for a strike on Xavier Nady. However, the problems usually stem from his other two pitches. Bay steals second and doesn't draw a throw on a ball in the dirt. Nady knocks in the runner, turning on a hanging curve and singling to left. As Bob Brenly just pointed out, when you can't get your other pitches over, hitters will just sit on the breaking ball. LaRoche misses a slider for strike three. Ronny Paulino pops up and out to second and screams an unprintable dirty word in the process. Hill hangs another one and Jose Bautista nearly hits it out, instead banging it off the top of the wall in left. Hill strikes out his counterpart, Snell, but the Pirates claim "First!" on the scoreboard.

Pirates 1, Cubs 0

Very important business here: Yes, there used to be a Wendy's in the Sak's Fifth Ave. building food court. It's now closed. Mark DeRosa rips a double to left-field corner. Geovany Soto swings at the first pitch and grounds out to third. DeRosa has to hang at second. Reed Johnson flies out to center. Hill fans and the DeRosa's leadoff double goes in the dumpster.

Pirates 1, Cubs 0

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