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Well, so much for the Jim Edmonds experiment. That was fun. Hope you kept the receipt for those No. 15 Cubs jerseys because, trust me, I had one heckuva time trying to return my Phil Nevin jersey at Wrigleyville sports. Not sure what my favorite moment of that era was since there's so much material to review. But I'll have to go with the Carlos Zambrano hugfest.
with loose change. He's been replaced in center today by Reed Johnson, who's hitting eighth.
OK, this was expected. Lou Piniella said all along that he'd sit Edmonds against lefties in favor of Johnson. So Hollywood's on the bench against the left-handed Tom Gorzelanny, whom the Cubs shelled April 7 for seven runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings. Sean Gallagher toes the ol' slab for the Cubs.
Lineups and let's get going on this wonderful May Friday. A perfect day to be stuck in a cubicle. But I suppose that's my job. Damn job.
South Bend jamband Umphrey's McGee sings the Anthem and we're off ... to some last-minute commercials. The first pitch at the traditional 1:22 p.m. start time is a ball to Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez bounces out to Ryan Theriot at short for this game's first of what I presume will be many outs. Nate McLouth sends one deep to center that Johnson gloves on the edge of the track. Gallagher grazes Jason Bay's jersey with a pitch and he takes his base and already Bob Brenly is talking about how he hopes Gallagher can pitch out of this. Talk about your short leashes, it's a runner on first with two outs. Make that second: Bay takes second on a ball in the dirt. Adam LaRoche sends it deep the other way to left. Alfonso Soriano gets a little jittery on the track but catches it just in front of the wall.
Soriano yanks the first pitch he sees just inside of the foul pole in left for a leadoff homer. "You've either got to be stubborn or stupid to throw him a first pitch strike to start a ball game," quoth the Brenly. Theriot walks. Lee flies out to center. The half-inning-late wind update: out of the northwest at 5 mph, which is blowing out to right. Looks a little more than 5 to me based on the flapping of the flags. With Aramis Ramirez up, Theriot takes off for second and Ronny Paulino's throw sails into center and Theriot takes third. Ramirez grounds out to his counterpart at third, Doug Mientkiewicz, and that drives home Theriot. Geovany Soto steps up and rips a solo homer to left. Bigtime meatball by Gorzelanny. Right down the middle. Ronny Cedeno fights off pitch after pitch before flying out to right to end the inning.
Cubs 3, Pirates 0
Xavier Nady draws a leadoff walk. Mientkiewicz (clip and paste), grounds back to Gallagher. His throw to second is a bit wide, so the Cubs only get the one out. Paulino flies out to center. Brian Bixler chops one towards third. Ramirez charges, bare-hands but Bixler beats the throw. Runners on first and second with two outs. Gorzelanny flies out to center stranding those two guys no one thought he was going to knock in in the first place.
DeRosa rips the first pitch to the left-field gap and slides headfirst into second with a double, which I realize is a bit redundant. Johnson singles to left; DeRosa runs to third. Tom Gorzelanny is not fooling anyone today. Gallagher shows bunt all the way. He bunts towards first. The pitcher handles it, looks DeRosa back to third and then flips to first for the out. Johnson takes second on the play, which was the idea. Don Zimmer's out in the bleachers somewhere and watches as Soriano hits a towering flyball to left that nestles into the basket for a three-run homer. Zim's dumbfounded. Ahh, kah, kah, kah, kah. Someone get him a beer. Theriot pops out to LaRoche in foul ground. Lee flies out and we move on.
Cubs 6, Pirates 0
If if said it once, I've said it a thousand times, whenever they hold a tote bag promotion for a guy, he's going to hit two homers in his first two at-bats. Sanchez draws a leadoff walk. Lee makes a nimble pick of a McLouth grounder, steps on first, throws down to second, where Theriot chases Sanchez back to first, throws back to Lee, who applies the tag on Sanchez. Whoa, lot going on there in that double play. Bay pops out to Theriot.
Ramirez flies out to right. In the great discussion of former Cubs catchers on the message board, how quickly you forget the immortal Koyie Hill. Or was he mentioned? Soto draws a walk. Cedeno's out on a swinging bunt in front of the plate. DeRosa flies out to center and the Cubs' three-run-per-inning streak is snapped at two.
Cubs 6, Pirates 0
LaRoche flies out to right on the first pitch, which ain't gonna help the .197 batting average. Nady strikes out swinging. Len and Bob are discussing the rate at which maple bats break and mention that MLB is looking into it. Whenever this discussion comes up Brenly always mentions, in somewhat graphic detail, that it's only inevitable that someone is going be seriously impaled one of these days. Hey, what's for lunch? Mientkiewicz flies out to right.