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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.
Jason Marquis (6-3, 4.43 ERA) tries his luck against Orioles rookie Radhames Liz, who's 1-0 with a 6.27 ERA since catching the train up from Triple-A Norfolk.
As for the Cubs, after a bit of video work and the sage advice of Larry Rothschild, Carlos Marmol appears to have put those two putrid appearances out of mind.
Kosuke Fukudome remains out with a tight calf, so Eric Patterson leads things off for the second straight game and plays left. Mark DeRosa is in right and Mike Fontenot plays second and hits eighth.
As always it's all right here in the lineups.
It's hot, it's humid, it's ... NBA draft day, so some rejoicing is in order. Feel free to squeeze off a few rounds in the air because we're off. Baseball shortly on Yosh Kawano Day at Wrigley Field.
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.