Welcome everyone to the play-by-play commentary of the Cubs home opener against the Montreal Expos. Bonjour to all the Expos fans. It's flat out brutal out, more suitable for the Iditarod than baseball with the wind blowing in from left-center and the wind-chill at 24 degrees.

The grounds crew has parked the Zamboni and the puck drop is just minutes away.

Baseball soon...

There's a slight delay as the Cubs honor Sammy Sosa and Ernie Banks.

First inning

Matt Clement takes the mound for the Cubs and gets Endy Chavez to bounce out to Mark Grudzielanek at second. Jose Vidro pops out to Corey Patterson in center and that brings up the always dangerous Vladimir Guerrero, who can hit any pitch in any part of the zone. He chases a slider away and goes down swinging. Good start for Clement, who had to leave his last start with a back injury.

Zach Day, probably the easiest name I'll have to type all day, faces the toughest, Grudzielanek and Grudzielanek lines one to left field. Thank god for cut and paste. Alex Gonzalez works the count full before drawing a walk. There is snow on the ivy vines in the left-field corner. Here's Sosa. He lines a one-hopper right at shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who starts the double play. Bad break for the Cubs there. That ball was hit hard. Good break here. The first pitch to Moises Alou gets away from catcher Brian Schneider and Grudzielanek sprints home from third. Most of the Cubs are wearing mittens and Balaclavas. Moises is going bare-handed. Tough guy. Let's hope he doesn't get jammed. He checks his swing with three balls and draws a walk. Hee Seop Choi smokes the first pitch to left field. Patterson grounds weakly to third to end the inning.

Cubs 1, Expos 0

Second inning

Former White Sox Jeff Liefer leads off the second. Clement walks Liefer and Orlando Cabrera then hits into a double play. Brad Wilkerson grounds out to second. Clement threw maybe five pitches that inning.

Mark Bellhorn fans to start the inning. It looks like National League pitchers have figured him out. Don't expect a repeat of last season. Damiam Miller grounds out, bringing up Clement, who, if he's smart and values his hands, won't try to make contact in this weather. He swings and grounds out to first.

Third inning

Catcher Brian Schneider rolls out to the right side of the infield. Third baseman Jamey Carroll draws a walk, Day and Chavez follow with ground outs and Clement has another easy inning.

Mark G. leads off the Cubs' half of the third and grounds one to hole between short and third. Cabrera's throw draws Liefer off the bag and the G. Man slides underneath. Throwing error on Cabrera and the Cubs again have their lead-off hitter on. Alex Gonazles lines a double to left, his eighth of the year already. Sosa comes up with men on second and third and no one out. Sosa grounds to third, but knocks in the G. Man. Dodgers fans would have you think Grudzielanek was a complete stiff. But he's looked great so far. Then again, the Cubs could've gotten a bag of balls and some used catchers equipment for Todd Hundley and it would've looked good. Another wild pitch and Gonzalez takes third. Alou's fly ball to right is deep enough to drive Gonzalez in. Day plunks Choi above the right elbow. Patterson chops one right at Liefer at first.

Cubs 3, Expos 0

Fourth inning

Vidro works the count full before either setting or tying the record for shortest ground ball in history. It went about two inches in front of the plate before Miller pounced on it and threw to first. Guerrero pops the first pitch to Bellhorn and things are moving along nicely here. Until now. Clement walks Liefer again but then comes back and fans Cabrera with a slider away.

WGN can ace the shots of icicles and snow piles; they're downright depressing. Bellhorn starts things off with a walk. Bellhorn takes off on a hit and run, but Miller fouls the pitch off. Miller then hits into a double play and Clement grounds out to Liefer. So much for the lead-off walk.

Fifth inning