From the Cubicle: Cubs-Brewers, Round II

Live play-by-play commentary of today's CubsBrewers game from a guy waiting on his Kosuke Fukudome Fathead. Hai!

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The Cubs ushered in their 100th Next Year in typical Cubs fashion: There was some fleeting excitement and hope but ultimately it was dashed with a heavy dose of heartbreak.

Man, there was a lot going on in that opener, wasn't there? The oft-debated lineup of Lou Piniella was exposed. Hustling gamer/grinder and lovable fan favorite Ryan Theriot failed to reach base once in five tries. Former non-leadoff-leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano didn't fare any better in the second spot. The day's momentary hero, Kosuke Fukudome, did everything, including getting picked off. Carlos Zambrano finally pitched well in an opener but then again left with those pesky forearm cramps. Carlos Marmol, the guy some people think should be closing, was lights out. The closer, Kerry Wood, entered in a non-save situation, beaned the first batter and then gave up three runs. Slow starter Bob Howry, true to form, gave up the winning run. Eric Gagne is a slob. It rained. Did I miss anything?

Anyway, that was Monday and now it's Wednesday. Somewhere we lost a Tuesday. Ted Lilly, whom we last saw slamming his glove the ground like a big-league Tanner Boyle in Game 2 of the NLDS misadventure, toes the cold slab today and, of course, we have to mention that he's like 511-1 pitching in games after a loss.

Ned Yost trots out Jeff Suppan, who's 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 16 lifetime starts against the Cubs and 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA in eight starts at Wrigley Field.

It's sunny. It's cold. It's baseball in the afternoon in early April. It's today's lineups. Welcome. Baseball soon from the House that Kosuke Flipped.

First inning

Don't know if this is a problem with the cable in the building, which is spotty at best, or Comcast, but we're having some major issues with the feed and the audio, meaning they are barely working and often not together. Lovely. Rickie Weeks leads off and rips the first pitch onto Waveland for a leadoff homer. I guess that's a little payback for getting plunked twice in the opener. Gabe Kapler does something. No idea because I have no picture. He flew out to right. Anyone else having a problem with Comcast? Prince Fielder pops up the first pitch to short. Lilly strikes out Ryan Braun. I'm going to predict we don't lose the picture or audio during any of the commercials. Just a hunch.

Brewers 1, Cubs 0

As predicted no disruptions during the ads and, no, Lilly didn't slam his glove down after the Weeks homer. Theriot grounds to second. Soriano pops up to the left side of the mound and Fielder rumbles all the way over and gloves it. We may have picked up some seismic activity after that battleship just traversed the infield. Lee bloops one down the right-field line. It bounces off the wall and through Corey Hart's legs. Lee ends up on second. And here we go again with the black screen. Anyone else experiencing this? Hall makes a nice play at third of an Aramis Ramirez bouncer, spins and makes the throw to first to end the first.

Brewers 1, Cubs 0

Second inning

Here we go, Hall, Hart and Hardy in the top of the second. Where's Wes Helms when you need him? Also, please no Arsenal scores or updates. Thanks in advance. Signed, Soccer Boy. Hall pops it up behind home plate. Geovany Soto shields his eyes with his glove and squeezes it, making him 1-for-2 on the year. Hart strikes out on a pitch in the dirt. Lilly gets Hardy swinging, too, and has sat down six straight after the leadoff homer.

Fukudome walks on four pitches. First-base coach Matt Sinatro could use a bigger batting helmet. His head looks forced into that thing. Also, I prefer Max Orient in the Nordstrom building on Michigan Ave., to Panda Express. DeRosa breaks his bat on a 2-2 pitch and grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. Soto drives one to left but Braun takes a few steps back and grabs it on the edge of the track and the Cubs continue to do nothing at the plate.

Brewers 1, Cubs 0

Third inning

Suppan, batting eighth ahead of dead weight Jason Kendall, takes a ball to start the third. Lilly comes back and rings up his counterpart on three straight strikes. Kendall rolls one towards third and Ramirez boots it. Brenly called that "a fairly routine play." They don't get much more routine than that and Ramirez lolly-gagged it. Weeks lofts a flyball to shallow center and Felix Pie is there. With Kapler up, they get Kendall caught between first and second. Lilly throws to Lee, who in turn throws to second to get Kendall. But wait, a balk was called on Lilly and Kendall is awarded second. Home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth made the call immediately. Bob is saying it's because Lilly's foot went behind the rubber during his wind up and then threw to first. Anyway, Kapler flies out to left and we move on.

Pie goes the other way but it's right where Braun was standing in left field. Fair enough point about Ramirez, Martin, but by my count he's bobbled two balls in two games, not to mention whether or not he should've helped out Soto on that pop up in the opener, and hasn't hit anything. Yes, he can hit and will hit but you've got to field your position, especially the easy ones. Lilly grounds out to short. Theriot finally reaches base with a single to left. Soriano fouls off a few pitches and then hits one off his shoelaces and grounds out to third.

Brewers 1, Cubs 0





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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