I'm not a fighter, but this series has been all too civil for my liking. Spice things up!
You wanna keep the jaded Chicagoans interested in this matchup of two first-place teams? Take advice from this minor league manager. That man knows how to put on a show! Granted, he's probably not working anymore, but it taught us all valuable lessons on how to detonate a grenade.
There looked like there might be some tension between the White Sox and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez yesterday. What, a guy can't hit four homers in a series without being vilified? As Ramirez ran out a fly ball in the eight inning, Sox reliever Octavio Dotel had some words for the guy. Turns out both were giggling like schoolgirls, so I'm guessing it was some friendly trash talking. They are going to stop by Claire's boutique and get those "BFF" necklaces later tonight.
I want some sizzle. I want an ejection. It's almost the Fourth of July, give me fireworks!
I'm done ranting. I'm just still upset NBC cancelled Las Vegas. What happened to Danny and Delinda's baby? Will Sam really marry her ex-husband's brother? Shame on you NBC. Shame on you.
Today's lineups are here: Sox will use all the same personnel except Alexei Ramirez, not Juan Uribe, will start at second. The Cubs have a new left fielder in Mark DeRosa after Eric Patterson basically shot himself in the foot yesterday. And Daryle Ward is your DH today, not Koskue Fukudome (he's in RF).
There will no switching back and forth between Len & Bob and Hawk & DJ as this is a FOX-run show today.
Comment board is below; post at will. My email me here if you are stuck at work on a Saturday too.
Announcers to be announced soon. Also, baseball soon.
It's Thom Brennaman (the Cubs lover) and Mark Grace. It's Cubs-a-poolza!
It's 83 degrees at U.S. Cellular Field with wind blowing out of the west at 15 m.p.h. Fox's forecast? Bragging rights. Cubs starter Sean Gallagher just bumped fists with Eric Patterson. Wonder if Patterson's not-so-good skills will transfer? Javier Vazquez's first pitch to Koskue Fukudome is a called strike. Fukudome fouls one off and we're even at 2-2. And now it's a full count as Vazquez's pitch goes a bit high. And then the dreaded leadoff walk. Here's DeRosa. Grace predicts a fastball that DeRosa can hit...and hit he does. A single just past Joe Crede's reach at third. Two on. That Mark Grace is smart. Derrek Lee, who had double-play-itis yesterday, has hit into 19 DPs this season. Second pitch and Lee cranks it the other way and that will score Fukudome. Cubs 1-0. Runners on the corners and no outs. Another slow start for Vazquez against the Cubs. He falls behind 2-0 to Ward. Oh wow, a strike! Brennaman calls Vazquez an "enigma" because you never know how he'll fare. Ward runs the count to 3-2 (he thought strike 2 was a shade low). He hits the next one right in front DeWayne Wise in CF for a single; DeRosa scores and it's Cubs 2-0. Runners at first and second. Ozzie Guillen comes out for a chit-chat. C'mon, get Don Cooper in that Rascal scooter for some words of encouragement. And the Chicagoland-area is under a T-storm watch. Thanks for the huge graphic FOX. Aramis Ramirez shanks one to RF for the first out of the inning; runners stay put. It's raining in New York. I know you care. Here's Jim Edmonds, it was his birthday yesterday. It's Grace's birthday today. According to wikipedia, one of Edmonds' nickname is "Lassie." Like the dog. Huh? Because he can fetch? Edmonds whiffs at the 1-2 pitch and Vazquez gets the strikeout. A visit from Ozzie and Javy is a new pitcher. Maybe he told him there's no ice cream sundae waiting for him if he loses. Geovany Soto is quite good. Breaking ball, strike three called. Brennaman: "What a difference when Vazquez gets high, er, ahead." Yes, because pitching high...never a good idea.
Brian Anderson gives the cutesy lineups. Carlos "Lego-hair" Quentin. There were some other ones, but I'm too embarassed for him to repeat them. Matt Murton did the Cubs lineup last inning; his were equally awkward. Gallagher gets Orlando Cabrera to ground to third for the first out. Pierzynski take ball one and then lines the next to LF for a single. Here's 'ole Lego-hair. Actually, that's kind accurate. Gallagher gets ahead 0-2 in the count before a low ball. Ball. Ball. Then a called third strike (slider) right down the middle which freezes Quentin. Jermaine Dye now, who Brennaman calls the "hottest hitter on the planet." He hits the 1-1 pitch deep to CF and it's outta here. Tied 2-2. Feeling hot, hot hot. Thome now. He hits the 3-2 pitch quite far into the LF corner, but it's foul and out of play. Somewhere, Hawk was yelling "Stretch." And the Thome draws the walk. Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild comes out to offer some wisdom to Sean. He then throws strike one to Crede (Sean, not Larry). Crede lifts it deep to LF and it bounces just off the bottom of the wall, it's a double and that scores Jim "Wheels" Thome. White Sox 3-2. DeRosa has to chase the ball after it ricohets off the wall. Eric Patterson? Is that you? Nick Swisher, who Brennaman called "a delightful character." He is kinda like a cartoon. Zoinks. Full count, few foul balls. Another foul ball and Swish lets his bat go flying into the stands. Weeeeee. 29 pitches thus far for Gallagher. The 9th pitch in the at-bat strikes out Swisher swinging.
White Sox 3-2.
So it's a low-scoring, pitcher's duel today, eh? Guess JD was up late last night after eating some bad food. Perhaps he made a run for the border. Hey, FOX just showed a Taco Bell commerical. Wacky. Mike Fontenot grounds out to Swish at first for the first out of the inning. Here's Ronny Cedeno. Swing and a miss and it's 0-2. And then it's another swing and a miss for Vazquez's third strikeout of the day. Mark Grace: A fan of Ozzie Guillen. I know you were curious. 1-2 count to Fukudome. And Fukudome goes down swinging too. Quick inning for Javy.