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A great man once said, "Let's play two."
And so here we are. After a rainout last night, the Cubs and Atlanta Braves play two today, the first of which we'll bring you in living type. The second of which, you're on your own. It's on Comcast Sports Net Plus, so you can flip back and forth between the game and the men's 3-meter synchronized springboard diving final on NBC.
I've been on vacation and am still catching up a bit. But I did catch Lou Piniella talking over the weekend about possibly benching the struggling Kosuke Fukudome. Now some people think he's backing off that. But isn't this the way Piniella sends messages? It didn't mean he WAS going to bench Fukudome, who's hitting .227 since the All-Star break, or even that he thought about benching him but just that he thought about saying he might bench him. So he threw that out there.
I'll throw this out there, too: Today's lineups, in which Fukudome hits second.
Jason Marquis goes against good, ol' Charlie Morton from Hot 'lanta. I'm a bit tired after staying up way too late watching that poor gymnast let an entire nation down and the ensuing interview that went something like this:
NBC reporter: Alicia, you totally blew it. How does it feel to let your entire team down by falling not only on the beam but also on the floor exercise, an event you won the freakin' world title in in 2005, no less?
Alicia Sacramone: It feels horrible. I don't know what happened.
NBC reporter: You've trained your entire life for this. You were left off the squad four years ago in Athens only to make it this time and then fall twice. Your teammates did their part. What were you thinking when you were sprawled on the floor?
Sacramone: It was horrible.
NBC reporter: Did you rattle your entire team by falling? All you had to do was stay upright and you would've won the gold and beaten the smog-producing, cheatin' Chinese 10-year-olds on their own soil. Michael Phelps beat the cheese-eating, trash-talking French. So what happened to you? Your thoughts on letting down an entire nation?
Sacramone: Well, I was the only one who fell, so I think they were rattled...
NBC reporter: Would you cry already?!
So even live 90-kilogram judo on NBC's Olympic site,couldn't put me to sleep. I eventually cried myself to sleep to event jumping in the wee hours.
The weather is fine in Atlanta and it looks like there are about 40 people in the stands at Turner Field. And we're off. Morton, the right-handed rookie, starts off Alfonso Soriano with a fastball and the Cubs left-fielder fouls that off. With the count even at 2-2, Soriano slices one down the right-field line that lands just foul. Soriano swings and misses at a high fastball for strike three and the first out. Bob Brenly wonders if Fukudome will go back to the more patient approach he showed earlier in the season. He does take a ball but then flies out to center. Derrek Lee grounds a single through the hole on the left side. Aramis Ramirez grounds to short to end the top half of the first. No runs, one hit and no errors.
Jason Marquis is 0-3 with a 14.00+ ERA in four starts against his former team, so this should be good. Full count to Gregor Blanco and he grounds out to short. Yunel Escobar nearly doubles down the right-field line but, like Soriano's ball in the top of the inning, it's just foul. Marquis hits Escobar with the next pitch and he takes his base. Chipper Jones, hitting, oh, .370, fouls one back and it gets a piece of Geovany Soto. The catcher's in pain, but he walks it off. Jones pats him on the head, which is nice of him. Lee makes a nice play on a ground down the line, falling to his knees and slapping first with his glove to get Jones. He fires to second but Theriot drops the ball. Two outs with Escobar on second for Brian McCann. McCann hits it hard but it's right at Mark DeRosa and that, my friends, ends the first inning.