Game 39 Recap: Cubs 5, Mets 6
W - Burgos (1-0), the forces of evil. L - Dempster (1-2), decency. Things to take from this game 1. We got the Mets' B-team today No Wright, no Beltran, no Reyes, no Easley, no LoDuca, no Alou. Starter Jason Vargas is making his debut for the Mets. Julio Franco is playing 3rd base. He played 3 games there last year, and hadn't played at third prior to that since his rookie year. In 1982. For 2 games. Gotay has never played SS before his one inning there, last night. David Newhan is an OFer playing 2nd base. Brenley mentioned something about a league policy requiring at least 4 "regulars" in a starting lineup, and wondered if Selig might put a phone call in to the Mets for this. Only if we beat them, Bob..... (ah, seems Bob was discussing a spring training policy? In any case, we're facing the B-team.) 2. The pitching "duel" Don't let the box score fool you: while Guzman and Vargas kept the game low-scoring through five, neither was really dominating. It wasn't the sort of pitching duel that has you oohing and ahhing. Vargas was "pitching to contact" and retiring Cub after free-swinging Cub on lazy grounders and fly balls. Guzman kept pitching out of minor trouble, inning after inning. Finally, Vargas started to lose it in the sixth, ending this faux-duel. 3. Cramps Guzman gets a cramp in his leg, batting int he top of the sixth. The Cubs procede to hit a pair of 2-run HR that inning (Pagan and Ramirez), and Guzman is pulled from the game, in line for his first ML Win. 4. Solid Middle Relief Wuertz and Ohman both pitched well. 5. The Ninth Dempster loaded the bases with one out in a 5-1 game when he walks Beltran. Dempster must have looked at the home plate umpire the wrong way, as the ump then gestures at him. Seemed like an overreaction on the umpire's part. Facing Chavez, Dempster goes 3-2 on him, then walks him, too. 5-2 game, winning run now at bat in Ruben Gotay. He gets Gotay in an 0-2 hole, when Gotay serves a single into left. 5-3, bases still loaded with one out... With Shawn Green up, Lou calls for Eyre, who has great numbers against Green in their careers. Green is removed in favor of David Wright. Wright lines the first pitch right back up the middle, just out of the reach of Izturis. 5-4, bases still loaded, one out. And with Delgado facing Eyre, he singles just past a diving Theriot. Murton tries to throw out the winning run at the plate, but his throw is way off the money. Probably wouldn't have mattered, anyway. We enter the bottom of the 9th leading 5-1, leave it with a loss.
- It takes Vargas 9 pitches to retire us in the top of the 1st. How eager are the Cubs to get out of New York, on getaway day?
- Mets half of the first, Shawn Green dumps a lazy fly ball in front of Soriano. Looks like Soriano got a bad read on the ball, and then just jogged after it. Catchable?
- And it takes Vargas 8 pitches to get out of the second inning. The Cubs are making life easy for a guy who struggled in AAA
- Franco swings and misses at a hanging curve from Guzman, in the second. Hard to look worse than Franco did, on a hanging curve.
- Woo, we made Vargas throw 11 pitches in the 3rd. Our biggest threat, so far, was a slow roller that Guzman hit, towards the hole between 3rd and SS. Julio Franco showed his spectacular range, however, cutting the ball off before it could get to the hole, and throwing him out.
- Guzman, pitching to Gomez in the third, hits him in the hand with a fastball that ran in towards the body while Gomez was trying to bunt. Looked and sounded painful. Lou argues that Gomez hadn't pulled the bat back in time, and that it should have been a strike. No go. Gomez painfully advances to first base.
- Guzman scuffles a bit in the third, with that HBP and a walk, but he gets through it.
- It's interesting how the useage and meaning of songs evolves over time. WGN keeps playing "We gotta get out of this place," in reference to getting the heck out of New York and Shea Stadium, on getaway day.
- Mercifully, Pagan ends the perfect game with a blooper into right, one out in the fourth.
- Wow, and Pagan then outruns the pickoff play at 1st. He gets picked off, but just runs for second, and beats the throw. SB.
- About the lowest called strike that you will ever see, called on Ramirez in the fourth.
- Holy Cow, we're suddenly winning this game that, by appearances, has been going against us. Ramirez rockets a single off the LF wall, Pagan scores. 1-0 Cubs. That just doesn't seem right.
- Delgado gets called out, strike 3, on a pitch almost as low as the called strike to Ramirez
- Guzman seems like he has to pitch out of trouble every inning, but through 4, it's worked well enough. Once again, gets out of a situation with a couple runners on base.
- Fifth inning, Chavez singles, steals second (leaving too early, but Guzman didn't notice, and still nearly being thrown out by blanco) and scores on a double down the RF line by Gotay.
- And again, Guzman pitches out of trouble, getting a GIDP on Delgado to end a 1st and 3rd, one out threat in the fifth.
- Guzman, leading off the sixth, has to have the trainer come out and check on something. Appears he may have slightly pulled or cramped something in his leg.
- Following that, a Theriot single and Pagan HR, and we're up 3-1
- Brenley discussing how Soriano has really been favoring the leg, not running hard unless he really has to, says we'll just have to "take what we can get" from Soriano until he's feeling better. Sounds a bit pessimistic.
- A Soriano single, and Ramirez launches a 2-run shot; suddenly, we're up 5-1! Where'd this come from?
- Two outs in the top of the seventh, and Ward hits a lazy roller to Newhan. Newhan, from maybe ten feet, throws the ball into away, into the dugout. Looked like Delgado also had really bad footwork on it, couldn't react to a bad throw. Nothing happens from the error.
- Wuertz and Ohman have been very effective in relief. Ohman, in particular, is just mowing them down.
- Brenley with a very funny retelling of his wife trying to do play-by-play over the phone of his son's walk-off grand slam in some minor league game.
- Wow, that was a devestating ending.