Game 157 Thread / Cubs @ Mets (3 of 4)
|SP||Carlos Zambrano||SP||*Oliver Perez|
|14-6, 3.77, 128 K, 68 BB, 184 IP||10-7, 4.10, 168 K, 97 BB, 184.1 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||SS||#Jose Reyes|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||LF||*Daniel Murphy|
|1B||Derrek Lee||3B||David Wright|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||CF||#Carlos Beltran|
|RF||Mark DeRosa||1B||*Carlos Delgado|
|CF||Reed Johnson||RF||*Ryan Church|
|2B||Ronny Cedeno||C||*Brian Schneider|
|C||Henry Blanco||2B||#Argenis Reyes|
|P||#Carlos Zambrano||P||*Oliver Perez|
After a lifetime spent listening to ballgames on the radio, I have come to associate certain parks with a certain tone, a certain pitch in the crowd sound. Obviously, my ear is well attuned to the way that Wrigley Field crowds come across on-air. Same with Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, and the Metrodome. (Loved hearing all those Twins fans Tuesday night!)
Shea Stadium is another one of those parks. Unlike what you hear over the radio from those other parks, however, the crowd sound that goes out over the airwaves from a raucous Shea isn't one of collective joy. It's much more coarse, much more dangerous, a wild, unruly roar—like the sound of inmates rooting on two guys aiming to shank each other in the middle of the yard.
I was reminded of that while listening to Pat Hughes last night, in the sixth inning, when Chad Gaudin came unglued, the big Mets rally took hold, that awful, awful Shea crowd came to life, and I lost all hope of following a game the Cubs didn't have to win with any sort of detachment.
Goddamn those Mets.
In tonight's showdown before the inmates, Carlos Zambrano returns to the mound after that ghastly, eight-run, 1
2/3-inning outing against the Cardinals last Friday, which led to
renewed speculation about the Cubs' NLDS rotation and the most spirited
discussion of the nature of jet lag in the history of The Cub
Here's Lou Piniella on The Man Who Used To Be Ace:
"He missed two starts prior to the no-hitter (because of tendinitis in
his right shoulder), and the last start was an inning-plus. He needs work, it's obvious. We've got him on his fifth day, and
we'll let him work as much as possible Wednesday."
Sure doesn't sound a description of the guy you're going to hand the ball to for Game One.
Mets starter Oliver Perez hasn't pitched against the Cubs since 2005, when he was a Pirate and he was busy giving up homers to Neifi Perez and Jason Dubois. He has only won once in his last seven starts, but pitched well enough the last time out to keep the Mets bullpen out of the game until the seventh inning as the Metropolitans collected a much needed victory at Atlanta.
Rob G. says that a Zambrano/Oliver Perez matchup takes him back to a particular game in 2004, in which Sammy Sosa made an amazing catch in right-center field with the bases loaded in the last of the 8th to preserve a Cubs win.
Rob G's memory is good. Scary good.
Two last items:
Congratulations to Sean Marshall, who, on the strength of Tuesday night's outing, has assured himself of a place in Lou's bullpen during the playoffs.
And lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to officially endorse the
Milwaukee Brewers as my emotional favorite to win the NL Wild Card. I
thought last night's comeback, walk-off victory against the Pirates demonstrated a lot of
resolve from a team that has played itself into quite a hole. Plus the Brewers aren't the Mets, and that's enough for