Somewhere along the way the Cubs contracted the "paralyzing suck" virus and it seemed to spread from one Cub to the next last night. I felt like I was watching 28 Days Later, just waiting for the Cubs fans at the park to start ripping each other apart. It started with Ryan Theriot, and not on that ill-advised bare-handed play. After Soriano singled and took second, Theriot flailed away looking thorougly overmatched by Chad Billingsley. What a fantastic time for a guy who hits the ball to the right side about 95% of the time to fail.
He sure made up for it later though when he attempted a bare-handed do-or-die play on a ball he should have probably have just gloved. I admit I stepped away for a second and only saw the back end of the replay. The Parachat crowd was 50/50 on whether Theriot would have even gotten Loney had he tried to field it cleanly, but nonetheless, it certainly wasn't a good play.
Next up was DeRosa, who turned two routine outs into none when he muffed an admittably hard-hit ball. Had he not been infected with "the paralyzing suck" virus, he might have realized he still had plenty of time to at least secure one out, but instead rushed his throw to still try and get a double play which was gone as soon as he didn't fieldl the ball cleanly.
Around the diamond it went and next up was Derrek Lee who did all he could to keep a hot smash in front of him, but unfortunately the "paralyzing suck" virus must mess with your equilibrium because he couldn't pick up where the ball went. And to complicate matters, Zambrano was a little late getting to the bag.
I think somewhere in that exchange, Zambrano caught it because a few hitters later, he left an absolute cookie up for Russell Martin that pretty much sucked the air right out of Wrigley.
Quick sidebar: That was just an absolutely fantastic drag bunt single by Furcal right before that. Hope Hendry can land him this time around in free agency.
Oh but, it wasn't done. Aramis booted a ball later in the game and the entire offense started hacking away down five runs rather than remain patient and try to chip away one run at a time. In the 7th, the virus spread to the dugout when Neal Cotts was brought in to face Andre Ethier and James Loney. Problem being with Bob Howry warmed up in the pen, Lou left Cotts out there to face Matt Kemp who predicatbly singled in a run. You ask, what's the difference between 6-0 and 7-0, I say a whole lot when you have as talented an offense as the Cubs do. They're in every game and the manager doesn't need to be giving up in the 7th inning.
By the 8th, Lou decides to go with his bullpen aces and they certainly weren't immune. Marmol gives up another two and Wood - in possibly his last game as a Cub in Wrigley - gives up one more. Everyone gets a ride on the "suck ass" carousel.
More ranting after the jump....
- Way to be a leader of the team, DeRosa...
Beforehand, Piniella was taken aback by second baseman
Mark DeRosa saying the Cubs already were in a do-or-die situation. If
that was the case, Piniella said, they might as well forfeit Game 3.
Piniella had a little talk with DeRosa and amplified his feelings afterward.
"And this is why I don't like talking about do-or-die
things, and I heard that from a few of our players," he said. "I'll
talk to them about it. This is not do-or-die. Actually, we're sending a
pretty good pitcher out there on the mound in Los Angeles on Saturday
in (Rich) Harden, and we're sending a darned good pitcher to the mound
also on Sunday in (Ted) Lilly."
- Good to see the Cubs learned about being up front to their fans about injuries....
Multiple team sources confirmed Thursday that Harden received an
anti-inflammatory shot for the discomfort that sidelined him for 12
days between his Aug. 29 and Sept. 11 starts.
It's not rare for pitchers to get anti-inflammatory injections, and
insiders suggest it can be considered maintenance as much as injury
relief for a pitcher with a history of problems but no structural
The story began a couple days ago, when Cubs
Chairman Crane Kenney left a message on Greanis’ voice mail to call
him. Greanis thought his friends were playing a prank on him, but when
he eventually got in contact with Kenney, he found out the reason for
“He said, ‘I’m a devout Catholic, and I’m not superstitious, but if
there is anything there, I want to take care of it,’” Greanis said
The Billy Goat curse was placed on the Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat
Tavern owner William Sianis was denied entrance to a World Series game
at Wrigley Field because he wanted to bring in his goat. The curse was
immortalized in newspaper columns over the years, particularly by
syndicated columnist Mike Royko, and gained widespread attention during
the 2003 postseason when Fox played it up during the Cubs-Florida
match-up in the National League Championship Series.
Kenney told Greanis that they wanted a Greek Orthodox priest to
bless the dugout, since the alleged curse was placed by a
“I told him ‘I’m honored,’” Greanis said. “I said we’d bring some
holy water and say a prayer. It’s not for ensuring the Cubs winning,
but for being safe and protected. I’m a priest first, and a Cubs fan
second. I don’t want anything to be mocked, and neither did Mr. Kenney.”
Greanis came to Wrigley on Wednesday well before the media was
allowed inside the park. But a TBS cameraman setting up near the dugout
saw the ritual and got some of it on tape. TBS then aired it during
their pre-game show, ensuring it would get national publicity.
- However you feel about "The Sports Guy", Bill Simmons, his take on why this game means so much to many of us and why many of us take each and every loss so personally is about as spot-on as I've ever read:
The relationship between a fan and his baseball team is unlike anything
else. If you love a team -- if you truly love it -- then that team
infiltrates your daily life for six straight months (seven if you're
lucky). You wake up, you shower, you eat, you work, you eat, you watch
your baseball team, you sleep. When the Mets collapsed for the third
straight season last week, my devastated friends who follow them all
said the same thing: it wasn't losing again as much as reflecting on
those 162 games and the hundreds of hours wasted along the way. They
felt betrayed. Only baseball does that to you. It's a game of routine,
of watching one at-bat after another, hoping something different
happens, of relishing the little things that happen along the way. You
don't know your favorite players personally, but you feel like you do
- I'll have the "pleasure" of being there for Games 3 and a possible Game 4. Sort of like the pleasure of contracting genital herpes.