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First, the moron(s) who started the wave at Wrigley on Sunday need to be shot, along with every fool who followed along. I suppose Hot Dog Races sponsored by Vienna Beef will be coming soon. Today is the day that we get to watch Carlos Marmol walk a bunch of guys and hope he can pull a Houdini out there. Sometimes it works for him and then other times he drowns in the glass tank with the straight-jacket still on, the handcuffs still around his ankles and the shark ripping off his limbs....much like his last start versus the Diamondbacks. It looks like Dusty has finally settled on an almost everyday lineup. That's kind of refreshing. Go Cubs!!! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWELVE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (47-64, (Div) 5th - 14.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 9.5 GB) AT MILWAUKEE BREWERS (52-59, (Div) 4th - 9.0 GB; (Wild Card) 8th - 4.5 GB) Miller Park, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: 72 degrees, Clear, Wind L to R @ 8mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 742 Radio: WGN, XM 184
Tomo Ohka, RHP 3-2, 3.57 ERA, 58 IP 36 K, 21 BB, 5 HR 255/324/366 againstCarlos Marmol, RHP 4-5, 5.09 ERA, 58.1 IP 48 K, 43 BB, 8 HR 233/370/457 against

*Juan Pierre, CF #Cesar Izturis, SS Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF *John Mabry, 1B Ronny Cedeno, 2B Carlos Marmol, P *Gabe Gross, CF Tony Graffaninio, 2B *Prince Fielder, 1B Kevin Mench, LF Bill Hall, SS *Geoff Jenkins, RF David Bell, 3B Damien Miller, C Tomo Ohka, P

Cubs vs Ohka: Juan Pierre: 16-41, 390/390/415, 1 K, 0 BB, 1 2B Neifi Perez: 5-15, 333/375/333, 0 K, 1 BB Aramis Ramirez: 2-15, 133/278/400, 3 K, 1 BB, 1 HR Henry Blanco: 1-14, 071/071/071, 1 K, 0 BB Brewers vs. Marmol: No Brewers with more than 10 Ab's
Wow, Neifi is batting 333 versus an opposing pitcher and doesn't make it into the lineup. A lover's quarrel?
With the Cubs season not going too well, I just can't help but look forward to the 2006 Arizona Fall League. There is nothing like consortium baseball to get the juices flowin'!
GAME FIFTY-ONE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CINCINNATI REDS (28-23, 2nd, 5.0 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (19-31, 5th, 13.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 PM CDT Weather: 78 degrees, cloudy, wind variable @ 8 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 743 Radio: WGN, XM 188
Greg Maddux, RHP 5-4, 4.28 ERA, 61.0 IP 41 K, 16 BB, 5 HR 272/316/414 againstBrandon Claussen, LHP 3-5, 5.25 ERA, 58 1/3 IP 44 K, 18 BB, 12 HR 296/357/511 against

# Felipe Lopez, SS *Scott Hatteberg, 1B *Ken Griffey, CF *Adam Dunn, LF Austin Kearns, RF #Javier Valentin, C Edwin Encarnacion, 3B Ryan Freel, 2B Brandon Claussen, P*Juan Pierre, CF *Tony Womack, 2B Matt Murton, LF Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Todd Walker, 1B Ronny Cedeno, SS *Jacque Jones, RF Henry Blanco, C Greg Maddux, P
Reds vs. Maddux: Javier Valentin: 6-12, 500/538/1500, 4 HR, 1 BB, 2 K Ken Griffey: 9-21, 429/538/762, 2 HR, 4 BB, 7 K Ryan Freel: 6-19, 316/316/579, 1 HR, 2 K Austin Kearns: 7-24, 292/292/458, 1 HR, 6 K Jason LaRue: 5-17, 294/368/333, 1 BB, 4 K Adam Dunn: 4-28, 143/226/464, 3 HR, 3 BB, 8 K Rich Aurilia: 8-39, 205/205/410, 2 HR, 5 K
CUBS 7, REDS 3
Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart | Photos
W: Kerry Wood (1-) L: Elizardo Ramirez (2-4) S: Ryan Dempster (9)
It had been so long since we'd seen the W flag that I was afraid we'd lost the rights to it. But there it is, in all its glory. I didn't see the game -- I was at a barbecue watching The No Longer Tiny Baby splash around in a wading pool in the 90-degree heat -- but apparently Kerry Wood looked good, and the best thing about the box score was seeing that Todd Walker went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. Also nice: the Murton-Cedeno tandem going 4-for-8. Not so nice: Tony Womack going 2-for-5. I mean, I'm glad he's not a giant sucking chest wound in the #2 hole, but I cringe every time he gets a hit because that means he's going to play even more. On Sunday I was bemoaning the Cubs to The Lovely Wife, as I am wont to do, and she said she thought this same thing had happened last May, or maybe the May before. So I went and looked, and sure enough, the Cubs started last May with a seven-game losing streak, which led to the TCR authors banning the use of the letter L. Not only that, but in the middle of last May I reached back into the TCR archives of May 2002, when the Cubs had a nine-game slide. Three out of the last five Mays have been painful for Cubs fans. Of course, in both '02 and '05 the Cubs would go on to have even worse months later in the year, and they finished 21 and 30 games out of first in those two years. So it's not like it's a cloud with a silver lining; it's more like a cloud filled with grapefruit-sized hail. Man, I can't even make a column about a win come out sounding happy. As Bushwick Bill once famously said, "times is hard."
from reaching .500. There's always a bright side. We're a long way away from that 16-7 trouncing of the Reds on Opening Day. And don't forget the 5 error (3 thanks to Edwin Encarnacion), 4-1 win just a week later. Good news is we miss Bronson Arroyo's bat this series. Bad news is we're the Cubs. GAME FIFTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CINCINNATI REDS (28-22, 2nd, 3.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (18-31, 5th, 13.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 PM CDT Weather: 88 degrees, partly cloudy, Wind out to LF @ 10 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 736 Radio: WGN, XM 188
Kerry Wood, RHP 0-1, 6.30 ERA, 10.0 IP 9 K, 5 BB, 4 HR Elizardo Ramirez, RHP 2-3, 3.72 ERA, 29 IP 21 K, 11 BB, 4 HR

# Felipe Lopez, SS *Adam Dunn, LF *Ken Griffey Jr. CF Rich Aurilia, 3B *Scott Hatterberg, 1B Austin Kearns, RF Brandon Phillips, 2B Jason LaRue, C *Elizardo Ramirez, P*Juan Pierre, CF *Tony Womack, 2B Michael Barrett, C *Todd Walker, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF Ronny Cedeno, SS Kerry Wood, P
I'm running out of ways to complain about this team. I actually have the time to watch the game today, which is pretty rare on the weekends, I'm just not sure I want to waste the 3 hours. Although with a Smoltz/Ryu matchup the game could be done very early. Good luck Cubbies, even the worse teams win once in awhile. GAME FORTY-NINE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ATLANTA BRAVES (26-23, 2nd, 3.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (18-30, 5th, 13.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 PM CDT Weather: 83 degrees, sunny, Wind out to CF @ 10 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 189
Jae-kuk Ryu, RHP 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.0 IP 2 K, 2 BB, 0 HR John Smoltz, RHP 4-2, 3.12 ERA, 69.1 IP 57 K, 16 BB, 6 HR

Marcus Giles, 2B Edgar Renteria, SS #Chipper Jones, 3B Andruw Jones, CF *Adam LaRoche, 1B Jeff Francoeur, RF *Ryan Langerhans Todd Pratt, C John Smoltz, P*Juan Pierre, CF *Tony Womack, 2B *Todd Walker, 1B Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF #Neifi Perez, SS Jae-kuk Ryu, P
...and by "everyone" I mean whatever percentage of the country is getting this game on Fox instead of Mets-Marlins or Dodgers-Nats. It seems like the Cubs are finding new, creative ways to lose just about every day. How will it go down this afternoon? Here are a few possibilities: * Sean Marshall duels with Horacio Ramirez for 9 hitless innings. In the top of the tenth, the Braves score on a walk, a stolen base, a balk, and a sacrifice bunt. Ramirez strikes out pinch-hitters Freddy Bynum, Neifi Perez, and Tony Womack in the bottom of the 10th. Braves win 1-0. * With the wind screaming out to left field at 30 mph, neither starting pitcher makes it out of the first inning, though Horacio Ramirez does hit a home run in the Braves' seven-run first. After one inning, the score is 7-6, but the Braves add ten more runs by the fourth inning. The Cubs battle back to tie the game 22-22 in the 8th behind three home runs by Aramis Ramirez. In the 10th inning, pinch-hitter Tim Hudson hits the 12th home run of the day. Braves win 23-22. * Sean Marshall walks five Braves in four innings, all of whom eventually score. In the 9th inning, down three with none out, two on and the tying run at the plate, pinch-hitter Neifi Perez bunts into a triple play to end the game. Braves win, 5-2. * Tony Womack comes in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning of a tie game. Chipper Jones hits a ground ball to him, but as Womack goes to throw the ball to first, a meteorite lands on him, knocking him unconscious. As Ronny Cedeno descends into the crater to look for the ball, Jones circles the bases. Braves win, 3-2. * Nothing really spectacular happens -- the Cubs get a bunch of guys on base but can't bring them in, draw no walks, and bunt a lot. The Braves take a number of walks, capitalize on scoring opportunities, and score a few runs. Braves win 4-1. GAME FORTY-EIGHT IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ATLANTA BRAVES (25-23, 2nd, 3.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (18-29, 5th, 12.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 12:20 PM CDT Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy, Wind from right to left @ 10 mph TV: Fox Radio: WGN, XM 189
Sean Marshall, LHP 3-2, 5.29 ERA, 47.2 IP 36 K, 24 BB, 4 HR 214/320/324 against Horacio Ramirez, LHP 0-0, 15.00 ERA, 3 IP 3 K, 1 BB, 0 HR 571/556/643 against

Marcus Giles, 2B Edgar Renteria, SS #Chipper Jones, 3B Andruw Jones, CF Jeff Francoeur, RF Matt Diaz, LF Brian Jordan, 1B #Brayan Pena, C *Horacio Ramirez, P*Juan Pierre, CF Jerry Hairston, 2B *Todd Walker, 1B Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Sean Marshall, P
Cubs vs. Ramirez: Juan Pierre: 7-22, 318/348/318, 3 K Michael Barrett: 2-15, 133/188/133, 1 BB, 4 K
I'm not sure I have the energy to even complain about today's lineup. The only thing that surprises me is that Blanco isn't making an appearance. Woeful. Pathetic. Insert adjective. Good luck Z, you'll need it. GAME FOURTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ATLANTA BRAVES (24-23, 3rd, 4.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (18-28, 5th, 12.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 PM CDT Weather: 75 degrees, Sunny, Wind from left to right @ 12 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 189
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 3-2, 3.53 ERA, 63.2 IP 71 K, 38 BB, 9 HR Tim Hudson, RHP 4-3, 3.95 ERA, 66 IP 45 K, 21 BB, 4 HR

Marcus Giles, 2B Edgar Renteria, SS #Chipper Jones, 3B Andruw Jones, CF *Adam LaRoche, 1B Jeff Francoeur, RF *Ryan Langerhans, LF Todd Pratt, C Tim Hudson, P*Juan Pierre, CF #Neifi Perez, 2B *Todd Walker, 1B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Freddie Bynum, LF Ronny Cedeno, SS #Carlos Zambrano, P
Braves vs. Zamrbano: Edgar Renteria:10-23 435/536/565 1 HR, 5 BB, 6 K Chipper Jones:4-14 286/444/500 Andruw Jones: 2-13 154/333/385Cubs vs. Hudson: Jacque Jones: 9-29 310/310/517 2 HR's Todd Walker: 4-17 235/278/353 John Mabry: 4-16 250/250/250 Neifi Perez: 4-12 333/333/333

The long arm of MLB law reached out Friday and handed Michael Barrett a ten game suspension and an undisclosed fine. The only other player suspended for the fracas was White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson. Barrett rightfully appealed the suspension and will play in today's game versus the Braves. Hopefully MLB won't get around to hearing the appeal until Lee is back and hopefully MLB will reduce the suspension to a more appropriate 7 to 8 games. And if you want to be really annoyed by Andy McPhail, feel free and read this interview with the Trib. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the 3 day weekend, just avoid that link. [UPDATE:] Tony Womack called up, Ryan Theriot sent down. I don't even have a joke here, actually I do, it's the previous sentence.
Excellent advice for an off-day from TCR reader Dr. Johnson. I'd call it a prescription, but I don't know if he's a real doctor. GAME FORTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] DETROIT TIGERS (32-14, 1st, +1.0) AT KANSAS CITY ROYALS (10-34, 5th, 21.0) Kaufmann Stadium, 1:05 PM CDT TV: None (MLB.tv only) Radio: WXYT, WHB, XM 181
Mike Maroth, LHP 5-2, 2.45 ERA, 47 2/3 IP 22 K, 15 BB, 5 HR 269/327/403 against, .283 BABIPDenny Bautista, RHP 0-2, 3.75 ERA, 24.0 IP 16 K, 10 BB, 1 HR 250/340/352 against, .296 BABIP

The Tigers have been the biggest surprise in baseball so far this year. They haven't finished above .500 since 1993, and a succession of uninspiring managers (Buddy Bell, Phil Garner, Alan Trammell) has helped erode the fan base to the point where even a new stadium (Comerica Park, opened in 2000) couldn't pull the team's attendance out of the lower depths for more than one season. This year, though, things have been different. A new manager (Jim Leyland), a couple of breakout players (Chris Shelton, Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, Mike Maroth), and good numbers from a couple of veterans (Magglio Ordonez, Ivan Rodriguez, Kenny Rogers, Todd Jones) has added up to the best record in baseball over the first quarter of the season. On the other side of the ball, we have the Royals, otherwise known as "the Cubs on the cheap." They're currently on a 12-game losing streak, their second double-digit skid of the year. They have the worst record in baseball, are near the bottom of the majors in just about every offensive category, have an injured first baseman (Mark Sweeney), a young pitching prospect who has yet to pitch this year (Zach Greinke), and a general manager (Allard Baird) under fire after the misguided decision to bring in mid-level free agents (Mark Grudzielanek, Doug Mientkiewicz, Scott Elarton, Mark Redman) in the off-season. It's like looking in a mirror sometimes.

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