Game 6 Recap: Cubs 3, Astros 2

Up to .500



W - Zambrano (1-0), outfield arms, broad strike zones, Derrek Lee
L - Villarreal (0-2), Budweiser shills
S - Wood (3), the home-stand


Things to Take from This Game


1. Cubs pitchers cruise
pitched 7 relatively strong innings with 7 Ks and 2 ER. His worst
trouble came in the first, which began with runners at 2nd and 3rd
before Erstad struck out and Lee flew into a 7-2 DP, with Soriano
nailing Bourn at the plate. Cubs pitchers didn't allow a walk,
and Zambrano cruised through the middle third of the game with 9
straight outs. No one reached base against Marmol or Wood in the
8th and 9th


2. Derrek Lee is crushing the ball
finally made an out, and even that was a lined shot that might have
cleared the wall on another day. His go-ahead home run off of
Villarreal was hit about as hard as a person can hit a ball.
Everything is getting smokback up the middle of the field.


3. Soriano helps out
throw home in the top of the first was perfect.  He also hit one out,
just scraping over the basket in the left field wall to give the Cubs a
2-1 lead. Hopefully it's the start of better days ahead.


After a shakey start to the homestand, we at least walk into Pittsburgh as a 3-3 team. Details below.



Game Recap


Inning 1 - Top
  • Am I the only person who didn't know that Z likes to pitch with the blue Cubs uniforms? Heh.
  • Whoever
    is singing the Anthem, he totally swallowed the word "perilous." How do
    you elongate every single syllable, as this guy is doing, and then
    swallow "perilous" ? Meh.
  • 2-2 count to Bourn, who rolls one to DeRosa's left for a single into right, leading off the game
  • Len tells us Z has given up 7 SB in 22 attempts in the last three years, total.
  • But Bourn doesn't get a chance to test Z, as Pence hits a double
    inside the LF line. Runners on 2 and 3, no out, and the fearsom
    Lance Berkman up. Except no, it's the fearsome Darin
    Erstad. Oh cripes, I can't write that with a straight face.
    Darin Erstad is up, lol.
  • Darin Erstad is down, swinging. Some slow breaking pitch, 71 mph. Thanks, Cecil Cooper.
  • Lee hits a fly ball to medium depth in left. Can hear Len
    getting excited about the pending test of Bourn's speed vs. Soriano's
    arm. Soriano throws a perfect one-hopper to the plate, at a point
    that allows Blanco to perfectly block off the plate. Nails Bourn,
    with ease. Zambrano, backing up behind Blanco, pumps his fist in
    excitement. Gets out of a 2 and 3, no outs jam with no runs
Inning 1 - Bottom
  • Soriano rolls out to Blum at third. Got a nice ovation, at least, as he came to the plate
  • Johnson K's, swinging.
  • Lee lines one right over Bourn's head. Double to center.
  • Camera pans to a huge collection of water bottles behind Z in the
    dugout. BJB starts singing "99 bottles of water on the wall..."
  • Ramirez walks.
  • Nice ovation for Fukudome
  • Mighty Kosuke At the Bat
  • If I didn't know better, Mighty Kosuke gives a mild glare at a very generous called strike 2
  • and Mighty Kosuke has struck out.

Inning 2- Top

  • Z has a 20 and 2/3 scoreless inning streak, going back to last year?!?!
  • Tejada taps to Z, one out.
  • Blum whiffs on a 69mph curve. Blum came closer to hitting
    the pitch on his backswing than he did on his foreswing, as he was at
    least a couple feet out in front of it.
  • Tomas Perez, still alive, pulls one into right for a single.
  • Towles with an easy fly to left, inning over.

Inning 2 - Bottom

  • DeRosa singles through the hole to left.
  • DeRosa runs as Theriot grounds to third. Blum throws to
    second, and DeRosa beats the throw. Theriot beats the relay to
    first as well, everybody safe. Ugly fielding work by both Blum
    and Perez on the play. That's what you get for having the name
  • Blanco lines one sharply to right. Bases loaded for Z!
  • Z takes a Babe Ruth style uppercut swing, but weakly rolls into a 4-6-3 DP. Run scores, at least. Runner to third.
  • Soriano strikes out on three pitches.

Inning 3 - Top

  • Backe bloops one towards the shallow RF line, drops
    in. Fukudome overplays it a bit, and it squirts past him.
    Backe takes second.
  • Bourn bounces out to DeRosa, Backe advances
  • Some nobodies from Budweiser who are confusing themselves for
    celebrities show up in the booth and waste all of our time. Go
    away. I'm missing the Lord of The Rings on TNT to listen to THIS?
  • Pence flies to shallow right, and Fukudome throws a perfect one-hopper to Blanco. Backe holds at third base.
  • These budweiser douchebags continue their promotional work.
    I'm watching Lord of the Rings. The little munchin guys are
    battling some huge CGI monster in some dwarf dungeon somewhere.
    Go Munchkins!
  • I'm told Erstad lined one to Center, letting Backe score.
    But the Bud guys are still yacking, so I'm watching the little dwarfs
    and wizards and whatnot on TNT. Oh, go big effininate looking
    Elf-man! Kill the CGI Beast!
  • And according to Parachat, Erstad is out stealing second on a nice throw by Blanco, and a questionable tag.

Inning 3 - Bottom

  • Johnson pops out to center. Pie could have done that.
  • Lee not happy with a strike two call on a slow curve, outside corner.
  • Lee hits one hard to dead center, again, but Bourn catches it on
    the warning track. Wind is blowing in, holds it up. Lee's 6
    straight ABs with a hit comes to an end. But he still looks
    totally locked in
  • Ramirez follows it up with a little blooper that drops perfectly
    between CF, RF and 2B. BJB comments on the lack of justice in
    baseball. Somewhere, Voros McCracken is smiling.
  • Fukudome laces one to center, forcing Bourn to retreat and make a
    leaping twisting catch. Bourn has struggled to get good reads on
    several hard hit line-drives at him. (Not that it's easy to do,
    but it's happening with regularity...)

Inning 4 - Top

  • Carlos Lee singles sharply to left.
  • Tejada hits one
    up the middle. Theriot grabs in in front of second, decides
    against trying to shovel the ball against his momentum, and just throws
    to first for one out. Lee to second.
  • Pence pops to Theriot.
  • BJB ripping the DH, on this the 35th anniversary of its introduction. Go Bob!
  • Tomas Perez with an ugly swing at strike 3, inning over.

Inning 4 - Bottom

  • DeRosa pops to shallow center. Bourn, running in hard
    and looking into the sun, has the ball bounce off the heel of his
    glove. DeRosa on, at first.
  • BJB and Len discussing Bob's career as a leadoff hitter. So glad I can listen to my first WGN broadcast, here.
  • Theriot K's, Blanco flies out to left, and it's up to Z.
  • And Z K's swinging. What a boring inning. Backe with 4 hits, a BB and 5 Ks through four IP

Inning 5 - Top

  • Towles K's swinging at a fastball. Z's fastball has
    rarely broken 90 mph this game, going with a lot more off-speed stuff.
  • Backe taps back to Z.
  • Bourn flies out to left. Z suddenly cruising. Six hits, zero walks, 4 Ks through 5.

Inning 5 - Bottom

  • Soriano leads off the bottom of the sixth by swatting a
    hanging curve ball into the basket of the left-field well. Just barely
    enough to get out. 2-1 Cubs.
  • Johnson rolls out to Blum. Pie could have done that.
  • Lee walks.
  • Didn't realize it until Len says so, but Hart's win yesterday was his first in the majors. Congrats!
  • Ramirez inside-outs one to right, through the 1B hole. Nice hitting, runners on 1 and 2, one out
  • Kosuke at the bat.
  • Fukudome walks. Bases loaded for DeRosa
  • DeRosa K's, way out in front of a breaking pitch
  • Theriot up, bases loaded and two outs.
  • 2-2 count, Theriot reaches a bit for one, rolls slowly to Tejada, out at first. So much for that inning.
  • It's the Foster Kids ad!

Inning 6 - Top

  • Pence chops to Lee, wide of the bag. Flips to Z to beat Pence by a step
  • Erstad
    whiffs, the ball goes to the backstop, riccochettes right back to
    Blanco, who throws to first to just get Erstad, and without Lee getting
    clobbered, either. Well executed and also lucky play
  • Carlos Lee flies deep to the well in left. 9 straight for Zambrano.

Inning 6 - Bottom.

  • Blanco flies to straight-away center.
  • Zambrano whiffs. For a second, thinks about splitting the
    bat over his leg, but decides better of it. Z then goes back to
    the bench and discusses the virtues of a well diversified
    portfolio. Ah, maturity.
  • Soriano pops to Perez.

Inning 7 - Top

  • Z hangs a slider over the heart of the plate on an 0-2
    count, and Tejada crushes it deep into the bleachers behind the well in
    left. 2-2 game.
  • After a long battle, Blum K's on a full-count fastball, looking. Blum not happy about it, but pretty clearly a strike.
  • Perez taps back to Zambrano for an easy out.
  • Bob Dernier into the booth, looks like he could still play OF.
  • Towles blown away on a fastball, inning over.
  • Dernier not the greatest singer, but tries his best. Sort of truncates all of his words, very clipped manner.

Inning 7 - Bottom

  • Oscar Villarreal in.
  • Johnson with a lazy fly to right. Pie could have done that.
  • Lee demolishes a baseball way up the bleachers to
    left-center. Solo HR. He's just hitting everything right on
    the screws. 3-2 Cubs.
  • Ramirez k's.
  • Kosuke at the bat.
  • Fukudome squirts one to third, easy out.

Inning 8 - Top

  • Marmol and Pie both in, Z and Johnson out.
  • Cruz Jr. up to hit.
  • Cruz flies to shallow left
  • Weird play. On a 3-2 count, Bourn checks his swing, things
    it's ball four and that he held up, and runs to first. Blanco
    things it was either a called or swinging strike three, and fires it
    around the horn. Finally, home plate ump appeals to third base
    ump, who says Bourn swung. Strikeout. Third base ump puts
    up the left hand in a big old "Stop" sign, telling the managers to not
    bother arguing the call.
  • Pence K's looking at a fastball on the outside corner.
    Makes a gesture at the outside corner, not happy at the call. Runge's
    been a bit inconsistent with the balls and strikes, more to the
    annoyance of the Astros than the Cubs.

Inning 8 - Bottom

  • Borkowski in to pitch, DeRosa up
  • DeRosa rolls out to third.
  • Theriot breaks his bat in half hitting one to Erstad's
    right. Erstad flubs it and Theriot beats the throw to
    first. Ruled a hit. Somehow
  • Blanco ends the inning on a 5-4-3 DP

Inning 9 - Top

  • Wood in, to face Erstad, LEe, Tejada
  • Erstad with an easy come-backer to Wood. One out.
  • Lee grounds easily to Ramirez. Two out.
  • "Ker-Ree" chant starts
  • Wood reaching 95 mph on the gun, as he goes 1-2 on Tejada
  • Tejada K's swinging on a nice slider that drops straight down. Game over!
  • Cue the foster kids ad!
Parachat Recap


Inning 1
  • The Anthem
  • Manny's fine catch in the Jays/Sox game
  • Will we ever see Pie again?
  • Can Fukudome play CF?
  • CT Steve gets tenure. I die a little more, inside.
  • "Pie uncorks some pretty foul balls." Thanks, Aaron.
  • NCAA pools. Oh, is there anything more exciting than listening to peoples' triumphs and tragedies with their brackets.
  • How's Murton doing in AAA?
Inning 2
  • Tony Stewart: Why nascar isn't a sport.
  • Starts to our fantasy baseball seasons
  • Discussing the renovated inflield
  • and 69 mph breaking pitches.
  • Soriano's hop-catches
  • The "seeing eye" term
  • Enjoying the botched 5-4-3 DP
  • Urging Blanco to bunt the runners over for Z.
Inning 3
  • Actually following the top of the third inning
  • Griping about the Budweiser guys.
  • Mocking Darin Erstad
  • OMG, it's Johann
  • Johann gripes about the quality of the paint-work in parachat
  • And tells us that Lee is his "dreamboat queen."
Inning 4
  • If Zambrano were a RPG character, punching Barrett would improve his life-bar
  • Commenting on BJB's commentary on the DH
  • Ripping on Dusty
  • Andy discovers the "float" button.
  • Andy is floating.
  • Rob's girls are peeing.
  • Johann and Me are cooking and eating
  • CT Steve is never doing anything, ever again.
Inning 5
  • Tax returns spent on picking off Cubs.
  • Carlos rick rolls parachat. Jerk.
  • Question of parachat so far: What would have happened to Len on the show "OZ"? Thanks, aaron.
  • General discussion of len and bob.
  • Johann leaves us to get back to his house, family and child. I die a little further, inside.
  • Hunting.
  • Duck season?
  • Rabbit season!
  • Did the Devil abandon the Devil Rays?
  • Chad begs us to laugh at a "joke"
  • Wolf!
Inning 6
  • Bands Chad Hates.
Inning 7
  • SNL skits.
  • Watching games with Al.
  • God Bless Desipio
  • We love Dernier's voice.
  • Big cheers for Lee
Inning 8
  • Clay Aiken, Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow
  • Bands that will give you 1992-cred.
  • The weird Bourn strike three call
  • WGN graphics
  • Weather girls
  • Corner Gas and other fine WGN programming.
  • Is Crunch a terrorist?
Inning 9
  • Fantasy talk.
  • Cubs beards
  • Celebrating.
  • Cubs record in games I recap: 2-0

You read it..... you can't Un-read it!



Oh man, we got parachat recaps? I gotta get back into the parachat. I've been away too long ... too too long.

How's D Lee doing?

i think everyone's still concerned about DLee's spring.

hopefully he'll show some offense soon...if not, they need to drag hoffpauir's injured self to the bigs.

Time for Lilly to get back on track.

I'm too lazy to look it up, but I seem to remember Gorzelanny having some pretty good outings against us in the past.

Over the past 3 seasons Gorzelanny is 2-2 with a 2.60 ERA against the Cubs in 4 starts.

Johann?!?! I missed Johann?!?!

Hanging with his mom just doesn't match up to actually hanging out (or... um... chatting in a geeky chat room) with Johann.

For the record I didn't beg anyone to laugh at my joke as much as I just wanted recognition of a good joke. And yes there is a difference!

Actually, if I recall, you were begging for us to acknowledge what YOU thought was a good joke. Unfortunately for you, it was ONLY you who thought it was a good joke.

Which then then meant you were left to beg us to laugh at your bad joke.

Total crap! You guys are just haters.

Chad made a joke?

I have been away for FAR too long!

in communist russia jokes made chad!

lololol...levis jeans and beatles cassettes.

I feel sad to have missed the joy. So sad.

On the other hand, I took a nap with the windows open and the nice breeze blowing in.

Just back from Wrigley and I gotta say - as most of you know already - Ryan Theriot would be a utility guy at best on all but a few MLB teams. His contribution today? With DeRosa at 1b, the "bat handler" cannot move him over and after looking at every pitch (his patented "lean over the plate and watch the ball get called a strike") he weakly grounds into a 4-6-3. Bases loaded, in the 6th, after DeRosa K's, with two outs - same thing.

SS really is a glaring hole on this roster. With automatic outs from the LF and SS positions, Lou has to be pulling his hair out.

Cedeno, is even worse. However, I believe he can get it out of the infield more times than The "Riot".

I tend to agree with you, his defense does not make up for his offensive futility. He reminds me more and more of Mick Kelleher, another past Cub SS who had extremely limited batting skills and average defensive abilities.

Thanks for the shout-out in the recap, Trans.

Don't worry: Your time will come.

In all seriousness, it's just fantastic news, and I'm very thrilled for you.  Nice work, again!

It seemed today that the cubs had men on base many of the innings. Even though we only put up 3 (with big help from solo shots) it wasn't as frustrating as the 3 put up on MIL on opening day.

if it looks and feels like you are making progress, it doesn't matter that you are spinning your wheels more than moving ... one kick-ass inning yesterday did a lot to hide the many flaws of that game. an illusory state of steady progress today did a lot to hide the general lack of real action ... still, a win is a win!

I don't know; it seemed to me the Cubs played a pretty good ball game today.

Z, Marmol and Wood combined for 10 Ks, no BBs, and only two earned runs.

Soriano made a perfect throw to prevent a run and finally got a meaningful hit. Not that he has been getting any not meaningful hits either.

Lee crushed the ball and Aramis was on base three times.

Sure, there were some weak spots, but we outplayed the competition and that's all that matters at this point in the season.

What would you like to have seen out of this game?

ninjas and/or monster trucks.

Okay, you're right; that would have improved the experience considerably.

there was a ninja, look closely

or at minimum, more chainsaws ...

got up at 3:20AM sunday my time to catch the marquis/oswalt game on (since was friggin blacked out for me even though i live in friggin JAPAN goddammit) and then watched it on Japanese cable (slightly edited tape delay) from 11:00AM to 2:00PM with my sons (to the extreme puzzlement and exasperation of my wife).
if you add the post-game show stuff i spent almost 7 hours enjoying that game!

god i love weekends.

Too bad Japan is on the MLB hotlist. I'm in Manila and I've never had any game blacked out.

I blame Fukudome. If that doesn't work, I blame Michael Barrett.

The most obvious and positive thing about Z this year is that he is throwing strikes. 12/1 K/BB so far. if he keeps focused like this, there's no limit to what he can do this year.

I'm glad that the blue alternate jerseys are back. Now mine won't be considered a 'throwback' anymore.

Recent comments

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 51 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 32 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 42 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 51 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 56 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 15 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 51 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 8 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 10 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 28 min ago view