Game 18 Recap: Cubs 13, Pirates 6

First Place

Box Score, Photos

W - Dempster (3-0), Ivy
L - Duke (0-1), Bullpen mounds


Things to Take from This Game
1. The Fifth Inning
After giving up two hits to start the game, Dempster cruised through the first four innings before falling apart in the fifth. The Cubs entered the inning with a 5-0 lead, but Dempster gave up 3 on a hbp, two walks, a couple singles and a double. He recovered a loss of command to strike out LaRoche with the bases loaded. (LaRoche just had a horrible game, all around.)

The bottom half of the inning featured five Cubs runs, two Pirates errors, and a Ramirez two-run homer. It put the game away at 10-3.

2. The Cubs Outfield
Remember when the outfield was supposed to be Soriano, Pie and Fukudome? WIth an outfield of Murton, Johnson and DeRosa, the Cubs still scored 13 runs. Johnson scored three times, Murton had a couple of RBI ground-outs, and DeRosa... well, he didn't break his neck in right field while stumbling over the Pirate bullpen, so that counts as good.

3. Cubs Patience
Another day, another 7 walks, with just three strikeouts. Really, it was just an all-around strong offesnive performance, with everyone reaching base safely other than Dempster, Howry, and pinch-hitters Fontenot and Pie.

The Cards and Brewers both lost, so guess who's in first? The happy, three-and-a-half-hour details, below.


Game Recap


Inning 1 - Top
  • McLouth lines a single on a 2-2 pitch to right, starting the game.
  • Sanchez keeps fouling balls off that whiz by Jason Bay standing on deck.
  • Sanchez goes opposite field, with a liner into right, not that far from where McLouth had hit it. First and second, no outs.
  • Bay pops one towards the right field bullpen. DeRosa underestimates how the wind is blowing it foul, has to speed up as he runs towards the Pirates' bullpen mound, reaches out to make a basket catch and trips over the mound, diving face-first towards the brick wall. Doesn't make the catch, but also doesn't die. We'll call it a win for the Cubs.
  • Bay then grounds directly to Ramirez at third. Triple play chance? Nope, Ramirez steps on third and then throws over to first for a double play. I don't think I've ever seen the Cubs turn a triple play...
  • LaRoche hits into a 3-1, Dempster escapes without damage.

Inning 1 - Bottom

  • Johnson lines a double over McLouth's head in right-center.
  • Theriot inside-outs a 2-1 pitch, bouncing it just to the right of the second baseman. Johnson scores easily, and on the throw home from McLouth, Theriot advances to second. 1-0 Cubs
  • Lee grounds out 5-3.
  • Ramirez with a sharp bounce out, 5-3 again
  • Murton gets a nice hand as he comes to bat.
  • And bounces back to the pitcher, ending the inning

Inning 2 - Top

  • Nady grounds out to 2nd.
  • Dempster makes a nice jumping, twisting grab on a ball chopped by Doumit back up the middle. 2 outs.
  • Bautista strikes out on a pitch in the dirt, Soto throws him out at first. Easy inning for Dempster

Inning 2 - Bottom

  • DeRosa grounds through the left-side hole for a single.
  • Soto whistles one right past Duke, who somehow doesn't get beaned by it. Missed by maybe 6 inches, with Duke not having the time to react in any way. Phew. Runners at 1 and 2
  • Cedeno bounces to Duke, who goes to third with it. Return throw to first isn't in time. Probably should have just gone to second with it. One out.
  • Dempster with a nice bunt to advance the runners.
  • Johnson pops out to second, ending the inning

Inning 3 - Top

  • Bixler K's swinging on a nice biting slider
  • Duke taps one a few feet down the third base line. Doesn't bother to much more than walk to first base, helping Soto throw him out.
  • Happy 92nd anniversary of the Cubs first game at Wrigley, Len tells us.
  • BJB with the "those guys on the[Chicago] Whales always spouting off." I love you, BJB.
  • McLouth flies to right. Another easy inning for Dempster

Inning 3 - Bottom

  • Theriot bounces one inside the third base bag for a leadoff double.
  • Lee grounds one through the left side hole. Theriot has to see if the ball will go through, andholds at third.
  • Ramirez lines one to the warning track just left of the left-center bullpen doors. Theriot scores, Lee to third, Ramirez doubles. 2-0 Cubs.
  • Murton bounces up the middle, Bixler picks it up on a tough hop, spins and gets Murton at first. Lee scores, Ramirez to third, 3-0 Cubs with one out.
  • DeRosa taps to Duke, 2 outs.
  • Soto walks
  • Cedeno lines one to Bixler and SS, who has it pop out of his glove. Scoops it up, and just barely gets Soto on the force at second, ending the inning.

Inning 4 - Top

  • Sanchez lines to DeRosa, who makes a nice running catch
  • In their daily text message poll question on fans favorite Cubs tradition, they include the 7th inning stretch. Len elaborates to includethat this encompasses not just Harry's singing of the stretch, but the celebrities since him. So much for voting for that...
  • Bay bounces out to Ramirez
  • LaRoche grounds to Lee. Dempster just mowing them down...

Inning 4- Bottom

  • Dempster grounds out to shortstop.
  • Johnson gets nicked by a fastball on the elbow. Down to first.
  • A perfectly executed hit and run, with Theriot lining one into the right-center gap. Theriot just does stretch it into a double, with Johnson running hard all the way to score. Exciting baseball. 4-0 Cubs
  • And Theriot steals third. You could asphixiate on all the scrappiness.
  • Lee walks.
  • Ramirez gets plunked on the left knee, and isn't too happy about it. Bases now loaded.
  • Murton inside-outs one between LaRoche and the first base line. LaRoche makes a nice play, and takes it to first base, for another RBI groundout for Murton. 5-0 Cubs, two outs, runners on 2 and 3
  • DeRosa flies to right, ending the inning

Inning 5 - Top

  • Nady rolls one through the hole past a diving Theriot. First baserunner since the first inning, I believe
  • Doumit lines out to Murton.
  • Interesting ground-rule double. Bautista lines one to center that Johnson has to go back on and contend with the wind as well, misses it in a diving attempt. The ball sort of goes into the vines, but is clearly visible on TV, and Johnson puts his hands up. As he's doing so, Nady goes from first to home and Bautista circles the bases as well. The umpire comes out to check to see that the ball actually is in the vines. It is, barely, and it's called a ground rule double. Runners go back to 2 and 3. Oh, the grittiness of Reed Johnson....
  • Bixler hbp on the shoulder. Bases loaded for the pitcher's spot.
  • Duke pulled for Mientkiewicz
  • I swear to god, I just spelled Mientkiewicz without any help. Somebody donate to TCR for that one.
  • Mientkiewicz singles to Murton, everyone advances a base. 5-1 Cubs. McLouth up.
  • Soto with a few nice blocks on balls in the dirt today, including one on the first pitch to MCLouth, saving a run.
  • Dempster seems to have totally lost the strike zone. 3-0 count to arguably the hottest hitter in the game, bases loaded and a 4 run lead. Can any goodcome of this?
  • Walks on four pitches. 5-2.
  • Sanchez hits a slow bouncer to Ramirez, who can only get Sanchez at first. 5-3, runners on 2 and 3, two outs for Bay.
  • Soto with another tough block on a pitch in the dirt. Again saves a run.
  • Four straight balls to Bay. Bases loaded. Fans booing. LaRoche up. Parachat restless.
  • Ball one.
  • Dempster over 30 pitches in the inning. Was in the mid-50s at the start of the inning.
  • Dempster comes back to a 1-2 count. Fans now standing and screaming for Dempster to get out of it.
  • Dempster K's LaRoche, swinging. Phew.

Inning 5 - Bottom

  • Franquelis Osoria in to pitch.
  • Soto lines one over the SS hole into left for a single.
  • Dempster called out of the on deck circle in favor of Fontenot. WGN shows him slamming his helmet and bat around in the dugout.Presumably, upset at himself, as the last inning really ratcheted up his pitch count on what had been an easy outing.
  • Cedeno does a nice job battling, eventually lining a double into the left field corner. Soto comes around to score. 6-3.
  • Fontenot now up for Dempster.
  • Fontenot grounds one to LaRoche's left. LaRoche just sort of whiffs at it, taking a swipe with it while trying to run to first for the out, and the ball rolls past him towards the bullpen. Cedeno scores, Fontenot stays on first, error on LaRoche. 7-3
  • Johnson takes a defensive flail at a pitch on the hit and run, and winds up getting a single off of Bautista's glove. Runners on 1 and 2 for Theriot, still no outs.
  • Another really weird play: Theriot pops a bunt that Osiroa can't quite catch on the dive. The ball rolls towards the first base line. Fontenot rounds third, thinking the catcher will go for the play at first, but instead Doumit throws behind Fontenot at third, and he's out trying to get back to the bag. Theriot is credited with a hit, and runners are on 1 and 2.
  • Lee misses a 2-1 fastball on the biggest swing I think I've ever seen Lee take.
  • Lee bounces to third. Bautista throws to second, as Fontenot stopped in front of him to avoid the easy tag. Sanchez then one-hops LaRoche at first, who again makes a rather lame effort at it. Lee is safe and Fontenot comes in to score. 8-3, two outs, and our five run lead has returned.
  • Ramirez launches one into the left-center bleachers, maybe a dozen rows up. 10-3. As a guy who's always been sort of sympathetic to the Pirates, this is just sad.
  • Murton finally hits into some luck, with a measley little squibber up the third base line, on the dirt. Osoria has a brain fart and picks up the ball, when the only hope was to let it roll foul. What an ugly inning.
  • DeRosa flies to McLouth. Inning mercifully over.

Inning 6 - Top

  • Howry in.
  • Nady K's swinging on an inside fastball. Soto drops it, but Nady is already returning to the dugout with his head hanging. Poor pirates.
  • Doumit demolishes a ball, maybe four rows up into the right field well bleachers. Fastball over the heart of the plate.
  • Bautista K's looking at a fastball on the outside corner.
  • Bixler also K's looking at an outside fastball, and Howry K's the side, with a home run in between.

Inning 6 - Bottom

  • Damaso Marte in to pitch
  • Soto walks.
  • Cedeno with another tough AB, fouling off 3-2 pitches before lining one into RF for a single. Runners on 1 and 2, no outs
  • Bob Howry hitting. Left-handed. 3rd plate appearance in 606 games played. Bunts into a strikeout.
  • Johnson lines to McLouth.
  • Theriot walks. Bases loaded for Lee.
  • Lee with another huge swing through a mid-80s fastball, 1-2 count.
  • Lee lines a 3-2 pitch into left for a two-run single. 12-4 Cubs.
  • Ramirez rolls an 0-2 pitch through the right side for an rbi single. 13-4
  • I have Marte as a middle reliever in two fantasy leagues. This sucks. Er, I mean, way to pile on, Cubbies!
  • Murton grounds to Bautista, who takes the force out at the bag. Inning over

Inning 7 - Top

  • Blanco in to catch, Chris Gomez hits for Marte
  • Gomez serves one in to right for a hit.
  • McLouth gets knicked by a fastball, just does get his jersey. 2 runners on to start the seventh.
  • Sanchez broken bat grounder to Cedeno, who just does get McLouth at second base. One out, runners on 1 and 3.
  • Bay pops to Theriot, two outs.
  • LaRoche takes a called strike three fastball. Tough day for him.
  • Who is Bonnie Hunt, and why is she singing the stretch like it's a show tune?
  • and who the hell says "by me some diamonds and crackerjacks?"

Inning 7 - Bottom

  • Bonnie Hunt, though she's neither entertaining nor interestind, does seem to be a genuine and rather intense Cubs fan, so she's still better than most of the D-listers. Just please don't change the lyrics.
  • Phil Dumatrait in.
  • DeRosa and Blanco walk.
  • Cedeno K's swinging
  • Pie pinch-hits for Howry, and K's looking.
  • And Johnson lines to LaRoche. Promising start to the inning, feeble conclusion.

Inning 8 - Top

  • Ward in for Lee. Wuertz in for Howry.
  • Nady lines out to DeROsa
  • Doumit with another bomb to right field, this time just left of the well. No doubt about either one of them. 13-5
  • Wuertz walks Bautista
  • Ball one to Bixler. Wuertz not looking too sharp.
  • Bixler hits it back to Wuertz, whose throw sails past both Theriot and Cedeno into center field. Runners stay at 1 and 2, error on Wuertz.
  • Gomez flies to Murton.
  • McLouth dribbles one to Ward, who takes it to the bag. Inning over with just the solo HR

Inning 8 - Bottom

  • Theriot's perfect day comes to an end on a tough 3-2 count check-swing call, strikeout.
  • Ward walks.
  • Ramirez singles through the left-side hole, runners on 1 and 2
  • Murton 6-4-3 DP to end the inning.

Inning 9 - Top

  • Sean Marshall in.
  • Sancehz bounces one back to Marshall, nice reflexes by Sean.
  • Bay walks.
  • Paulino hits for Dumatrait, and rolls a double to the right-center wall, scoring Bay. 13-6
  • Paulino takes third as Nady grounds out to short.
  • Fans on their feet with two outs.
  • Doumit waves at a slow curve, strikes out, ending the game. 13-6, 9 straight wins over 2 years against the Pirates, and a 5-1 homestand so far.
  • Oh yeah, and the Cubs take first.


Parachat Recap


Inning 1
  • The Messmers.
  • Threesomes with the Messmers.
  • DeRosa's stumble.
  • Fuku Fun Facts
  • Microclimates

Inning 2

  • Cysts.
  • Potential Cubs All-stars
  • Corner Gas
  • Soto's ROY chances
  • NL Central competition
  • Rachel Ray and Dunkin Donuts, and the puns that result.
  • How do you spell Selma Hayek? (Like this, duh.)
  • Will the Cards' pitching hold up.
  • Racktacular.

Inning 3

  • The Murph's 76 Gas station commercials on WGN from the 80s - "Chip off the old block" etc.
  • The racist Fukudome T-shirt
  • Pretty cooking show hosts
  • Chadball
  • Scrappy home run hitters
  • Tejada's age.
  • Cardinals game

Inning 4

  • Facing Johann Santana
  • Other Cubs Traditions
  • Fear Andy's links.
  • Does Pat Hughes do broadcasts baked?
  • The urinal stalls
  • Danica Patrick
  • Biggio left Johnson his elbow pad in his will.
  • Oh the scrappiness of it all.....
  • Future Cubs player monuments...

Inning 5

  • Is this hot streak part of a larger change in Cubs offensive philosophy?
  • Cubs lead the league in Pitches/At Bat
  • Ground rules
  • Alarmed with the inning.
  • Jays to sign Bonds?
  • Our backup outfielders.
  • Brewers game updates
  • "How far did it roll?"

Inning 6

  • Freudian analysis of Dusty Baker.
  • Brewers lose.
  • Why we hate stairs.
  • More on Thomas/Bonds/Blue Jays.
  • Who is Bonnie Hunt, and why do we care?
  • Who should the Pirates pitch next?

Inning 7

  • Checking everyone's hipster music cards.
  • Parachat contains few Bonnie Hunt fants.
  • Comparing the 7th inning stretch with McDonalds cheeseburgers.

Inning 8

  • More 7th Inning Stretch commentary
  • Arne Harris and fan cam
  • Next time the Reds visit...
  • Best Cubs reliever after Wuertz and Howry?
  • The Wood 20 K game.
  • Good Pitchers We Don't Remember Due To Injuries.

Inning 9

  • The humor of Diabetes commercials.
  • Oatmeal.
  • the final season of Roseanne.
  • Oh yeah - and the Cubs win!
  • Record in games recapped: 3-0.



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For a minute their I thought we'd lost our well-stubbled second baseman/super utility guy; that headfirst tumble over the bullpen mound looked like it was going to be serious, but luckily DeRosa wasn't quite moving full speed and he pretty much lost his momentum before he ever touched the bricks. PHEW

Holy Cubs offense!

At least our little - used relievers got some work in. Hopefully a harbinger of better days ahead for Howry and Weurtz?

When is the last time Lieber pitched? I keep waiting for Lou to bring him in in the 6th or 7th inning of these blowouts to close out the rest of the game but I can't remember seeing him in about a week.

Lieber pitched Friday...

I think he's pitched enough to deserve a couple days off. Also, his signing is looking smarter and smarter.

Ah, thanks Brian. I must have missed that--I've been watching most of the games lately but I guess I just keep missing LIeber's outings.

Parachat recap: ...
Inning 9...
* The humor of Diabetes commercials.

Thank god I left parachat in the 6th inning.

it centered around wilred brimley and how he pronounces it, fwiw.

that was also the link into the 'oatmeal' part of the 9th recap...him saying "its the right thing to do and the right way to do it" for quaker many years ago.

the parachat recaps can be randomly obscure in their descriptions vs. the full scope of where the conversation was.

Cubs are enjoying the 2nd best record in baseball only behind the Rattlesnakes. I know once i mention that out loud they'll drop 6 in a row and come back to .500, but hey gotta enjoy it while it lasts!

gaw. when will Cubs fans learn to start speaking positively? All this negativism has never done any good. 100 years of shooting ourselves in the foot. I can tell ya that it wasn't the billy goat that cursed this team, but the millions of fans who say were gonna lose every single day.

Let's spread the good vibes around for a change! Cubs are gonna win it all!

The fans don't play the games. As much as I'd like to think that my positive thinking and cheering from my couch helps the Cubs win games, it's hard for my semi-rational mind to accept. Cubs fans do exactly what they need to do to help the Cubs win games--they fill the stands nearly every game, they tune in on TV, and they buy a ton of merchandise, all of which helps provide funds to support one of the higher payrolls in baseball. Yankees media and fans criticize their players as soon as they make any mistakes and managers lose their jobs even when they manage their teams into the playoffs, but none of that stopped the Yankees from winning some championships over the past 100 years.

Still, I am all for good vibes. I don't see any reason why this team can't win a lot of ball games--with or without positive thinking from the fans--and that's definitely a good thing from my perspective.

NOTE: One of the few times I think Cubs fans really did affect how the team, or rather a single player, performed: 2005, Corey Patterson. He was having a really bad year, but I think the booing may have been a further drain on his performance. That is not so much a matter of positive or negative thinking as it is verbal abuse and pressuring on a player, though.

I was watching the WGN special on the Cubs last night and some guy said that if you gave it your all, Cubs fans will love you. It seemed to me J Jones gave it his all. He may not have been a very good player, but I never got the feeling he dogged it.

I guess you missed his "lost the ball in the sun" period.


So losing a ball in the sun means he "dogged it?"

You have to be kidding me...

You don't remember Jacque Jones penchant for "losing" balls in the sun upsetting the fans in the bleachers??

You've got to be kidding me.

On the other hand, you're an idiot so it's not surprising.

I love how the best you can say is, "you're an idiot."

Hmm... where did I say that I didn't remember those things? It must be nice to be able to win arguments that the other person isn't trying to argue. Yes, I remember that Jones lost a handful of balls in the sun. Yes, I remember it upsetting fans in the bleachers. But the fans in the bleachers were upset about Jones long before that, and they took any opportunity they could find to get upset with Jones. But I would think that you already know that.

But regardless of his "penchant" for sun mishaps, what does that have to do with "dogging" it. Losing balls in the sun does not equate with not trying. Jacque Jones always played hard, which is what the original comment was about.

Getting doubled off of 2nd base on short flyballs early in his tenure seemed to turn the fans against him. Me think it was less about Jack Jones personally, and more about what he symbolized to the fans.

(i.e. the continuing McFail legacy of failing to get your target players and settling for Cheap 3rd tier guys instead)

Actually, there were times when Jones seemed to forget about the game and pout a little, which is not the same as dogging it, but is frustrating nonetheless. I wish I could remember the date, or even whether it was last year or 2006, but I remember Jones attempting a diving a catch on a ball hit toward rightfield. He missed the ball and got up and jogged after it for several steps, seeming to pout about not making the play, then realized the runner was trying for an inside the parker. Jones picked up the pace toward the ball, but to no avail, in part because of his arm, and the runner got an inside the park homerun. I don't remember the specifics, so I can't look this up to verify it, but that's how it plays out in my memory. Again, not the same as not hustling, but still frustrating.

Still, I remember Corey giving it his all in 2005 and still being booed because of terrible performance. Hawkins sure seemed to be trying, but the fans still got on him.

All i'm sayin is all that negative talk hasn't done us any good for a century, so would it hurt anyone to actually change the way they talk about the team and start predicting good stuff for a change instead of doom and gloom?

I agree that the talk about the Cubs playing poorly just because they are the Cubs, or choking because they are the Cubs--that all needs to go. But not because it's going to have much influence on the game, just because it annoys fans who aren't into the mystique of the "loser" part of the "lovable losers."

Nice work, Trans, although if Fontenot did everything you said he did in the 5th, then he really is God-enot. I think the recap has him out at third (which he was), then out at 2nd on the botched double play (Theriot), then scoring on the same play (Johnson). But if you want to promote Fontegod's superhuman powers, I'm all for that.

I was at the game yesterday, and other than Murton's utter lack of plate discipline, it was a very satisfying win.

Recent comments

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  • New York Mets @Mets
    Dee Gordon lead-off home run. #AintEvenMad #BiggerThanBaseball 1-0 Miami.
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    crunch 8 min 4 sec ago view
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    billybucks 29 min 18 sec ago view
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    billybucks 31 min 31 sec ago view
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    Cubster 52 min 49 sec ago view
  • cubs win #100. neat.

    crunch 1 hour 53 sec ago view
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    Brick 1 hour 8 min ago view
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    crunch 1 hour 39 min ago view
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    John Beasley 1 hour 41 min ago view
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    Cubster 1 hour 52 min ago view
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    Rob G. 2 hours 50 min ago view
  • Well put, both your remark, and Crunch's.

    Transmission 2 hours 51 min ago view
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    CTSteve 2 hours 56 min ago view
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    Transmission 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • Baez!!

    Brick 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • baez grand slam!

    crunch 3 hours 28 min ago view