Game 18 Recap: Cubs 13, Pirates 6
- 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.
- The Messmers.
- Threesomes with the Messmers.
- DeRosa's stumble.
- Fuku Fun Facts
- 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.
- 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
- Scrappy home run hitters
- Tejada's age.
- Cardinals game
- 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...
- 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?"
- 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?
- Checking everyone's hipster music cards.
- Parachat contains few Bonnie Hunt fants.
- Comparing the 7th inning stretch with McDonalds cheeseburgers.
- 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.
- The humor of Diabetes commercials.
- the final season of Roseanne.
- Oh yeah - and the Cubs win!
- Record in games recapped: 3-0.
If you liked this article, (and I know you did...) consider supporting us during TCR's April Pledge Drive.
La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.
[Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]
Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.
i'm not ready for it to end.
i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."
i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.
I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.
But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.
Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!
Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.
Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.
Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.
Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories.
And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around!
CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!
I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.
You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.
BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.
oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.
Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.
My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!
Bryant: Base running adventures.
Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.
Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360