Friday, May 20, 2011

5/20/11 Chicago Cubs 5, Boston Red Sox 15

Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Game 1 of 3

The fabled GREEN MONSTER. This historic meeting between the Cubs and the Red Sox was filled with famous facts and cute images of Cubs goofing around with the GREEN MONSTER. Later in the game, the goofing around with the GREEN MONSTER pretty much amounted to the amount of batted balls going over the GREEN MONSTER plus batted balls hitting the GREEN MONSTER. The Red Sox launched 7 hits to the wall, plus 2 of them over the wall (1 of them caught by Cubs President Crane Kenney). The Cubs launched 3 hits to the wall, none over. But, I digress…

Know this: this is the first Cubs visit to Fenway Park to face the Red Sox since these two teams faced each other in the 1918 World Series.

And Doug Davis spoiled it!!

Bill Buckner joins Len Kasper for the WGN broadcast (filling in for Bob Brenly) and besides the game-calling, our eyes and ears are getting filled with as much trivial brain-crowding stuff you may or may not want to know as any human can handle. Probably too much; it was neat-o at first, but as the game crawls on, many of us find ourselves reaching for our motion sickness bags.

…and by the time we thought we wouldn’t need them, Doug Davis’ performance mandates their eventual use…

Doug Davis’ previous start (his first for the Cubs and his first MLB start since July of 2010) wasn’t really a cause for great celebration, but you could chalk that up more than anything to very inclement weather plus a stunning Ryan Vogelsong added up to equal Doug Davis trouble on behalf of the Cubs. Tonight, Davis can’t really rely on either factor; the weather is better and Jon Lester isn’t really outstanding.

The first inning was confusing enough, including but not limited to a stolen base, obstruction call on Jeff Baker, a passed ball charged to Koyie Hill, a throwing error charged to Koyie Hill (on a PO Attempt during the stolen base), most of this occurring in the space of 3 Red Sox plate appearances.

The 3rd inning gets hairy, but not as hairy…the 4th inning is where Davis allows 3 runs with 2 outs recorded, one of those runs was driven in on an epic rocket-launcher HR by Kevin Youkilis that went all the way to Lansdowne Street, and beyond...that HR was given up by Scott Maine in relief of Davis, who topped this feat by allowing 2 more runs before being replaced by James Russell, who has been pretty much cool as a cucumber so far this season. Let’s not bring up Jeff Samardzija, if only to spare the analysis that his 5 runs allowed (3 ER) didn’t really have an impact on the outcome of the game.

I’ll write this again: I still want to be optimistic about his future not only as a Major League pitcher, but also as a Cub. But so far, this adventure isn’t working out very well.

On a more positive note: the most Cubs fans at a road game I think I have ever seen in my life, even Bostonians are wondering – “where did all these crazy people come from???” I can’t answer that, but I can answer this: “Yes, Kevin Youkilis is pretty good at baseball.”

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