Friday, July 31, 2009

7/31/09 Chicago Cubs 2, Florida Marlins 5

Land Shark Stadium, Miami, FL

Rich Harden fans 11 (tying his highest number of Ks to date), but fails to rout the Marlins effectively, allowing a meager 2 runs (including one HR by Cantu in the 3rd) that were blotted out by the Marlins’ 8th inning 3 run rally. They literally ran Marmol ragged during that frame.

CUBS 2 6 0

Ramirez and Hill were hot (both 2-4) and Jake Fox’ HR in the 7th shows some signs that the Cubs’ offensive woes are pretty much (almost) behind them.

The game was called on WGN by Pat Hughes and Ron Santo, with Judd Sirott.

BIL Tour 2009: Itinerary Rev 1

Saturday 8/22/09

Sunday 8/23/09
Game: New Orleans Zephyrs @ Iowa Cubs
Game time: 1:05PM

Monday 8/24/09
Visit Negro Baseball Hall of Fame (Kansas City)
Game: Cleveland Indians @ KC Royals
Game time: 7:10PM

Tuesday 8/25/09
Downtown St. Louis
Game: Houston Astros @ St Louis Cardinals
Game time: 7:15PM

Wednesday 8/26/09
Game: Quad Cities River Bandits @ Peoria Chiefs
Free Hot Dogs and Peanuts!!!
Game time: 6:30PM

Thursday 8/27/09
Game: Washington Nationals @ Chicago CUBS
Game time: 1:20PM

Friday 8/28/09
Downtown Milwaukee
Game: Pittsburgh Pirates* @ Milwaukee Brewers
(* or at least what’s left of them)
Game time: 7:05PM

Saturday 8/29/09

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rickey being Rickey...

I don't know much about the other folks (my bad), but congratulations to the 'all time greatest'...

As for you, buddy...IT'S GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

7/25/09 Cincinnati Reds 3, Chicago Cubs 5

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Game 2 of 3

Action-packed in the first inning, with Johnny Cueto (CIN P) facing the entire Cubs starting lineup – 3 runs, 5 hits. The Cubs came back offensively and caught Cueto off guard from the start. 3 Cubs homered (Ramirez, Soriano, and Bradley) but 2 Reds homered in the 9th, which prompted Aaron Heilman (CHC P) to get yanked in favor of Kevin Gregg, who got the S. Kevin Hart (CHC P) got his second W in 3 starts.

REDS 3 7 1
CUBS 5 10 0

This was a medium-paced Cubs slugfest, while the early innings had the immediate action, the other 2 HR in the game were evenly paced and more than insurance runs – they saved the game when the Reds came back with 2 HR in 4 batters.

Lee left the game after the 7th with neck spasms (again). Soriano was getting back to his old self, hitting safely 3 times (including his HR). This W for the Cubs puts them at 7-2 after the All-Star Break. YEAH!!!

First inning saw the Cubs collectively hitting for the cycle…check it out!!

The game was called on WGN Radio by Pat Hughes, Ron Santo, and Jeff Sirott. Bob Sirott (Jeff’s Uncle) visited and chatted a bit during the 5th. The ‘Fathead Exchange’ was particularly hilarious, as Pat Hughes announced that for a future game:

Pat Hughes: “…the first 10,000 or so fans will get a free Cubs Fathead! I’m trying not to look at you when I say that, Ron…”

Ron Santo: “What is a Fathead?”

Pat Hughes: “I was hoping YOU would know…”

Scoring Notes: The first game I’ve scored from the radio, making it all the way through. I used the ‘simplified’ scorecard from James Teresco; not keeping track of pitches due to increased ‘focused listening.’ It went well, was a very relaxed experience (and exciting game!!). I am STILL wrestling with whether or not to credit an AB to a batter when they are acknowledged for a SAC fly, bunt, etc. According to ‘the rules’ the SAC is an AB only if a runner scores…here, both Cueto and Theriot get a SAC by the official scorer, and their AB removed from the count. In any case, Votto’s SAC actually scored a runner, so I didn’t credit his PA as an AB but gave Cueto and Theriot Abs for their “SACs”…I even researched it during the game to be sure I was doing this right…

7/25/09 Texas Rangers 3, Kansas City Royals 6

Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Luke Hochevar fans 13, what an outing! Run support was a big plus in this victory as well.

TEX 3 6 0
KC 6 11 1

It's always a swell day in KC when the once-heralded 'most offensive team in MLB' is effectively stifled by the AL Central team everybody seems to love to hate. Trey Hillman's dramatic ejection helped the Royals add some "oomph" to their production. "It was a blown call."

The bizarre thing about this game is that I heard of Marlon Byrd signing with the Cubs while I was watching it.

I scored this game on 12/30/09.

Knock Knock

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BIL Tour 2009: This Just In...

The first tickets are HERE, Pirates @ Brewers 8/28/09!!! Loge Outfield Box, Section 229...oh YEAH!!!

Way to Go Mark Buehrle!!!

You are something does it feel?!?

CONGRATULATIONS, Chicago is PROUD of you...even Cub fans!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BIL Tour 2009: The Story Behind The Event

This adventure really began with my 40th birthday a couple of years ago; but that's another story for another day.

In order to level-set, I'll start the story at Chapter One. In the Spring of 2008, my cousin Mike in Illinois told me about his summer plans: he and his brother were going to take a trip to the East Coast and back, stopping in various ballparks to enjoy baseball games along the way. I was immediately envious of the experience; several major league landmarks, great teams, exciting games, and some brotherly bonding time.

I was gripped by the possibility of doing this myself someday...but how? And with whom? The plan itself went to the back burner, until August 9, 2008.

A few words about my brother-in-law Mark. Without sounding too corny, Mark is awesome. His sense of humor and demeanor are astounding; I've only known him a few years but we get along as if we'd been pals for years ...our communication is very relaxed and...we really do have a brotherly connection. I trust him, I am overjoyed that my sister found him, and I'm completely glad he and his family are in our lives now. Besides that, he is 100% fun, appreciates the proper beer (Guinness!) and aside from our 'Chicago connection,' we have come to share a common appreciation for baseball. Definitely in different ways (I think Mark is primarily a soccer fan!), but it's a special connection for us.

OK, this is my brother-in-law Mark (on the right) - we're on the train after the Cardinals @ Cubs game August 9th, 2008. This is really the day my plan started to roll.

My family and I were in town to celebrate the baptism of Mark and my sister's son (I was his Godfather). Mark surprised me with Cubs tickets when we showed up (the Minister who performed the baptism had them and couldn't make the game, long story but he ended up giving them to Mark and I) and we were pretty much on our way to the game amongst the calamity of an already busy weekend.

We were at the game, and had such a great time - I didn't want it to end. Mark and I, some great folks from St. Louis (jeering at the Cubbies the whole time), a couple of beers, some nachos, wonderful weather...and truly FANTASTIC field box seats, right behind home plate. I was almost upset at the thought that the game would be over soon...and that this whole experience would be over.

Then I was seized by the jester of inspiration. "Mark, you know summer we need to go on a baseball know hit a game a day for a week or so." he didn't even blink. We got on so well with the folks from St. Louis, they offered to treat us to a game if we were ever in STL during a weekday...when I proposed the tour to Mark, his immediate response was "...and we can go to St. Louis on a weekday."

We worked out an itinerary, played BINGO with team schedules (I can't believe Mark found a solid week of home games, right along the path we'd plotted out), planned, plotted, GOT PERMISSION FROM OUR WIVES, and thus, the Brother-In-Law (BIL) Baseball Tour 2009 is officially a GO for the last week of August.

The credit for this idea, again, goes to my cousin Mike. Coolest White Sox fan in the universe. Thanks to him for giving me the idea to do this.

Melissa, thank YOU so much for your part in this. Mark, you RULE for saying yes, this is going to be a BLAST. Good job both of you. No more corny stuff, now...on with the BASEBALL TOUR!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My thoughts at the beginning of the second half of the season..,


Ronnie WOO WOO and I enjoying the day @ Capt. Morgan 7/7/09

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

7/7/09 Atlanta Braves 2, Chicago Cubs 1

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

The second part of a most outstanding day in my life. It would have been better if we could have flown the W flag and sang ‘the song,’ but the seats were awesome, the game lotsa fun, and still a most memorable occasion.

I was disappointed that Chipper Jones didn’t make the ATL lineup; I was looking forward to seeing him play during a game I attended and still am – but no worrites, and the Braves certainly didn’t need him.

BRAVES 2 8 0
CUBS 1 7 0

Zambrano pitched like a true ace, 2 ER and 6 K in 6 lusty innings. He walked 3, however, and his lead-off walk of Nate McLouth was ATL’s first run scored. Vazquez also racked up 6 Ks, didn’t walk any, and held the Cubs to only 5 hits during his 7 innings – 4 innings were 3 up, 3 down. Ramirez and Soriano both went 2-4, Hill and Hoffpauir both credited with an RBI each, and Ryan Theriot (the MAN of the day) finally hit safely with a 2B in the 8th. Fukudome and Derrek Lee, both still considerably hot, went 0-3 and 0-4 respectively.

Today’s giveaway was a Cubs lunchbox…for KIDS only!!! My gracious daughter Kei gave me hers, so now THIS KID has one!!

When I get all the pics together from our Ryan Theriot experience, I will post a missive about that fantastic event!

Official Cubs Scorecard, with player stats ATM

Hey Hey! Keeping score with the CUBS!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

7/4/09 Milwaukee Brewers 11, Chicago Cubs 2

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Game 3 of 4

MIL 11 14 2
CHC 2 7 0

I scored this game on 12/24/10.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BIL Tour 2009: Itinerary Rev 0

Sunday 8/23/09
Des Moines, IA
Game: New Orleans Zephyrs @ Iowa Cubs

Monday 8/24/09
Kansas City, MO
Visit Negro Baseball Hall of Fame
Game: Cleveland Indians @ KC Royals

Tuesday 8/25/09
St. Louis, MO
Game: Houston Astros @ St Louis Cardinals

Wednesday 8/26/09

Thursday 8/27/09
Chicago, IL
Game: Washington Nationals @ Chicago Cubs

Friday 8/28/09
Milwaukee, WI
Game: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Milwaukee Brewers

Saturday 8/29/09
Time to go home...
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