The Cubs are riding a six-game winning streak into their huge rematch of the 1929 World Series with the Oakland A's, so we thought it necessary to bring all the action to those of you stuck at work without a TV or radio. And for the rest of you that ducked out early on this beautiful June Friday, may you get a bad sunburn.
The Cubs and the A's haven't played each other since that Series. No surprise here that the Cubs lost that one, blowing an 8-0 lead in Game 4 at Shibe Park and losing in five games to Connie Mack's side. That was when the A's were in Philadelphia and Mack wore a straw hat in the dugout. Which brings up the eternal question: Why do managers and coaches wear baseball uniforms anyway?
We'll leave that one to someone else to figure out because we've got bigger things at hand. Nearly lost in the shuffle of the win streak is Sammy Sosa's return from the disabled list. And that means Todd Hollandsworth will be back on the bench with the other Lemons. Kind of a shame considering Hollandsworth is hitting .305 in June and Sosa was shut down by the Sox's future fifth starter in a Double-A rehab assignment.
It's Matt Clement against lefty Mark Redman. Baseball soon ...
Right. A reader points out Hollandsworth is spelling Alou in left today. So the Two Todds live to see another day. Dusty Baker has juggled the lineup a bit. Walker, Barrett, Ramirez, Sosa, Hollandsworth, Lee, Patterson, Martinez and Clement.
For Oakland it's Mark Kotsay (CF), Marco Scutaro (2B), Jermaine Dye (RF), Erubiel Durazo (1B), Bobby Crosby (SS), Bobby Kielty (LF), Damian Miller (C), Esteban German (3B) and Redman.
Clement goes full to Kotsay before striking him out looking at a breaking ball over the inside corner. Southwest Airlines Plane View Cam shows it's a bad call. One out. Scutaro flies out to Patterson in center. Dye chases a slider away for the third out.
Sosa should be nominated for some kind of acting award for this Pepsi commercial. Redman, who made two starts for the Marlins against the Cubs in last year's NLCS, strikes out Todd Walker looking. Walker thinks it's low and outside but it's not up to him. Barrett lines one to left. Bobby Kielty takes a brutal stab at it and it rolls to the wall. Barrett, being a catcher, takes only second. Score that a single and an error. Ramirez lines one to Dye, who's got a hose and holds Barrett on second. Here's Sneezin' Sammy Sosa with two outs and a guy on second. Redman gets two quick strikes on Sosa but then bounces one that gets away from Miller. Barrett takes third. Sosa fans on a 69 mph breaking ball, not looking too good in the process.
Durazo shows uncharacteristic impatience at the plate and strikes out on four pitches. Somewhere Billy Beane is breaking things. Crosby lays down a bunt for a hit. Kielty hits it hard but right at Sosa. Former Cub Damian Miller steps in. Miller grounds a to Martinez, who filips to Walker at second to get Crosby for the third out. And, yes, SC Cubs fan, I was being sarcastic about Sosa's acting ability. It's right up there with that Denny's commercial a few year back when he proclaimed, "Hey, I was traded for a rice pilaf!"
One half of the Two Todds steps in. That would be Hollandsworth and he pops out to Miller standing on the A's on-deck circle. Derrek Lee, apparently a big fan of the month of June, faces his former teammate. Steve Stone just said Lee added 17 points to his batting average on the recent road trip. The average stays put for now as Lee draws a walk. Redman picks off Lee without throwing a pitch to Patterson. Patterson is retired and the Cubs go down quietly.
Esteban German grounds the first pitch to Walker for the first out. Redman fans and then Kotsay puts one on Sheffield. A big bomb. OK, here's the thing about throwing the ball back after a visiting home run. it's all fine and dandy, but don't cheer it like it's the highlight of your afternoon. Scutaro lines one to third that's speared by a diving Ramirez. Nice play.
A's 1, Cubs nil
Martinez lines one to left. Kielty runs in and then has to back track and jump to catch it. Adam Dunn-esque. Clement swings at two pitches and I'm going to say he'll strike out before the third pitch is even thrown. He does. Ha! DannyK, that's the only thing Ramon Martinez and Nomar have in common. Walker grounds to short and Redman is rolling.
Donnie whatsyourface, you can get back to your oatmeal now. It doesn't matter what you post on the message board, it's not going to make it to print.
Dye bloops one that falls in front of Patterson. Durazo bounces one to Walker who starts the 4-6-3 double play. Crosby hits one to Martinez, who can't get the ball out of his glove. Somehow it's ruled a hit. Clement gets Kielty to bloop one to Walker to end it.