It's that time of year when half of Chicago hates the other half. Isn't it fun?
Yes, it's the annual dozens-fest some euphemistically call inter-league play.
Make sure you're wearing your batting helmet, even in the field today, because the insults are going to be flying back and forth:
Beanie-baby-collecting spritzer drinkers! Mullet-wearing Camaro drivers! Frappuccinio-lovin' yuppie drunks! Field-charging dirtbags! Cork lovers! World Series throwers! You get the idea.
The baseball will decide who holds the bragging rights, at least until the two teams meet again next weekend.
With the late start, we realize many of you will be ducking out of the office towards the middle innings. But, in the meantime, we're here for you with a blow-by-blow account of all the action on the field.
Mark Prior (1-1) goes against Jon Garland (5-4). Here are today's lineups.
Also, a bit of news: The Sox placed tomorrow's starter, Scott Schoeneweis, on the 15-day DL. Felix Diaz will start in his place. Our Sox fan designer just quipped, "Oh, great. Now we need a fourth and a fifth starter.
Now that Sharon Osbourne's little chat with bachelor Bob is done, it's safe to turn on the TV. We'll have baseball shortly.
Since when does 3:05 mean 3:10? Anyway, here we go. Mark Grudzielanek leads off. I used the time he spent on the DL to learn how to spell his name. Grudzielanek flies out to Aaron Rowand in center. WGN is flashing a crawl about Jack Ryan dropping out of the Senate race. If they pre-empt this game with some news conference, I will personally drive up to Detroit and turn a taxicab over. Garland gets the hot-hitting Derrek Lee swinging for the second out. But Moises Alou comes back and rips a double down the left-field line. Sox fan favorite Sammy Sosa digs in. Gesundheit. He goes down swinging.
Rowand, who made two great catches yesterday, pops out to Aramis Ramirez in foul ground. Juan Uribe follows suit with a pop out to Lee near the Cubs' dugout. Frank Thomas strokes the first pitch in to left for a single. There goes the Prior no-hitter. We're out of here. Have a good weekend. Carlos Lee coaxes a walk. Jose Valentin checks his swing; Prior appeals to third to no avail. A walk to Valentin loads the bases for Paul Konerko. Konerko battles but flies out to Sosa. Sox load them but can't score. Prior threw a whole lot of pitches in that inning.
Ramirez starts the Cubs' second with a lazy fly ball to Lee in left. MLB.com has Prior with 23 pitches in the first, Sox fan designer reports. That's like a fourth of his pitch count. DH Todd Hollandsworth and his hair pop out to Konerko. Michael Barrett grounds out to short and Garland cruises through the second.
Ross Gload--great name--lines out to Sosa. Joe Crede then pops to Lee. I see a Sox fan talking on a cell phone on TV. What's next, a Cubs fans actually watching the game? Miguel Olivio doesn't look good at all swinging at strike three, a slider away. Prior has an easier time with the back of the Sox's lineup.
No news here: Corey Patterson quickly down 0-2 before fouling one off. He swings at a ball and lofts it to Lee in left. Ramon Martinez steps in. It's safe to say we've seen the last of Rey Ordonez at short for the Cubs. When Ricky Gutierrez looks like an upgrade, it doesn't say much for your game. Martinez grounds one to Crede, who bobbles it but has time to throw out Martinez. Grudzielanek rips one in the hole, but Crede, diving to his right, makes a great play, gets up and throws on the money.
OK, I saw this the other night and they just did it again. Hawk and DJ just gave Crede the "Comcast play of the game." It's the third inning, people. Here's Rowand, who cues one to first. Lee picks it nicely and flips to Prior covering. Uribe swings right through a fast ball for strike three. Prior throws one up and in to Thomas. Thomas doesn't like it at all and then looks at a breaking ball for strike three. He doesn't like that either and lets home-plate ump Chuck Merriweather know about it. Prior seems to have settled down.