Notes from a great win

It may have been near-freezing — the wind blowing in across rightfield was rippling jackets in the upper deck like flags — but the Cubs made every second worth it with last night’s 3-1 win. …

? How cold was it? The Dodgers were so unprepared for the 40-degree drop that most everyone but Joe Torre was wearing black MLB coats instead of their team’s. …

 

? The Cubs dugout already was chirping in the first minute of the game, when Sean Gallagher seemed to have a called strikeout of Juan Pierre. Home plate umpire Bob Davidson immediately took off his mask and yelled at the coaches that the pitch was inside.

 

When a ball deflected off of Gallagher’s pitching hand two batters later, Lou calmly talked with Davidson before returning to the dugout. But he also couldn’t contain a cheeky smile toward Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa, also known to have some animated relationships with umpires. …

? Davidson spotted a young kid between innings and walked over to hand him a ball. …

 

? Kosuke had a great game, reaching three times on a walk, single and double. Cubs fans obviously recognized the importance of his matchup last night with Hiroki Kuroda: In the bottom of the sixth, the fans were on their feet clapping as Kosuke drew a walk after falling behind 0-2. …

 

? Carlos Marmol was frustrated with his stuff in the eighth inning and ended up loading the bases before getting out of the jam. He had trouble commanding his slider, throwing just one for a strike to the first four batters. When Los Angeles’ James Loney swung at a 2-2 slider in the dirt for the second out, that seemed to be the turning point. He threw a couple good ones to Matt Kemp before inducing a weak grounder to short to end the inning.

 

Tommy Lasorda, MLB Ambassador

Before the game, I had the opportunity to talk with Tommy Lasorda for an upcoming issue of Vine Line. We discussed the city of Chicago, the progress of Japanese baseball considering last night’s Kuroda-Fukudome matchup, and managing against Lou when Lou was a player in the 1978 World Series. He was animated and said he always loves coming to Chicago, where he makes sure to hit the Italian food of Carmine’s on Rush St. first.

Jim Hendry also stopped by to talk to his friend of some 30 years, and the two had a lot of fun exchanging old stories and calling out each other’s repeat jokes. Lasorda also congratulated Jim on the job he has done with this team and said, “If we don’t win tonight, I sure hope you do.”

Tonight’s lineup

Closing out the series against right-hander Derek Lowe (2-5, 5.03):

Soriano, LF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Fukudome, RF
Soto, C
DeRosa, 2B
Johnson, CF
Zambrano, RHP

– Sean Ahmed

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