Results tagged ‘ W ’

1000 Words: Read it and weep

072609 Cubs first place.JPG

First place, first time in sole possession in 2009. All the final scores were on the board. The W flag was rising as yesterday’s standings were being taken down.

— Stephen Green

Observations from a W against the Brewers


Cubs fans were treated to a fun slugfest last night, highlighted by four Cubs home runs, including a solo shot and grand slam by Derrek Lee. The crowd was loud, the team had fun, and the win drew the Cubs within 2.5 games of the Brewers. There’s certainly some opportunity this series.

Some observations:

? Sam Fuld had another high-energy, productive game for Chicago atop the order. He almost seems to be working at double speed: On his second-inning double, Fuld had to grab his helmet off his head as he was almost running too fast for it to keep up, and when he takes his lead off the base, his fingers, arms and legs all are in continious movement.

? Geovany Soto also seemed to be enjoying himself. As he waited outside the batter’s box before leading off the fourth inning, Soto spotted a loose warm-up ball skipping his way and swatted it back toward the field, to the amusement of everyone around the plate. When he stepped into the batter’s box, Soto tapped home plate umpire Lance Barksdale on the shin guard and exchanged a laugh.

And Soto followed it up with a hooking home run to left just moments later.

? Ryan Dempster’s kick save on the mound was an appropriate sports crossover for the native Canadian and hockey fanatic. Some pitcher deflections are nothing more than half-hearted reachers for up-the-middle grounders; Dempster’s was an all-out stop, field and throw.

After the play, the infield surrounded Dempster to make sure he was OK, but he waved everyone off as if it was no big deal. Of course, head trainer Mark O’Neal and pitching coach Larry Rothschild watched him throw a practice pitch to make sure …

? Even better was seeing Dempster be the first player to congratulate Sean Marshall as he returned to the dugout after striking out Prince Fielder with two runners on in the bottom of the seventh. Marshall had his curveball working.

— Sean Ahmed

Inside a frigid Opening Day



Ah, Opening Day. No matter if it’s played on March 31 (like last year) or a full two weeks later, on April 13, that first game always seems to bring out the worst in Chicago weather.

But an impressive turnout of Cubs fans endured temperatures in the 40s and the constant misty rain, all after a one-hour, 12-minute rain delay. And they were treated to a great home opener:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpg? The crowd gave a standing ovation to National Guard Specialist Eunice Hernandez, an honored guest of the Cubs’ community affairs department. Hernandez, 22, became nationally known when, during the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, she answered President Barack Obama’s question of “White Sox or Cubs?” with “Cubs.” Hernandez was visiting the ballpark during her couple weeks in between tours of duty in Afghanistan.

? The Captain Morgan Club was at capacity the couple times I walked by in the late innings. And the crowd inside was as much a part of the Wrigley experience as any, joining “Sut” for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

_S8O1993.jpg? Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the seventh inning despite the wet mist that wreaked havoc on pitchers’ command. He said after the game that he wasn’t thinking about maintaining the no-hitter but rather that the conditions forced him to focus only on making quality pitches. Lou Piniella raved about Lilly’s performance under tough conditions.

“It was a cold, raw day, and Lilly really mastered the weather,” Piniella said. “He threw strikes, changed speeds, got his curveball over … really an outstanding pitching performance.”

? General manager Jim Hendry was his typical, enthusiastic self after the game. Aside from a brief stop in the office last Friday morning before heading to Milwaukee, Jim hasn’t been in Wrigley Field for over two months. Glad we got this first one today.

— Sean Ahmed