Welcome, Liveglog Club members and Yahoo! readers alike! Today, I will be listening to the Houston Astros take on the Chicago Cubs on XM Radio channel 185 and doing my darndest to relay the action to you, the reader. This is called "liveglogging".
Along the way, you can add your opinions below in something called the 'comment' section. You gotta sign up for comments, and if you need help, check out this handy-dandy FAQ. Please feel free to remain at the intelligence level of a Cro Magnon and call us all sorts of idiotic names as you make your comments! We encourage idiocy!
As for the game itself, both Chicago and Houston have decided to send their weakest links in their respective rotation's chains to the mound today: Jason Marquis and Brandon Backe. Marquis hasn't won since June and may soon be pushed to the bullpen while Backe has lost a team-high 10 games.
In a related note, one of the teams in my fantasy league is named "Baby Got Backe" despite the fact that the owner does not, in fact, employ Brandon Backe. Perhaps that's why she's in second place.
Onto the glog! After the jump...
2:10PM: Hm, odd...the pregame hasn't started yet on XM. Ooh...Van Morrison on the Fine Tuning channel!
2:15PM: Your other necessary pregame information is here. MLB Gameday. Cubs radio announcing crew. I am looking forward to listening to Ron Santo's collected moans and groans and doing my best to replicate them here in text form.
2:20PM: Astros hitters with higher than 1.000 OPS against Marquis with at least 10 plate appearances: Berkman (1.344 OPS in 50 PA), Lee (1.148, 33) Pence (1.200, 12), and Wigginton (18, 1.063). The wind is blowing out at Wrigley Field. This should be fun today.
2:23PM: So much for a 2:20PM start. I'm listening to a local Chicago commercial for Christmas trees. Oh! First pitch. Kaz Matsui, Hunter Pence, and Lance Berkman lead off the first inning against Mr. Marquis. Matsui pops out to Aramis Ramirez, who fought the sun to catch it.
2:26PM: Pence flies out to Kosuke Fukudome in right. The Astros' colors are referred to as 'chimney brick red' by Pat Hughes. Berkman grounds out to end the inning.
2:30PM: Hot-hitting Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, and Derrek Lee lead off against Backe. Soriano grounds out to third and the shards of his deathmaple bat fly into the outfield, over Wigginton's head. GET DOWN TY, BASEBALL NEEDS YOU. Theriot lines out to Kaz Matsui. Santo claims that the breeze is blowing in today, off the lake, but the Weather Channel tells me otherwise. I don't know who to believe.
2:32PM: And Derrek Lee grounds it back to the pitcher, who throws him out. End of first inning.
2:36PM: Our Astro batters this inning will be Carlos Lee, Geoff Blum, and the aforementioned Wigginton. Lee grounds out to third, one out. Now Santo is talking about that Paul McCartney picture at the Missouri gas station and questioning whether he really does pump his own gas. Not wondering why Geoff Blum is still paid to play baseball, but rather talking about Paul McCartney pumping gas. Sigh.
2:40PM: Blum does his best Carlos Lee impression and grounds out to third. Wigginton lines it to left and it goes over Soriano's head for a dubble. Ladies and gentlemen, the defensive prowess of one Alfonsosaurus J. Soriano IV, Esq. Hey, Darin Erstad is up! He had four hits yesterday. Good for him.
2:42PM: I'm just guessing here, but I bet Erstad's career batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs is approximately .002 or so. I'd look it up but I'm sure our Yahoo readers will correct me anyway. He grounds out to Marquis to prove my point. Middle second.
2:46PM: Your Cubby batters this inning will be Aramis Ramirez, Jimmy Edmonds, and Mark DeRosa. Is it pronounced ARR-a-miss or is it pronounced uh-ROM-uss? I want a ruling and I want it now. Either way, he pops out to Pence. WATCH OUT FOR THE GLASS DOOR, HUNTER! I've been waiting months to make that joke. Edmonds follows that up with a dubble down the right field line.
2:47PM: Mark DeRosa lines one to left-center past Carlos Lee. It one-hops off the wall as Edmonds scores, and DeRosa slides in to second with a two-bagger. 1-0 Cubs.
2:51PM: Here's Kosuke Fukudome. He started out the year on such a hot streak, drawing a walk in seemingly every other appearance. He's cooled off since. And he just lined out to Pence. Hey, if you want to send a fax to Ron Santo, here's the number: 773-244-3971. Seriously. They do this promotion every game.
2:54PM: Serious faxes only, people. If I find out that Santo got someone's taint faxed to him with the words "Walkoff Walk" underneath, heads will roll. Geovany Soto works a 3-0 count, then draws two strikes, fouls a couple off, and ends up with the walk. Good job, sir.
2:55PM: Marquis pops out and the inning is done. End 2nd.
2:58PM: That being said, if Ron Santo says the words "Walkoff Walk" in today's broadcast, I'm buying you all Krispy Kreme donuts. Your batters this inning are Humberto Quintero, Brandon Backe, and Kaz Matsui.
3:02PM: Quintero flies out and Backe grounds out. Some conversation in the booth is going on about Ron Santo's ex-girlfriends in high school, and taking a girl out on a date that involved riding the bus. I want this convo to stop immediately.
3:04PM: Kaz Matsui hits one deep to center that Edmonds loses in the sun. He reaches out but his glove comes up short; the ball is ruled a grounds-rule double as it bounces over the wall, into the madding crowd.
3:07PM: Pence works a 3-0 count, takes two strikes, and checks his swing as ball four just misses the strike zone. Here's Lance Berkman, he of the 19-for-40 career ratio against Marquis.
3:10PM: Berkman falls behind 1-2; Marquis is working it hard and inside to Lance. Pitch four is a changeup away. 2-2 count. Pitch five gets knocked into right for a single! Matsui scores and the game is knotted. Pence to third. 1-1 tie.
3:12PM: Carlos Lee falls behind 0-2 but then rips one to left, over Soriano's head, and OUTTA HERE! Three run tater tot for Carlos Lee. "How do you throw a fastball down the middle of the plate on an 0-2 pitch?" asks Santo. Blum grounds out. Middle 3rd. 4-1 Astros.
3:17PM: Soriano, Theriot and Lee are your batters against Backe in the third. This fact is reported: Carlos Lee has 95 RBI and a shitload of money. Soriano pops out to Matsui. "If a Cub steals a base today, Dairy Queen makes a 'sizable' donation to the kids hospital." How sizable is sizable, Ron?
3:22PM: Theriot grounds a single to right. Here's the great Derrek Lee. Well, the very good Derrek Lee. He's at least the serviceable Derrek Lee. No matter what, he flies out to Pence.
3:25PM: With runners on, Brandon Backe works about as fast as a dead retarded moose in winter. Sorry for the lack of updates, but he's been about as deliberate as a highwire act in a stiff breeze. Backe walked Aramis.
3:27PM: Edmonds works a 3-1 count. Santo implores the Cubs to "do what (the Astros) did" and score with two outs. Edmonds walks to bloat the bases.
3:29PM: KING DONG MARK DEROSA! 5-4 CUBS! Santo just shit himself. I think.
3:31PM: DeRosa's tetra tot may have caused Santo to fall off his chair and crush his fax machine, but I haven't gotten confirmation on that yet. Fukudome doubles to right and Santo yells out "Alright!"
3:33PM: Soto is being walked intentionally and Backe will face Marquis instead. The Cubs have now batted 'around' in the inning and scored 4 runs. Marquis doubles DEEP to right off the fence and Fukudome scores. Soto's at third. 6-4 Cubs. Santo thought it was gonna be a tater.
3:34PM: AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN. Soriano knocks a THREE RUN DING DONG to left and the Cubs are rolling. 9-4 Cubs. Ron Santo is literally kvetching now.
3:36PM: Every good rally must come to an end. This one dies as Theriot grounds out to Backe. End 3rd.
3:41PM: Wigginton singles to lead off the fourth. Santo is reminiscing about playing with Fergie and it takes me a second to realize that he meant the time he was Ferguson Jenkins' teammate and not, in fact, the time he did a line of coke off this chick's ass. Erstad grounds into a fielders choice; Wigginton out at second.
3:44PM: Quintero singles to right. Runners on first and second and here comes Brandon Backe. Holy shit, Cecil Cooper is not going to the bullpen. Ladies and gentlefolk, your 2008 Houston Astros!
3:46PM: Cooper's gamble paid off as Backe strikes out swinging. Wait, no. Cooper's gamble was about as effective as a drunken bachelorette playing craps at the Trump Taj Mahal on a Wednesday in November.
3:48PM: Matsui grounds to Lee, who forgoes first base and throws down to second. It's late and the bases are juiced. Here's Hunter Pence.
3:49PM: Hunter Pence falls behind 0-2 and Santo sighs, expecting only the worst. Instead, Pence lofts a lazy fly to center that Edmonds reels in to send the game to the bottom of the fourth.
3:53PM: The Cubs will send up Lee, Ramirez, and Edmonds against Backe. Lee walks on five pitches. This will not end well.
3:55PM: Brandon Backe and home plate umpire Marty Foster are engaged in a slight tete a tete, shouting at each other like angry women at a sample sale. Cecil Cooper emerges from the dugout to settle it all. Don't argue balls and strikes, folks.
3:57PM: Aramis Ramirez singles and advances Lee to second. Still no activity in the Houston bullpen. Guess it was sucked dry of blood. Edmonds hits a high fly to Erstad for an out, Lee advances to third. Hey, Backe got an out!
4:00PM: Here's Grand Slam King Mark DeRosa himself. And he walked. That's the sixth walk for Backe today.The bases are once again bloated with Cubbies. Here's Fukudome.
4:03PM: Fukudome lines it to left and everyone advances one place on the ol' Sorry! board. 10-4 Cubs. Cecil Cooper finally decides to pull Backe. That's 3 and 1/3 innings, 10 runs allowed, and three more runners on base that belong to his line.
4:06PM: Lefty Tim Byrdak will inherit the mess that Backe has made. He'll face Soto with the bases jacked. Soto flies out to left and Ramirez tags to score. The other runners hold their positions. 11-4 Cubs. Marquis flies out to end the inning. End of 4!
4:08PM: A commercial for Old Style beer is playing. Hey, if Old Style beer is really the local favorite of Chicagoans, then why is it brewed in Milwaukee?
4:12PM: Marquis will face Berkman, Lee and Blum. Marquis just hit the 80 pitch mark. Backe, on the other hand, struggled through 99 pitches, allowing 11 runs in 3 and a third innings. Berkman grounds out to DeRosa.
4:14PM: Carlos E. Lee grounds out to Ramirez. When is Santo gonna read his consarned faxes anyway? Geoff Blum grounds out as Marquis dazzles us with a 1-2-3 inning. Middle 5th.
4:18PM: I'd like to say this game is over at this point, but really, with the winds blowing out, Marquis on the mound, and the Cubs bullpen pitchers in the Cubs bullpen, anything can happen. Soriano leads off with a single. Here's Theriot.
4:20PM: Theriot fouls a ball of his ankle and he's on the ground writhing in pain, not unlike Christina Amphlett in that "I Touch Myself" video, except without the fishnets. No worries, folks...he's okay! And he grounds out to third, Soriano to second.
4:23PM: Derrek Lee falls behind 1-2, and then he strikes out. Here's Aramis Ramirez. Every Cub has scored a run in this game, even pitcher Jason Marquis. Heck, I think Santo scored in this game too, or else he just felt up that chick on the bus.
4:28PM: Gotta hand it to Marquis. He's eating innings as well as I eat BBQ chicken pizzers from California Pizza Kitchen. Wigginton pops out to lead off the sixth.
4:31PM: Darin Erstad strikes out on a foul tip. Quintero grounds it to third, Ramirez bobbles the ball and makes a bad throw. O-5. That's an Oopsie Five for those of you scoring at work. Byrdak strikes out and we're headed to the middle of the sixth.
4:34PM: Edmonds, DeRosa and Fukudome will bat against Byrdak this inning. Santo announces that he will be singing "Take Me Out yada yada" during the stretch today. What, Jim Belushi was busy?
4:37PM: Edmonds strikes out looking. Heck, if he had struck out swinging, he'd hopefully still have been looking at the pitch. Who swings with his eyes closed? DeRosa grounds out. Two down. Fukudome tries his best to extend the inning, and the glog, but lines out to Erstad. Yes folks, thanks for joining us today, but I must end this glog prematurely. Surprised? Didn't think so. End 6th, 11-4 Cubbies.