Well! I guess I missed quite a ninth inning last night.
I turned it off after the eighth. I had seen quite enough. They had squandered an early 3-1 lead, then tied it 4-4 only to fall behind 6-4 immediately thereafter. Baserunning mistakes (Soriano), fielding mistakes (Soriano), robbed of an extra base hit (Ramirez), hitting into double plays (Monroe), shaky pitching (Hill), Wuertz). And this was just in the 4th through 8th innings, which is the entirely of what I’d seen.
Things were were quite obviously not going the Cubs’ way on this night; I even mentioned to my wife that it just wasn’t their night. Or so I thought.
Then in the ninth, Theriot walked to lead off, then Derrek Lee singled. Aramis Ramirez tripled to the gap in right center, barely eluding a diving Norris Hopper — which was cosmic payback for these two, after Hopper robbed Ramirez of an extra base hit earlier. Tie game. Crowd goes wild.
Next batter Daryle Ward was walked intentionally, brining up Mark DeRosa, who was 4 for 4 with a homer at that point, and 9 for 9 against the Reds, stretching back to their last meeting. The Reds brought in a fifth infielder, but DeRosa hit a smash up the middle that pitcher David Weathers got a glove on, but didn’t field cleanly, and neither did the infield. Cubs win 7-6, with pinch-runner Sam Fuld scoring the winning run.
One quote from the article above:
Ramirez has been the team’s best clutch hitter all year, and his game-winning walk-off home against Milwaukee on June 29 was the high point of the season, until Monday.
And I missed it. This is kind of funny, because normally I don’t bail out on a game, for exactly this reason. Ah, well. Life goes on. At least they came back and got it done, especially since they needed to win to stay 1 game ahead (and tied in the loss column, which is the most important of the two numbers) of the Brewers, who beat Houston 6-0.
Tonight it’s Carlos Zambrano vs. Aaron Harang, who is 15-4 on a team that is below .500.