August 2006 Archives for Agony & Ivy
Well, Cedeno has finally been benched for a spell, which is long overdue, but even that wasn't enough for the Cubs to overcome the mighty... Pirates. But there's hope, and by hope I mean Derrek Lee. That's at least one reason to watch a while during this latest Cubs skid. Plus, Zambrano's on the hill tonight...
Anyway, on to the latest round of Game Notes.
Well, I’ve decided to sit down with my laptop for this afternoon’s game and meander a bit rather than keeping score. Zambrano will make the first pitch in a few minutes, and hopefully he can salvage a game out of this series with the Phillies. With the wind blowing straight out, hopefully Zambrano can get back into the groove with his sinker. Lately he’s been using that a little bit less, the games I’ve seen, but this is a perfect day to let groundballs find their way to infielders.
It’s hard to be mad at anyone at 2:15 on a Tuesday afternoon, with Idlewild cruising its way through my stereo for the first time. I’m not sure yet whether this will end up surpassing Tool’s 10,000 Days as my favorite album of the year, but it might. Outkast is most definitely on to something, despite what all the critics and reviewers seem to be saying about the disconnection between Andre and Antwan being a major problem.
Anyway, I am mad. I’m mad at the Tribune Company about this parking garage thing. It makes them look like a big, evil company. Which apparently they are.
“Welcome to the Rock,” Sean Connery’s voice says wryly over the loudspeakers at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. I can’t help but think that the twisted amusement his character John Mason had in delivering the line in The Rock is rather fitting. After all, I just braved well over an hour-fifteen of traffic to go 20 miles north and east of Austin to sit in the Texas heat. Judging by the sparse crowd, this is not common sense. While Dell Diamond is certainly not Alcatraz -- it’s actually kind of nice, albeit inconvenient -- it’s not exactly a popular spot either, at least not on a weeknight in August. There could not be more than 1,000 people in the crowd for this AAA game between the Express and the Iowa Cubs.
What can you say about Carlos Zambrano against the Houston Astros this season? While the Astros lineup is the only one as bad (almost?) as the Cubs in the NL this season, they struggle a little bit extra against Zambrano. But while the first two times he took no-hitters deep against them and deserved all the credit, this time he got awfully lucky to face such a leaky lineup.
The conversation looked backwards for a while between my older brother and I as the Mariners logged such an awful first two innings -- 10 runs for the Rangers on only 5 hits -- that the game seemed to be veering towards the ludicrous. We’ve logged a lot of baseball games and ballparks between the two of us -- 26 and 25 respectively; if only I had gone to Three Rivers in 1986 instead of staying at the hotel to swim, I think now -- and it’s fun to recall some of their moments.
As we all recover from the shock of seeing the wave in Wrigley Field, and -- just as shocking -- we rub our eyes with the Cubs winning another one as they finally sustain a roll, it’s time for another round of game notes in the hopes that we can keep our spirits up during these first dog days of August.
Len Kasper pre-empted my thunder during the broadcast of the first game of the doubleheader the other day when he mentioned that Juan Pierre has played every single game this season. I had wondered whether Pierre had missed a game earlier in the week and double checked that he hadn’t, but I hadn’t seen this mentioned anywhere in the writings I read. I’m curious: why isn’t this something more of a notable story?