Jeff Vorva takes a humorous look at Saturday’s Cubs-Sox game.
One inning at a time
Top of the first
Alfonso Soriano leads off the game with a home run off Javier Vazquez. The last time Soriano did that was, let’s see … oh, less than 23 hours prior. Two words for today’s Sox starter, Jose Contreras: “intentional walk.”
Bottom of the first
Scott Podsednik comes off the disabled list and singles, steals second and scores the tying run. Despite the nice start, wiseguy reporters in the press box are setting up a pool for when he gets injured again.
Top of the second
The Cubs go down 1-2-3. After the half-inning, first-base coach Matt Sinatro tosses a bag of sunflower seeds to a fan behind the first-base dugout so at least one Cubs fan seems happy.
Bottom of the second
Luis Terrero, one of the fastest men on the Sox, helps kill a rally when he tries stretching a single into a double. He had three things going against him: Soriano’s arm in left, a slow track on the wet basepath and a snail-like start out of the box. Otherwise, it was a perfect plan.
Top of the third
Cesar Izturis hits a leadoff double, bringing up the top of the order. Izturis is still at second when Derrek Lee all but swings himself into a pretzel for an inning-ending strikeout.
Bottom of the third
On Friday, Paul Konerko yelped at umpire Ed Rapuano when he was called out on strikes. This time, Konerko can only curse at himself when he looks at strike three to end the inning.
Top of the fourth
For the second time, the Cubs go down 1-2-3. This time, Sinatro gives no handouts to the fans. So no Cubs fans are happy after this half-inning except, perhaps, those who have been drinking heavily.
Bottom of the fourth
Terrero has a chance to make amends. He gets out of the box much more swiftly this time while grounding into a forceout.
Top of the fifth
Izturis hits a two-out single on which second baseman Tadahito Iguchi juggles the ball. That brings up the top of the order. Izturis is still at first when Soriano all but swings himself into traction for an inning-ending strikeout.
Bottom of the fifth
Third baseman Ryan Theriot nabs his second line drive of the afternoon when he robs Juan Uribe of potential extra bases. Theriot wasn’t even supposed to be in the game, but Mark DeRosa was out with a headache and symptoms he said felt like “a three-day hangover.”
Top of the sixth
Lee hits a one-out double. Two batters later, Cliff Floyd all but swings his way onto the disabled list for an inning-ending strikeout.
Bottom of the sixth
Cubs starter Rich Hill is lifted after giving up back-to-back walks with two outs. He’s sputtering mad when he gets back to the dugout, but there’s no Michael Barrett to yell at or punch.
Top of the seventh
One-two-three. Now it’s the seventh-inning stretch, and for the first time in a couple of hours, fans of both teams finally have an excuse to stand.
Bottom of the seventh
Good news for the Sox! Carlos Marmol (1.02 ERA) is removed for Will Ohman (4.87) to face Rob Mackowiak! But Ohman gets Big Mack to fly out to end the frame.
Top of the eighth
Good news for the Cubs! The Sox bullpen is ready to start work! And Vazquez is still stuck on three wins in his last 4∏ months of work. While fights are going on in the upper deck, it takes three relievers - including closer Bobby Jenks - to subdue the Cubs.
Bottom of the eighth
Former Gold Glove shortstop Izturis probably should not dust off a spot on the mantle for another award this season. He has a team-high six boots in limited work after bobbling Konerko’s grounder.
Top of the ninth
Daryle Ward, who has said he gets heckled for having a big butt, has a big hit in the inning, but not as big as Theriot’s run-scoring bunt that puts the Cubs ahead 2-1.
Bottom of the ninth
Bob Howry is in because closer Ryan Dempster has a strained left oblique. Terrero has one more chance to make good, but the center fielder strikes out for the first out, and Sox fans begin their “Why the #$@$ did we get rid of Aaron Rowand?” lament for the 9,453rd time.
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