Tuesday, June 24, 2008

O's-Cubs, Lovable? Maybe - Losers? Yes

The O's take their first trip to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field to face what may be the best team in baseball - the Chicago Cubs. Jeremy Guthrie goes up against Sean Marshall - a guy who was talked about in those off-season Brian Roberts trade rumors. The ivy does look nice, but I don't know if I'd want to play in the outfield there.

Marshall retires the side in the first. Guthrie will need to be on his game against a very good Cubs line-up.

Kosuke Fukudume singles to start the Chicago attack. Eric Patterson (who I am a fan of and is hitting 318 / 375 / 500 in limited time this year) flies out, and then Huts gets Derrik Lee to ground into a double play. Six pitch inning for Jeremy.

Kevin Millar strikes out looking at a fastball inside. Ramon continues hitting well, singling up the middle. Luke Scott (starting against a lefty?!?!!11) strikes out looking at a curveball. Adam Jones flies out to the resurgent Jim Edmonds in center to end the inning.

Guthrie throws a few more pitches, but sets the Cubs down in order.

Roberts hits a two-out single, but Markakis grounds out on the first pitch he sees.

Ryan "The Riot" Theriot singles with one out, but Razor makes a nice play on Marshall's sac bunt attempt and turns it into a double play.

Millar fouls off a few pitches and ends up drawing a walk. Ramon then hits another line-drive single, this time to left. See, Scott can hit hit against lefties. His triple to right scores both runners and the O's have a 2-0 lead. Jones can't get Luke in from third with one out as he K's, and then so does Cintron.

Fukudome does his thing a works the count - six fastballs runs it to 3-2, and the seventh gets deposited into the center-field seats. 2-1 now. E-Pat draws a five-pitch walk. Guthrie is able to retire the 3-4-5 hitters without incident.

Jeremy tries to bunt for a base-hit (I assume) twice but fails, and then takes the third pitch for strike three. Roberts picks up his second hit - a single to center. Kakes brings him home with a double to left; goes to third on a flyout by Mora; and then scores himself on a single by Millar. 4-1 Orioles, and Marshall is being taken out of the game. Michael Wuertz comes in and finally retires Ramon for the third out.

Guthrie finally has some runs to work with - hopefully he can make them stand up. Mark DeRosa singles with one out, but is erased on the third double play of the day. Millar turned it himself, snagging a liner off the bat of Theriot and stepping on first.

Luke doubles off of Patterson's glove in left. He's brought in one out later by an Alex Cintron double. 5-1 O's. Guthrie strikes out again, but Roberts picks him up with an RBI triple to center. That makes it 6-1. Wuertz is done, with Neal Cotts coming in to face Markakis. That sure doesn't work - Nick's infield single scores Roberts. Mora is retired, but not before the O's extend their lead to 7-1.

Former O's farmhand Mike Fontenot (went to Chicago in the Sosa trade) hits for Cotts and strikes out. Fukudome grounds out on the first pitch, and then Guthrie K's E-Pat on three pitches. Nice job by Jeremy to set the Cubs down quickly to get the O's back to bat.

Control specialist Jon Lieber comes in for mop-up duty. Scott hits a two-out single and is now a homer away from the cycle. Jones leaves him stranded though.

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez both single to start the seventh. Jim Edmonds homers, and suddenly it's a 7-4 game. Jim Johnson relieves him, with Trembley pulling the double-switch and substituting Jay Payton for Scott in left. He walks Geovany Soto, but gets DeRosa to ground into the Cubs fourth double play. JJ then retires The Riot to keep the lead at three.

The O's go down 1-2-3. Six more outs for the bullpen before the Cubs score three.

Pinch-hitter Daryl Ward fouls off several pitches and draws a lead-off walk. A single by E-Pat two batters later brings Chad Bradford in from the pen. A single by Aramis Ramirez scores the fifth Cubs' run, and Trembley calls for closer George Sherrill to face Edmonds. Lou Pinella counters with Matt Murton, but Sherrill gets him to fly out.

Mora gets hit by a pitch, but is caught stealing. The O's can't add any insurance runs.

A Soto walk and a DeRosa single brings the potential winning run to plate. Theriot then singles to load the bases for pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno. Sherrill strikes him out swinging. Then he does the same to Fukudome. Henry Blanco pinch-hits for Patterson, and he does goes down swinging. Sherrill loads the bases with no outs before striking out the side. That was unnecessarily exciting, but George likes to keep things interesting.

The O's go into Wrigley and take game one of the series 7-5. Cubs - definitely the best team in the NL - were just swept by the Rays and drop this one to the Orioles. I guess the talk of the NL being the stronger league has died down some.

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