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I have been fortunate enough to take in a handful of games at Wrigley Field.

I’ve never been lucky enough to watch a game like that. The comebacks were obscene, and the folks with whom I took in the game hilarious. It was win-win-win-win-win. Also, the Cubs won the game.

And when Soriano drilled that grounder…

  • Evan

    What a game! Shark was fantastic, although I would have liked to see him finish the 7th, but apparently Sveum made the right call since Camp got out of it. Why he removed Dolis with 2 outs in the 8th to bring in Marmol though is a bit perplexing.
    Also Starlin looked awful at the plate tonight. I’m certainly not hitting the panic button or anything, but he’s had a couple of games this season where he’s just swung at some terrible pitches. I’m not really sure what to make of that. He’s bounced right back though, so I guess it’s just a couple of days when he just wasn’t seeing the ball well. It happens. Still, it just seems strange how he can be tearing the cover off the ball one day and swinging at pitch after pitch in the dirt the next.

    • spearman

      He’s adjusting to Major League Pitching. If you are sitting on a curve ball and get a fastball, and vice verse. You can have some ugly swings when your guessing wrong.

      • drew

        Thats why you dont guess, which is exactly what hes done (and paid for with a bad K) a few times this year.

    • WGNstatic

      Castro is hitting .338, has an OBP of .364, and is slugging .451. He has failed to reach base in two games this season.

      There is plenty of reason for Cubs fans to have angst. Starlin Castro’s bat right now is not one of them.

      • Cedlandrum

        The fact that you even had to say this makes me shake my head. Glad you did though.

      • Evan

        I wasn’t anxious about his bat, he’s hitting well. I was just curious about what could be causing those couple of bad games.

        • Cedlandrum

          He’s human. Every great hitter has games like that. The fact that he only has had two to this point in the season just shows you how unbelievably good he is.

        • Andrew

          i think the point is that nothing causes it really its just a natural part of the game.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The other thing regarding Castro “looking bad” is that it disregards the pitcher.  Wainwright is not all the way back, but he provided more than a few glimpses of the Cy Young Caliber pitcher he was.  Some of those curveballs he snapped off on Castro, Stewart and Barney were hellacious: they either froze the hitter or had them swinging a foot above the pitch.  When a pitcher does that, then tip your cap and say “good on ya, mate….”

        • SirCub

          Baseball is a game of stories, and you usually only get half the story. In a given AB, depending on how you want to spin it, it’s “Castro looked terrible” or “Wainwright looked nasty!” When the truth, of course, is in the middle.

          I got frustrated watching ESPN last night when they were talking about how Wainwright pitched a gem, but couldn’t get any run support. Jeff Samardzija’s name was not even mentioned. Half the story. Wainwright working his way through the Cubs lineup is MUCH less impressive than what Shark did to the Cards’ lineup. But they condense it, and dumb it down, and say “BOOMSHAKALAKA!” Because they’re ESPN.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I hardly ever watch ESPN anymore. They have become the great hype machine.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            For the ABs in question, pitching is the horse and batting is the cart.  What makes great pitchers great (and Wainwright has been a great pitcher) is the ability to throw pitches that cross the plate as much as a foot away from where the batter “thinks” they will cross the plate when they trigger their swing.

            ESPN’s omitting Smardzija’s performance is the same sin as saying “Castro looked bad.” Both tacitly assume that batters (just Castro or all of the Cards) were getting hittable pitches and/or that they should have been able to easily recognize that the pitches were not hittable.  That wasn’t the case.  Smardzija was pounding the strike zone with moving fastballs all night long.  The Cards were constantly swing inches from where the pitch was.  And you are absolutely right that it’s a lot tougher to shut down the Cards offense (possibly the best in the NL) than the Cubs (among the worst in the NL).

            Still, the Cards are the champs and the Cubs are, well, not; so, the narrative will cast them as Hamlet and the Cubs as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern….

            • JustSwain

              I see the Cubs as more like Tibault…destined to die in the second act.

              • MichiganGoat

                Do you mean Tybalt, The Prince of Cats, dies in Act 3 of Romeo & Juliet.

  • HR Trucker

    Just now watching the game and I now can truly understand the late post. It is a six old style minimum.

  • JustSwain

    Nice! Way to come through with the late night drunken post! I guessed 3 am so I was close. I’m jealous you got to watch this game live. My wife heard me from the other room when I hooted in joy over Lahairs homer. I thought taking out Dolis was the right move at the time. He was throwing lots of balls way off the plate, though I might have gone to Russel in that spot myself. Marmol worries me, but I’m not ready to throw him on the trash heap yet.

  • Jschroeder

    I woke my sleeping 7 month old twice during this game, and it was worth it

  • http://bleachernation.com DL HUYCK

    I had to pinch myself. 2 walkoffs in a row vs the Cards. Love it!

  • cjdubbya

    In-game tweet from Michigan Goat about made me pee myself this morning…(going to paraphrase since there may be kids reading)

    LaHair will LaF*** you up

    Best. Goat. Tweet. Ever.

    • Fishin Phil

      Anyone who does not follow the Goat is cheating himself.

      • MichiganGoat

        Thanks guys :) I do love me my twitter (@MichiganGoat) – I was put in twitter jail last night because I was tweeting so much. If you tweet too often twitter suspends your account for a about an hour, I think somewhere at Twitter HQ a bitter Cardinal fan is searching for Cub fans (there were a handful of us that got jailed). Great win last night I’m so happy and my students will have a homework pass today because of that victory.

  • Packman711

    Wow Brett, you spelled every word correctly too. I’m impressed…

  • Cliffy

    Brett, how does Campana look tto you these days. Is the 2012 version any better than the 2011 player?

    • CubFan Paul

      Surprisingly yes. He’s actually hitting (floating) balls (that’s what she said) to Left Field, which is the key to his offensive game (takes the pressure off his bunts)

      Sveum will/should start Campana against RHP til he falters

      • WGNstatic

        Regarding Campana, I was listening in the 8th, so I am curious what folks thoughts were on his 8th inning AB. He went 3-0, then sat, bat on shoulder to get a full count before grounding out.

        According to Pat and Keith, the defense even moved back when the count went 3-0. In general, the bat on shoulder approach at the plate drives me nuts. It seems like with the infield back to normal depth, the likelihood of Campana dragging a bunt for a single is the best bet. Curious to hear what other peoples thoughts are.

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          That probably came from the dugout. The take sign probably came out.

        • MaxM1908

          That whole inning, the Umpire was calling low balls strikes. Granted, I was watching from the bleachers, but I believe I remember that at bat. From my view, the pitches looked practically in the dirt. So, I can’t really blame Campana for taking them. They should have been walks. I believe the same thing happened to Castro on the first pitch of his AB. The Ump called a low ball a strike, and then he hacked at a low ball the next pitch. How could you not with how the Ump was calling those balls? I can’t complain too much though as we got a few calls when we needed them most.

        • Spencer

          i’m fine with him taking two strikes on a 3-0 count. he should never get the green light on a 3-0 pitch. any way to get on base.

          • WGNstatic

            I am curious about this comment:

            “i’m fine with him taking two strikes on a 3-0 count. he should never get the green light on a 3-0 pitch. any way to get on base.”

            I don’t know that I disagree, but, I would love to see that stats on this. I guess you would need to take the following into account:

            1) How likely is it that a pitcher can throw three straight strikes?
            2) How much more likely is a hitter to get a hit on a 3-0 or 3-1 strike than a 3-2 strike (assuming it is a grooved get it over pitch).
            3) how likely is a hitter to lay off either a ball or a “pitcher’s strike”?
            4) how likely is a ball put in play by the hitter to result in a hit?

            Honestly, the auto take sign drives me nuts, but that admittedly is a purely emotional response. I will say though, that seeing Sveum use the approach makes me feel better about it than any of our recent managers.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              I think people base it more on the quality of hitter at the plate. Can’t just look at all hitters in your questions, have to look at crappy hitters, like Campana :)

            • Lakeshot

              I was just looking at this the other day (mainly due to the fact that most of the lineup except for LaHair seems more than willing to hack at the first three pitches they see).

              http://research.sabr.org/journals/study-of-the-count-yields-fascinating-data

              The data is pretty old (sample size was over three months in 1986) but should be statistically relevant for 2012.

              Bottom line: 60% of 3-0 count pitches were for strikes, and then fluctuates from 35% for 3-1 to 40% for 3-2. The hit safely rates for each count are 2.6, 10.1, and 10.6, respectively. Granted, they are probably skewed by automatic “take” signs, but still… you have better chance of getting a walk than reaching safely by a hit…

              • DocPeterWimsey

                It also has been pretty well-documented lately that the 3-0 pitch is called a strike unless it misses wildly.  So, a lot of the 3-0 strikes are definitely pitcher’s strikes in that a batter would not be able to drive them easily.  The pitcher certainly has little incentive to just groove one down the middle of the plate or to throw a breaking pitch that he might hang.

        • Andrew

          I watched it on gameday and cant complain. the pitches he took were near the corner and he shouldnt be swinging then anyway to me. Buntts are still hard to pulll off even with the infield back so i think since he was in the drivers seat, it was better for him just to look for pitches he could hit hard.

  • MichiganGoat

    Last night i dreamed of Cardinal fans crying and complaining about umps and fairness and how they we stripped of a win- best dream eva. What a game! I can’t wait to hear a more detailed write up later, I can’t imagine how amazing bring at Wrigley for a game like this must be. I know I went from suspenseful excitement (up to Marmol’s entrance), to utter horror and disgust (Marmol breing Marmol), to YES were going to do (LaHair being awesome), to dancing screaming and celebrator beer drinking (Sori is the Hero!). Great evening glad to have community like this to share in my CUBS WIN geeking out.

  • CubFanBob

    you should have heard to red bird fans crying on the bus ride home

    • MaxM1908

      Nice meeting you last night, Bob. What an amazing game. Glad I went.

      • CubsFanBob

        yes you guys were all great…

        I was moving to seats behind home plate, quicker to catch the bus when game ends, so I miss the 9th inning HR but has a prime seat for the win in the 10th.

  • MichiganGoat

    Ah what a glorious sound, their tears are sweet and delicious.

    • wernert

      Nailed it. It’s like the sound of angels making out with other angels. Cry on, Redbird Nation, cry on!

    • MaxM1908

      In the bleachers last night, a Card was sitting to our right. On Holliday’s HR he stood up and started hooting and hollering. He tried to suppress it, but he made no secret that he reveled in our collective misery. Through the bottom of the eighth and the top of the ninth, he sat with a sh@#-eating grin on his face. Then, LaHair’s HR came and his smile faded to a worried grimace. In the bottom of the tenth, the worried grimace changed to shocked disbelief. And on Soriano’s walkoff, you could actually see the pain and misery on his face as we danced joyously around him. He wasn’t a jerk, by any means, but I still took immense pleasure in watching him suffer.

      • johnbres2

        beautiful eye-witness post, MaxM. Thanks for that!

      • Richard Nose

        I didn’t see the game because I live in a fucking shithole area that doesn’t show nearly enough Cubs baseball for being so close to Chicago. Because I live in a fucking shithole area, I drink. Because I drink, I’m now super hungover at work. I’ve been miserable all morning up until reading these posts. So incredible!!! Really blowin raindbows right up my… Brightening me right up!

  • cjdubbya

    I’m so surprised…or not, really…that my Cardinal fan buddy didn’t say anything to me about this game. Please, just sweep this series. That would make my month. Put it out of reach early, throw a snowman on the board in the first and crush their souls.

    • MichiganGoat

      Um Cardinal fans and players don’t have souls – its a Voodoo thang.

    • Ryan

      Volstad is pitching today…there is a sure fire loss.

      • Ogyu

        You’re that sports psychiatrist the Cubs just got rid of, aren’t you?

  • Ogyu

    That St. Louis Rally Squirrel saw his shadow and ran back in his rat hole…

    • MichiganGoat

      Cause a Cub > a squirrel

  • mul21

    How does Dolis get a hold when he got charged with the tying run?

    • bob

      He came in with the lead, and they were still leading when he left. I believe you are required to record at least one out also, which he did.

      • Spencer

        yup. you can get a hold and the loss, too.

  • FromFenwayPahk

    This is what being a Cubs fan is like. I like it

  • alsongs

    I’m glad Bowden got out of that jam. It must have been an exceptionally intense first game as a Cub for him.

    • college_of_coaches

      How did he look? I wasn’t able to watch the game.

      • MaxM1908

        For those of you who watched on TV, you may have a better take on this, but to me, he looked like he got some tough calls. A lot of his pitches from my vantage point seemed to be right on the edge of the strike zone, but he wasn’t getting the calls. He did have some very poor throws, but overall, I thought he looked like he had some potential.

        • Spencer

          he was just okay i think. most of the calls were good i thought.

        • Cedlandrum

          He threw a lot of breaking pitches that looked close, but in fairness the ump wasn’t giving those calls to Wainright either. It also didn’t help that he couldn’t locate his fastball so he didn’t get the benefit.

      • Alou and Vinegar

        His delivery kind of reminds  me of Michael Wuertz.

  • RY34

    Great win! Didnt get to see the game but was the pitch that Holliday hit out just a good piece of hitting or a fat bad pitch from Marmol? Is Marmol toast or will he recover?

    • EB

      Marmol hung a slider right over the plate

      • SirCub

        Yup. It was a meat ball.

  • mpope30

    Those of us who were begging to see Lahair get his chance against lefties might actually see that happen now. He needs to be in the lineup EVERY day. Sorry to those who have been disagreeing, but Jeff Baker does NOT hit a home run in the ninth last night if he comes in to pinch hit. He just doesn’t. Lahair might go 0 for his next 25 against lefties and I still would prefer him to Baker. I’m sure there is a stat out there that says otherwise, but I don’t really give a crap…..

  • Edwin

    Samardzija seemed to have a lot of success last night with his splitter inside on right handed batters. I’m impressed that he’s been able to maintain close to the same velocity as a starter as he did as a reliever. I didn’t expect that.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    I’m excited after this game. Great pitching by Shark, Clutch hitting by LaHair and I’m so happy for Sori that he came through. Maybe he can get hot now. LaHair is a stud.

    We should play the Cardinals every game. Were 3-2 vs the Cards and 3-10 vs everybody else.

    Then, I got excited about a sweep and realize Volstad is pitching today. BUZZKILL.
    But for the sake of our Cubs Nation, please pitch well Volstad.

    • FromFenwayPahk

      “buzzkill” is a word that comes to mind…NOW.
      But, not in terms of Volstad! I love that MONSTER. Can’t wait for this game.

    • Spencer

      I just have this feeling Soriano is gonna get really hot now.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I tracked the game last night on my pitch tracker. That umpire was absolutely horrible calling balls and strikes. His zone moved constantly. No way could the hitters or pitchers lock in with this guy calling the game. It was terrible. Talking about some of the hitters chasing pitches they had too. there was no way to know what that ump was going to call a ball or strike. A lot of times hitters look bad because they don’t know what the strike zone is going to be called. Pitchers have the same problem. Umps won’t call a strike on the inner half and that’s where the pitcher likes to work. He’s basically changing his approach to attacking the hitter and get’s out of his element and loses hitters. It’s tough to be good when you can’t strikes called for you. Let’s hope we get a generous strike zone tonight with Volstad pitching. He needs a Glavine / Maddux ump who calls pitches a foot off the plate strikes. Hit the glove and it’s a strike. The good ole days.

    • Brian

      Why does an ump just called up, get the gig behind the plate right away?

      • JustSwain

        I was wondering the same thing. You would think they would put the minor league replacement umps at first or third.

  • Dustin S

    It was a great game last night again. On the Campana call, we’ve had enough go against us wrongly this year that it was nice to see one go our way.

  • mark

    From the replays, I thought that Campana really did beat the throw and the tag was, as the ump indicated, applied lower down after the hand reached the base. The fielder was blocking the bag with his foot, but I think the ump made the right call. Close, but good call.

  • rcleven

    Looks like same line-up today as last night. Insert Clevenger for Soto.

  • YoungCub

    I was talking to my mom last night when the Cubs won and she made a joke, “What? Are we like .300 now?” and it made me smile. Wins like last night are the reason being a cubs fan is the best. Watching the players, you would’ve thought we just won the world series. Reading tweets and these blogs and I know how I felt, I probably felt the same as many of you did. This feeling was probably equivalent to how Yankee’s fans feel when they win a world series. Therefore, we get to feel like we won a world series like 30 times a year. This is why being a Cubs fan is the best.

    • Deer

      Winning a game in April when we’re already out of the race is equivalent to how Yankee fans feel when they win a WS?

  • Jumbo

    They’re still shitty.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    hmmm, this is one case where I suspect that Yankee fans are more composed.  But, then, they probably will have won the 4th game on even more blown calls than the Cubs did last nigh!  :-)

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