Friday, July 16, 2010
Tieff and I got an early start to day four as we were wired for sound when we got to our hotel room. The two of us made an executive decision to walk around town, due to the fact I promised him that he had to go down Rush Street, which probably has the most hopping night life in Chicago.
The only other time I was in Chicago for pleasure was back in October 2001, not too long after the ban on air travel was lifted. My friend Mal and I decided to support the airlines and see Wrigley for the first time. We made it a sports weekend as we watched Northwestern win an exciting college football game at home over Michigan State that Saturday. And then that Sunday we watched the Cubs lose to the Astros. It was an unusually warm October weekend in Chicago, and I remember the two of us hanging outside on Rush Street amazed at the fact of how busy Rush Street was on a Sunday night in October.
Tieff ended up getting the pictured hat from a vendor for five bucks. I decided I didn't want a hat that badly. And here is the ironic thing, as we walked in and get our tickets scanned, we see it was a giveaway day. The giveaway was a fitted Cubs cap with a red white and blue C. A free hat. All that work to find a cap/hat and it was Cubs Cap Day. Tieff still decided to wear his hat for the game.
The Cubs are going through a rough year. First, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez have had injury plagued seasons, where both are not hitting up to their standards. Carlos Zambrano has struggled so much that he is now in the bullpen, which didn't provide much help on this day. The Cubs one strong point had been their starting pitching with Carlos Silva, Ryan Dempster having very solid years. Ted Lilly, the Cubs starter on this day, had been pitching well on the season with an ERA in the low 3's . However the Cubs lack of offense left him with a 3-6 record entering the game with the Reds.
After giving up runs in three of the past four innings, Tieff and I along with several Cubs fans around us wondered why Ted Lilly came out to start the seventh. But manager Lou Pinella looked like a genius as Lilly got the first two out. Then Lilly unraveled like a ball of yarn in front of the Cubs' faithful. Brandon Phillips launched a missile over the left field fence. Orlando Cabrera then followed with a double and Janish chased him home with a single. Johnny Gomes followed with a two run bomb and before you knew it, it was 9-3 Reds. And the second guessing in the stands began as Lilly gave up nine earned runs in 6 2/3 innings to bring his ERA up to 3.76.
Then Stevens, probably affected from knowing the ball he served up to Miller was still traveling, walked the next two batters, Jay Bruce and Miguel Cairo. Drew Stubbs then uncorked his second homer of the day and it was now 13-3. Stevens then walked the pitcher Leake and gave up a single to Phillips. Lou went out and got his human gasoline can out of the game. Stevens line - 0 IP, 4 ER, 3 H, 3 BB. A good number of Reds fans made the trip from Cincinnati and they were reveling in the beating the Big Red Machine was giving the Cubbies. Bobby Howry spared Stevens further damage by getting Cabrera to fly out to end the inning much to the grateful delight of the home run weary fans.
We ended up eating outside at McCormack and Schmick's enjoying good seafood, good scenery and recapping the game we saw. Then I got my one celebrity sighting as Rush Lead Singer/Bassist Geddy Lee walked right by our table. We also got to see an Indian wedding procession in the park across the street from us. Despite all that, it was relatively quiet where we were considering we were on the corner of Chestnut and Rush.
Our plans for July 5th was a doubleheader. First the Milwaukee-San Fran game at Miller Park, then the night cap, the White Sox hosting the Angels at U.S. Cellular. Accomplishing it would be another story.
Posted by Gary Moore at 5:16 AM