Today’s live game blog is between NL Central rivals, the Chicago Cubs vs the Milwaukee Brewers. We should get a good pitching matchup tonight as Ryan Dempster (2-1, 4.86 era) squares off against Brewers’ ace Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 3.02era). This will be the Cubs first game without Aramis Ramirez who suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Friday night’s game against the Brewers.
Game – Chicago Cubs vs Milwaukee Brewers
Date – 5/9/09
1. Soriano, LF
2. Theriot, SS
3. Fukudome, CF
4. Bradley, RF
5. Hoffpauir, 1B
6. Soto, C
7. Fontenot, 2B
8. Scales, 3B
9. Dempster, P
1. Weeks, 2B
2. Counsell, 3B
3. Braun, LF
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Hardy, SS
6. Hart, RF
7. Duffy, CF
8. Kendell, C
9. Gallardo, P
First pitch of the game to Soriano is a curveball high for ball 1. Looks to be a pretty good atmosphere in Milwaukee as the stadium is sold out for this one. This Cubs’ lineup looks really weak without Ramirez and Lee.
On a 3-2 count, Gallardo paints the black with a fastball to strike out Soriano. Perfect pitch.
Gallardo gets back to back K’s as Theriot strikes out on a curveball in the dirt. Gallardo has thrown 5 curves so far this game and none of them have been for strikes. Theriot should have been sitting on a fastball and should have been laying off the curve.
Fukudome works a walk. Again, 2 curveballs thrown and still none for a strike.
Bradley grounds weakly to Weeks to end the inning.
One of the great things about the baseball package is that you get to see commercials from other cities. Apparently the Piggly Wiggly is a big sponsor of the Brewers. That is just funny to me.
Weeks K’s on a slider about 2 feet outside the strike zone.
Counsell, who it seems like has been in the majors since 1980 ropes an opposite field single to left.
Braun is a beast!!! Braun rips a mediocre fastball into the gap in left center and Counsell scores all the way from 1st. 1-0 Brewers. If the relay throw from SS had been on the money, Counsell would have been out at home.
On the very next pitch, Braun attempts to steal 3rd and Soto throws the ball into LF. Braun scores to make it 2-0. If the Cubs make 2 good throws, they are out of the inning with no damage.
Fielder K’s on just a terrible AB.
Hardy K’s as well to end the inning.
So despite striking out the side, Dempster gives up 2 runs on 2 hits.
After 1, 2-0 Brewers.
Hoffpauir starts off the inning with a double to right. That ball was smoked. Hoffpauir really needs to learn how to play the OF. When Lee comes back, Hoffpauir will sit on the bench and he has too good a bat to be sitting on the bench.
Soto singles to left and now it is 1st and3rd with nobody out for Fontenot.
Gallardo paints the black again as he strikes out Fontenot on a 94 mph fastball. Another perfect pitch from Gallardo.
Up comes Bobby Scales who spent 11 years in the minors. Wow, that is a lot of bus rides. Scales didn’t see fastballs like the one he just saw from Gallardo. 94 at his eyes. Scales K’s to make it 2 outs. Big out right there because now the pitcher is up.
Dempster flies out to center and despite having 1st and 3rd with nobody out, the Cubs don’t score.
Still 2-0 nothing Brewers heading into the bottom of the 2nd.
The Brewers’ sideline reporter is named Telly Hughes. If that isn’t a perfect name for a reporter, I don’t know what is. It sounds like he should have been a character in Anchorman.
Hart goes down looking on strikes. This game has been a strikeout fest so far.
Duffy hits one back to the mound and now there are 2 outs.
Kendell strikes out but because the pitch he swung at was 3 feet outside and in the dirt, the ball got by Soto. Kendell is on at 1st. Big play there because it clears the pitcher for next inning. However, Gallardo is not a joke at the plate. He is the anti-Al Leiter.
Gallardo strikes out to end the inning. That is 6 K’s now for Dempster.
After 2, it is still 2-0 Brewers
Gallardo finally has got his curve working as he throws a wicked one to Soriano to strike him out. 5 K’s for Gallardo.
Gallardo walks Theriot. Those are the types of walks that anger managers. Throw strikes to guys like Theriot. What is the worst he can do? Single to left? Can’t walk a guy like that. Have to let him beat you with the bat.
Fukudome flies to left and now there are 2 outs.
Ok, do you know want to know why pitchers no longer throw complete games? It’s because the strike zone is the size of a shoe box. Gallardo just threw 2 pitches to Bradley that were right down the middle and called balls. All these things like K-Zone and Questech have hurt the game. Umpires are scared to call strikes because they are graded by these stupid machines.
Instead of being out of the inning, Gallardo is now forced to throw more pitches adding to his pitch count. RIDICULOUS.
However, no damage was done as Hoffpauir flies out to center.
Weeks leads off the inning with a single in the hole between SS and 3B. Weeks is looking like he is finally coming into his own this year.
Dempster just threw a 2-1 splitter to Counsell. Are you kidding me? CHALLENGE HIM!!! I really wonder what is going threw the head of pitchers and catchers sometimes. Counsell walks and now it is 1st and 2nd with nobody out for Braun. Dempster is digging himself a nice hole here.
Braun walks on a pitch that was probably a strike. Got to love Questech.
Fielder hits a HIGH fly ball to center that is deep enough to score Weeks from 3rd. 3-0 Brewers.
Hardy pops one up and Soto reaches into the stands to make the catch. Way to help your team out Brewers fans.
Wow, what a play!!! Hart rips one off of Dempster’s shoulder, the ball goes over 2B, Fontenot gets to the ball and makes an off balance throw to get Hart. Really great play. Saved a run
That inning could have been a lot worse for Dempster. 3-0 Brewers after 3.
Soto down looking on K’s. Home plate umpire Jerry Crawford’s strike zone is all over the place.
Fontenot hits one past Fielder and down the RF line. Fontenot at 2B with a double. Hart got to that ball quickly and made the play at 2B a lot closer than it should have been.
Both teams are giving Jerry Crawford a piece of their mind. I know Crawford is a very good umpire, but tonight he is having a bad night.
Scales pops out to Counsell in foul territory for the 2nd out.
On a 1-1 count, Gallardo threw Dempster a curveball. My head is going to explode. Wow, Gallardo just walked Dempster. That is a no-no.
Gallardo strikes out Soriano to end the threat. It wasn’t a very good AB by Soriano as he went up there swinging at everything.
Dempster strikes out Duffy to start the inning.
Dempster won’t be winning the Gold Glove anytime soon. Kendell hits a ground ball back to him, the ball pops off his glove, he panics and then throws the ball into RF. Kendell on 2nd.
Gallardo ropes the ball, but right to Theriot at SS for the 2nd out. No chance of a double play.
Weeks, showing great patience at the plate draws a walk. Again, Dempster finds himself in trouble.
Dempster is dodging bullets as Counsell flies out to Fukudome in CF
We head to the 5th with the Brewers leading the Cubs, 3-0
Gallardo has thrown 89 pitches so far so he needs a quick inning in order to stay in the game longer
Theriot grounds out to Counsell at 3B for the 1st out.
Fukudome lines one to Hardy for the 2nd out. The Cubs are doing Gallardo and the Brewers a favor right now.
Bradley bloops one between Duffy and Hart for a single.
Hoffpauir blasts one over the RF fence for a 2-run HR. If you wanted the definition of a “bloop and a blast” that was it. The Cubs need to find a way to get Hoffpauir’s bat in the lineup everyday. He can flat out hit.
Gallardo bounces back and strikes out Soto to end the inning.
The Cubs get back in the game and it is now 3-2 Brewers.
Braun gets hit in the helmet with a Dempster changeup. That might have been the least scary player hit in the head moment in baseball. Braun got hit in the head and acted like nothing happened.
For some odd reason Braun tries to steal 2nd with Fielder at the plate and he gets throw out by 5 feet. I think Braun is a great player, but that was a bad baseball play. To say Ken Macha looks displeased would be the understatement of the century.
Fielder strikes out for the 2nd out of the inning.
Hardy pops out to Fukudome in CF to end the inning.
Dempster keeps dodging bullets and after 5 it is 3-2 Brewers.
I am getting the sense that this is one of those games where the Brewers keep the Cubs in the game by stranding runner after runner and the Cubs find a way to steal it in the end. I am getting that feeling.
Seth McClung comes into the game to replace Gallardo. Gallardo walked 4 and struck out 7 in 5 innings. Not Gallardo’s best performance but he does leave with a lead.
McClung gets Fontenot swinging for the 1st out.
Scales flies out to Hart in right for the 2nd out of the inning.
McClung makes quick work of Dempster and strikes him out on 3 pitches.
A nice inning by McClung.
Hart pops up to Hoffpauir in foul territory for the 1st out.
Duffy lines out to Fukudome in center for the 2nd out.
Kendell grounds one off of a diving Hoffpauir’s glove for a single.
McClung strikes out to end the inning.
After 6 in the books, it is still 3-2 Brewers.
It was just announced that this game is the Brewers’ 7th shutout of the season. The Brewers are starting to become the success model for small market teams.
McClung still in there and gets Soriano to ground to Counsell for the 1st out.
Theriot works a walk and is on 1st with Fukudome coming to the plate. As my summer league coach used to say….”Oh those bases on balls.”
Fukudome gets a broken bat single to right. Theriot goes to 3rd. The Cubs are set up now with 1st and 3rd with 1 out and Bradley coming to the plate.
Bradley walks and Macha is gonna make the call to the pen.
Lefty specialist, Mitch Stetter comes in to face Hoffpauir. Talk about being thrown into the fire.
Good morning, good afternoon and good night to Hoffpauir. 3 pitches and Hoffpauir is done. Macha comes out again to make another pitching change. Not a bad day at the office for Stetter. 1 batter faced, 3 strikes and 1 out.
Carlos Villanueva is summoned out of the pen to face Soto. Big spot here.
On a 2-2 pitch, Villanueva throws a perfect curve on the outside corner but thanks to Jerry Crawford’s ever shrinking strike zone it is called a ball. Just terrible.
Thankfully for the Brewers, Crawford’s terrible call didn’t cost them because Soto grounds to 3rd to end the inning.
Dempster still in there despite throwing 110 pitches. I like it. Old school baseball. I was watching Game 4 of the 1983 ALCS between the Orioles and White Sox on the MLB Network this morning and Brit Burns threw 150 pitches in that game. The legendary Brit Burns was throwing 150 pitches back in the day. Amazing how much the game has changed.
Braun was a beast on Saturday
Weeks flies out to Fukudome for the first out.
Craig Counsell turns on a fastball and hits it out for a HR. That ball barely made it over the right field fence. That was his first HR since June 17th of last year. Counsell now has more HR’s than David Ortiz. I am just sayin’.
It’s back to back at Miller Park as Braun crushes one to LF. I guess that was payback for getting hit in the head. 5-2 Brewers.
Neal Cotts comes in to replace Dempster and promptly walks Fielder on 5 pitches. I already see the fumes coming out of Piniella’s ears.
Hardy smacks one up the middle for a base hit. Theriot got a glove on it but was only able to knock the ball down. 1st and 2nd and still only 1 out.
Cotts night is done. Piniella looks like he wants to punch Cotts as he approaches the mound to take the ball.
David Patton gets the call from the pen to face Hart and is greeting by a single up the middle scoring Fielder. 6-2 Brewers. I thought the Cubs’ bullpen was supposed to be a strength this year? Guess not.
Duffy grounds to Hoffpauir and Hoffpauir gets the force at 2nd. 1st and 3rd with 2 outs now.
Kendell bloops one to left for a single and Hardy scores to make it 7-2 Brewers.
Brad Nelson is called upon to pinch hit for the pitcher. He looks like a poor man’s Matt Stairs. Nelson came into the AB 0-20 on the season and on a 3-2 count, Patton throws him a curveball. What??? The guy is 0-20!!! Throw him a fastball. Makes zero sense.
Bases loaded now for Weeks. I have Weeks on one of my fantasy teams, so I am hoping for a big fly here. I will settle for a single. Duffy scores to make it 8-2 Brewers. This has turned into a route.
9-2 Brewers as Patton throws one that gets by Soto. I guess my feeling that the Cubs might win this game was a little off.
Scales makes a nice play on Counsell to end the inning.
But the damage was done. 6 runs on 6 hits and after 7 it is now 9-2 Brewers
If anyone is in the Milwaukee area this weekend, the Piggly Wiggly has a sale on Tombstone Pizza. 4 for $10. I think that is a pretty good deal.
Jorge Julio is on to pitch for the Brewers so this game isn’t over yet.
That’s what you want to see from your reliever if you are Ken Macha. Up 9-2 and Julio walks the first batter. Good times if you are Macha. Fontenot on 1st.
Julio redeems himself by stricking out Scales.
Aaron Miles comes up to bat for Patton. Miles hits a ball up the middle but Weeks slides to his right, backhands the ball and flips to Hardy for the force out. Great play by Weeks.
Soriano gets a broken bat single down the left field line. Miles goes to 3rd and it’s 1st and3rd with 2 outs.
Julio drills Theriot right in the ribs. That is going to leave a mark in the morning. Bases loaded now for the Cubs.
Julio throws a 55 ft slider in the dirt that gets by Kendell. Fontenot scores to make it 9-3 Brewers.
Like I said, this game isn’t over yet. Fukudome crushes one to center for a 2 run double. It is now 9-5 Brewers. I am sorry, but if you can’t protect a 9-2 lead, you shouldn’t be pitching in the major leagues.
Big Todd Coffey is on to pitch. Well this is strange. The lights just went out at Miller Park. Half the stadium lights went off. Great, only when I am blogging does stuff like this happen.
Right now the game is delayed. Faaaaaaaaaaantastic.
Well, that wasn’t so bad. We are back and so are the Cubs’ bats. Bradley hits one to deeeeeeeeep center for a double. Fukudome scores to make it 9-6.
Coffey strikes out Hoffpauir to end the inning.
The Cubs are trying to make a comeback as they score 4 runs to make it a 9-6 game
Chad Fox is the next pitcher out for the Cubs. Really? Chad Fox? These are desperate times for the Cubs.
Gallardo got the win on Saturday
Braun walks to lead off the inning. Your team just scores 4 runs to make it 9-6 and you walk the first batter of the inning. Unreal. A wild pitch advances Braun to 2nd.
Fox, who is coming back from 2 Tommy John surgeries, throws 3 pitches to Fielder and has to come out of the game. Looks like he hurt his arm again. Perhaps that was the last pitch in Fox’s career.
Aaron Heilman will take over for Fox. Right now every Met’s fan reading this just cringed. Heilman coming in with a 3-0 count walks Fielder. That walk will be charged to Fox.
Hardy walks and now the bases are loaded. Piniella looks about as happy as Mets’ fans looked when they saw Heilman enter the game.
Oh boy. Heilman just walked Hart to force in a run. Braun scores to make the score 10-6. Still nobody out.
Duffy single to center and Fielder scores to make it 11-6 Brewers. I don’t think Heilman is winning any brownie points with Piniella at this point.
Kendell hits a sacrafice fly to right that scores Hardy. 12-6 Brewers.
Coffey down on strikes. 2 outs
Weeks strikes out to thankfully end this inning. That was brutal to watch.
The Brewers tack on 3 more to make it 12-6 after 8.
Soto starts the 9th with a single to left. This game is now 4 hours long. Good times.
Fontenot grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. Nicely turned by Weeks and Hardy. 2 outs.
Scales lines one to center that Duffy dives for and traps. A single for Scales. This game will never end.
Reed Johnson enters the game as a pinch hitter. Braun makes a diving catch in left to end the game.
The Brewers win this marathon 12-6. With this win the Brewers improve to 18-13, while the Cubs fall to 16-14. If the Cubs want to win the NL Central or even compete for a wild card they better get their bullpen in order because right now it’s terrible.
I would also like to wish all the mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day!!! Or to take a page out of Ralph Kiner’s book….On mother’s day, I again wish you a happy birthday.