NLDS Game Two Blogcast
8:18PM Central - It's almost gametime and we're getting ready by watching the VP debate. I'll be doing another gamecast tonight, let's hope that we'll have a little more luck and, most important, let's keep our fingers crossed about Carlos Zambrano.
Now, I know some of us are nervous. I know that some of us have given up already. Some of us are distancing ourselves from the team - I dunno, maybe we're trying to avoid getting hurt. All I know is that this is a complete team, with incredibly deep pitching, and being down 1 game or not, this is the best chance we've had to win a Series in my lifetime.
As we enter into this game, I'm going to ask one thing and one thing only - no matter how good or bad it gets, let's try to stay civil. And let's go Cubs ... it's a huge game. I'm excited to see what happens.
8:36PM Central - The idiot broadcasters note that the ballpark is a lot louder tonight. I can't help but wonder if the organization sold tickets primarily to corporations and other non-traditional game attenders, but more real fans are there tonight. Hopefully these guys will be energetic and won't turn on the team at the first sign of distress - assuming there will be distress tonight. The next update will be after the Dodgers are set down.
8:42PM Central - Carlos has velocity and movement on his pitches. The first pitch he threw to Manny was 97 MPH and it broke in on Man-Ram's ankles. Manny tried to argue balls and strikes with the umpire - never a good sign for the first inning of a playoff game.
As nerve-wracking as Dempster had us with his erratic control, Carlos had a - dare I say it - easy first inning. Big sigh of relief from the Cub Fan Nation. Hmm. "Cub Fan Nation." That'd be a cool blog name.
8:54PM Central - Good news - Soriano got on to lead off the game and advanced to second on a passed ball, but the Cubs 2-4 hitters failed to capitalize. Billingsly is a little more erratic than Carlos so far. The Cubs were a patient team in the regular season, and more importantly, they got some huge production from their 5-8 hitters. Just pointing it out.
End of the 1st - Cubs 0, Dodgers 0
9:04PM Central - Blame Theriot for this one. He never would've had the runner headed to second, but he seemed confused by the play and speared the ball with his hand rather than his glove. Colin might remind us of his Theriot Concerns, but I seriously question Cedeno's clutch play, defensively or offensively.
A run scores then on a DeRosa bobble. Panic, again. At this point I am comfortable saying that the Cubs are pressured and pressing - except maybe for Carlos, who doesn't look bad despite the early failures of his defense.
And then Derrek screws up a play. This is flat out ridiculous.
9:10PM Central - LA is on a roll now. Carlos looks pissed, but in this case it's not really DeRosa's fault, Furcal is fast and he bunted. Regardless, Carlos is getting killed right now - how much of this is his fault? He gave up a big hit, a 3 run double to Russ Martin, but how many of those runners should have been on base?
I am not stressed out by this game. I'm pissed off. This is a ridiculous situation and the Cubs have nobody to blame but themselves. Theriot, DeRosa, and Lee all owe Carlos an apology - and later tonight, they may owe the entire city of Chicago one, as well.
They better work reaaaal hard to make it up to us in the next 8 innings.
End of the Top of the 2nd - Dodgers 5, Cubs 0
9:19PM Central - 1-2-3 inning. Nothing to report. The Cubs need to cease momentum very soon.
C. is sitting next to me, saying "I can't believe I'm so anxious and you're not." But why would I be anxious? I'm pissed. This is effing idiotic.
9:26PM Central - That was fast. Apparently when he doesn't rely on groundballs to his infield, Carlos is pretty tough to hit.
I'm still steamed, folks. I'm sure you are too. Players at that stage who make that money should be able to do their job. That means fielding routine groundballs and making what should be easy outs. This would be a 0-0 game if not for middle and corner infielders playing with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
End of the Top of the 3rd - Dodgers 5, Cubs 0
9:36PM Central - After Fukudome tries to fall over while striking out - seriously, you're supposed to be a professional hitter, do you need to watch some tape, Kosuke? - Carlos draws his first walk in over a year. The Fonz then flies out weakly and Ryan Theriot grounds out to short. He looked REALLY confused after the ground out because the ball was actually FIELDED.
End of the 3rd - Dodgers 5, Cubs 0
9:46PM Central - Carlos gets the first 2 outs with ease. I was starting to think that he was intentionally keeping the ball away from his field untrustworthy infielders... I don't think one has gone to them since they bobbled balls. Then, Aramis joins in and bobbles what should've been a third out. But this time, Carlos escapes without having to pay for his teammates mistakes.
End of the Top of the 4th - Dodgers 5, Cubs 0
9:54PM Central - C. is going to bed. She missed Derrek break up a double play with the last three fingers on his right hand, although it happened before long anyway.
In the regular season, I would feel absolute confidence that, even this late in a game, the Cubs could come back from the deficit they're in. In the post season ... eh. I don't really see it happening. But I could be wrong; somebody really needs to make a big play, be it plowing into someone, or hitting a homerun, or hustling their ass off in a key situation. That's my opinion, I could be wrong.
End of the 4th - Dodgers 5, Cubs 0
10:02PM Central - Manny hit another homerun to extend their lead. The Cubs made all 3 outs on the infield. I'm tired. I bet the Cubs score 1 run this game, in the 9th.
End of the top of the 5th - Dodgers 6, Cubs 0
10:09PM Central - Edmonds hits a long ball that lands in a glove off the ivy, and the Cubs go down quietly again.
I'm running out of energy, but I'll stick through this until the end. The bitter, horrible end. I wish I was drinking.
10:20PM Central - Goat Reader Sayers40 says, "Everyone thought we needed a big performance from Z tonight. We got on and it still doesn't matter." Very true.
Carlos had a horrible, terrible second inning, but only because his defenders failed to capitalize on ground balls. The only real mistake I have to give him is the solo shot to Ramirez. But at this point, the Cubs offense is dejected, and I don't see them doing jack against the Dodgers tonight.
I said yesterday that I'm no fan of Cub Fan Pollyannas, nor am I a fan of Cub Fan Nietzsches. I am realistic. Realistically, it would take a miracle to win tonight's game - and an even greater one to win this series. Maybe Jon Miller was right. Maybe the Dodgers were the team we didn't want to play.
End of the Top of the 6th - Dodgers 6, Cubs 0
10:27PM Central - At this point, I'm more interested in the results of the debate. I'm shocked to see that Carlos reached the 7th before he hit 100 pitches, considering that he tossed 28 in the 2nd.
Oh, btw, the Cubs failed to do anything in the 6th. As Bayma notes, it's been 12 innings of futility.
End of the 6th - Dodgers 6, Cubs 0
10:32PM Central - After 7.1 innings, Carlos has been pulled for Neal Cotts. The Moose looks morose in the dugout. I really don't blame him. This has been a total failure on the part of the Cubs lineup - defensive mistakes, an inability to capitalize, sometimes I think that the Cubs need a douche or something after every season to keep the team fresh with players who aren't burdened by the ridiculous pressure to win.
10:41 Central - Cotts comes in, struggles, and gives up a run after the Cubs infield shockingly fails to complete a double play. It's now 7 to nil and I am over this crap.
End of the top of the 7th - Dodgers 7, Cubs 0
10:56PM Central - Hey! Didja see that! The Cubs scored a run! In a game without errors, they're down 2-1 right now! w00t!
End of the 7th - Dodgers 7, Cubs 1
11:03PM Central - The Dodgers took back their run and then some. Jim Edmonds took a spill, and it's a serious blow out.
I'm really, really over this. It's midnight here and I'm just torturing myself by watching this crap.
End of the Top of the 8th - Dodgers 9, Cubs 1
11:13PM Central - I have the feeling that the city of Chicago will be grouchy tomorrow. I can't say that I blame them.
The Cubs are apparently trying to end this ugly game quickly. There isn't much of a spark in the game tonight.
I have a feeling, however, that they will win on Saturday. Why do I feel that way? Because they've almost certainly - keyword, almost - lost this series. The pressure's off.
End of the 8th - Dodgers 9, Cubs 1
11:22PM Central - Denton says, "anybody who doesn't believe there is a real curse right now is insane." Yeah, Denton. There's a curse. There are mystical, evil powers in the world, and they focus on things like baseball. If there were such things as curses, and it was as easy as yelling up into the sky after being denied entrance to a ballgame, then everybody would be cursed all the time and we'd all be in a hell of a mess.
Speaking of messes, Theriot completed the circle. A throwing error gives one to every Cubs infielder. Lovely. The Dodgers score again. I guess it's easier to blame a goat than the mentality of the guys who are playing, who have obviously collapsed under the ridiculous pressure that they're under.
Blame blame blame, Denton. If anybody is responsible, it's the players. I know, it's a shocking idea.
End of the Top of the 9th - Dodgers 10, Cubs 1
Once the pressure was off, the Cubs managed to score some runs in the 9th. Doubles by Lee and DeRosa, cushioning a Ramirez single, finally - finally - made it seem as though the Cubs could actually produce.
The Dodgers turned to Broxton, who promptly walked Felix Pie on 5 pitches before getting the first out of the inning by forcing Soto into hitting a sharp liner to second. Broxton then struck out Fukudome looking on, quite frankly, a pitch outside of the strike zone, although Kosuke should probably have swung defensively.
And then, to add insult to injury, Broxton struck out Ward on a pitch that was both low and inside.
A game recap will come in the morning. But for those of you who are wondering, I'll be taking a somewhat more lax approach to anybody who preaches doom and gloom, if only because the odds of a 3 game comeback are very, very thin.