Game Recap: Brewers 4, Cubs 3
I'm not positive, but Rich Harden appears extremely healthy. Mark Prior 2.0 - affectionately known as Dick Harden - threw 6 innings of 2-run baseball, striking out 10 Brewers. And he might have gotten a decision out of the deal had Lou Piniella not screwed around with his bullpen too much, which is perhaps Lou's biggest flaw as a manager.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, though, Braden Looper continued his mysterious success against them tonight. Chicago was held to 3 runs, all scored off of the longball in retro Dustyball fashion. The first dinger was a Milton Bradley solo shot - his first hit as a Cub - and the second was by Geo Soto's backup Three Finger Hill. (I will never, ever call him Koyie. Ever.)
Then, the juggling began. The 7th inning started with an appearance by Aaron Heilman who walked one guy -- who was then sacrificed into scoring position by Jason "He's Still Employable?" Kendall -- and got yanked by Lou. Neal Cotts was then called upon, and he answered by hitting Craig Counsell and getting pulled for Carlos Marmol. Marmol then got the second out of the inning, followed by a bases-loading walk, before escaping thanks to a Ryan Braun flyout. (But if you notice a trend here, it's that 3 Brewers got on without ever having recorded a hit. They won't be the last 3 to do that this game, either. Keep reading.)
In the 8th inning, Marmol was replaced by Marshall, whose turn was skipped this time around in the rotation. The lefty starter walked Prince Fielder, for which he was replaced by Vizcaino. Vizcaino then got 2 outs in short order and was mysteriously replaced by Kevin Gregg, who recorded the last out of the 8th before coming unglued in the 9th.
So. What exactly happened in the 9th? After starting the inning by recording an out -- thank you "He's Only a Big Leaguer Because He Plays Catcher" Kendall -- Gregg walked a guy, who immediately turned into a run possibly because Soriano misjudged a flyball hit by Ricky Weeks. Then Gregg threw a wild pitch -- advancing Weeks to third. Then he walked Corey Hart. Then Ryan Braun hit into a rare game-winning fielder's choice - thanks in part to Ryan Theriot's idiotic decision to ignore that Braun is about as fast as lava. Rather than gun out the slow-footed slugger, Theriot made a pansy-ass throw to home, resulting in a Cubs loss. The loser on record is Gregg, but really it is all of us who are the sad participants. Thanks, Lou, for juggling your bullpen. Thanks, Gregg, for reminding us of Rod Beck, 1999 edition. Thanks, Theriot, for having an awareness level of a six year old. Now make it right by winning tomorrow!