Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs hits a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
For those of you too young to remember the day-to-day Jack Brickhouse, he broadcast for a huge number of bad Cubs teams in the 1950s and 1960s.
He thus became a master of clichés. One of them, trotted out after a furious rally that didn't quite produce enough runs, was, "They were a day late and a dollar short!"
That's what the Cubs were Friday night in their 4-3 loss to the Giants, a defeat that ended their cute little three-game winning streak.
A ninth-inning rally begun by a three-run homer from Alfonso Soriano (poor man's Home Run Race tied again: Soriano 8, Albert Pujols 8) fell short when David DeJesus flied to center with the tying and lead runs on base to end it. The Cubs actually managed to get the tying run to scoring position with one out, when Bryan LaHair doubled. Darwin Barney's infield hit couldn't advance him; Steve Clevenger then grounded out and the runners advanced, but DeJesus couldn't bring either of them home.
It was one of Paul Maholm's "bad" games, although it wasn't nearly as horrendous as his first two starts of the season. He gave up a pair of runs in the first and third innings, helped along by a 3-for-3 night from Ryan Theriot.
That's right, the Ryan Theriot who entered the game hitting .204 and who hadn't had three hits in a game since last August and who had exactly two extra-base hits in 74 at-bats prior to Friday night. He had one XBH (a double) in the three AB Friday night.
Melky Cabrera, who is hitting .376, tripled in one of the other runs. Raise your hand if you thought Melky Cabrera would hit .276 this year, much less .376. He's leading the National League in hits and triples.
The Cubs' bullpen did a good job; they allowed no runs in 2⅔ innings and kept the game close. Even Carlos Marmol did well! He threw 11 strikes out of 18 pitches and struck out Angel Pagan and Brett Pill in a 1-2-3 inning. It was Marmol's 17th appearance of the season, and only his fourth 1-2-3 inning, so progress is being made. If he keeps this up, perhaps some team will be interested in trading for him.
There isn't too much more to say about this game, or the state of the 2012 Cubs, except for this: I grew up with a lot of those Brickhouse-era teams. There were a lot of games like this, at least up until 1967 when the team made its ill-fated seven-year attempt at success. There will likely be a lot more games like this in 2012. Perhaps you should be grateful if you are in the 88% of the USA that won't be seeing tonight's game. The game preview will post at 4 p.m. CDT.