clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Score THIS!

Today, I decided to bring my son Mark to his first game of the season, and he's been wanting to learn how to keep score.

He sure got his fill in an ugly, ugly, UGLY eighth inning for the Pirates, in which they scored nine runs on six hits and a bunch of walks and some other stuff -- I kind of didn't even want to watch -- and the Pirates beat the Cubs easily 10-0. But he managed to keep up with all the scoring, and all the lineup changes, and that's pretty darn good for a second-grader, I'd say.

Kerry Wood matched Josh Fogg almost pitch for pitch for the first seven innings; he got himself into trouble with walks and wild pitched in the only run up to that point. It didn't seem like he had thrown 109 pitches, and that combined with the line drive that he caught on the fly probably made Dusty want to take him out. I thought he should have started the 8th, and the bullpen had its first real catastrophic failure of the season. Not one of Phil Norton, Juan Cruz or Antonio Alfonseca could throw strikes, and once they did, the Pirates decided to play dink-ball, dunking a couple hits just over the infield. Todd Wellemeyer, who is proving he belongs in the big leagues, mopped up with three straight strikeouts.

Fogg, on the other hand, was straight off the DL today and hadn't won since the third day of the season. But the Cubs seem to bring out the best in situations like that, somehow.

It's almost unfair to say that the Cubs didn't generate any offense today, though they didn't, because the Pirates didn't either until they were given all the gifts in the 8th. But eventually Dusty has to realize that he cannot continue to clog up the top of the order with Tom Goodwin. Game winning HR and good game yesterday notwithstanding, he simply cannot play as a regular player.

Luckily, this game only counts as one loss, and with the Cardinals and Astros beating up on each other this week, the lead should hold into the weekend when Houston comes to town.

It was good to see Mike, Jeff, Howard, Jon, Phil (who was making trades within three minutes of sitting down) and Dave, whose Rockford Riverhawks will have their own Opening Day on Wednesday -- go see them! -- and it was amazing how much baseball we all had to catch up on. Two weeks away from the Yard is too much! By the end of the day I was just about ready to take back all the good stuff I wrote about this team yesterday. But one day is just that -- one day. It's one of the best things about baseball. You can make up for it the next day.

As big a series as the upcoming Yankee series already is for the Cubs (hype or no, it's two contending teams playing in June), the tension for the Saturday, June 7 tentative Wood-Clemens matchup got a little tighter today as Clemens failed to get his 300th win in New York against the Red Sox. He'll have one more start next week before the Yankees come to town. It sure would be something to see a pitcher of his magnitude going for such a milestone at Wrigley Field.