clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cubhenge

OK, you're thinking I've gone totally nuts. What's Cubhenge, you're asking?

Mike & I figured this out a few years ago. Last night was the night game closest to the summer solstice. And on that night, one hour before sunset, from the view from our bleacher bench, the setting sun rests precisely on the ball of the flagpole above the left field foul pole.

Looking at that rationally, yes, we are nuts. But that's Cubhenge, our version of Stonehenge. Yes, we did a little druid dance.

I'm not saying I'm superstitious, but... the Cubs won on Sunday. So I picked the same type cup and same spigot when I got my Super Big Gulp at the 7-11. They won last night. So I'm wearing the same cap today that I wore yesterday.

Superstition or no, strange things seem to happen any time the Cubs play the Brewers. Three years ago they played what was then the longest 9-inning game in ML history (4:22, since broken). Just last month I saw them play 17 innings in Milwaukee. And seven weeks ago to the day, on May 6, there was a power surge in the neighborhood causing a delay while the lights came back on.

Guess what? It happened again last night in the bottom of the first of what turned out to be a laugher, for once, a 9-1 win over the Brewers. It was 7:35, still plenty of daylight left when the lights went out, but they held up the game anyway for 16 minutes. The traffic signals at Addison & Sheffield were also out, as was much of the surrounding area. Obviously, this is the Brewers' fault. Fortunately, there are no more night games scheduled between the two teams here in Chicago this year.

Balls were flying out of the yard during BP and when Geoff Jenkins homered in the first, I said to Mike that wouldn't be the last HR hit. Good thing the Brewers ran themselves out of a couple baserunners with a 1-6-5-3-4-3 DP just before the HR, or the Cubs would have been down 3-0. Instead it was only 1-0 with two out.

The wind was blowing out pretty strong, but the moonshot that Sammy Sosa hit in the fifth didn't need any help. It disappeared down Kenmore St. (the street perpendicular to Waveland behind LF); measured at 520 feet, it might have been longer. Mike & I agreed it's probably the longest one that Sammy's ever hit. And Mike had earlier mentioned that usually if Sosa's in a slump, the Milwaukee pitching staff will help cure it. When he has a game like this, he often goes on a tear when he could hit ten home runs in a week. It was also his 59th multi-homer game; the record of 72 such games is held by Mark McGwire. The six Cub homers was one short of the club record. And, in the sixth, the Cubs hit three consecutive HR for the 9th time in club history.

Richie Sexson, who normally torments the Cubs, went 0-for-4, and the message board had another of its now frequent errors when it said that his 21 HR "leads the NL". Well, only if 21 is more than 22, which Adam Dunn has, or 23, which Javy Lopez and Mike Lowell have.

OK, end of history and stat lesson.

We picked a good day to play home run derby. If you don't know how that's played, a few of us choose two-digit numbers, then someone pulls out a dollar bill and we pick either the first or last two digits without looking to decide who picks in what order. Then you pick two hitters, and get $1 for each homer hit; $2 if it's a pitcher and $5 for a grand slam.

Well, I wound up picking last, so as a lark, I chose Kerry Wood. Good choice, as it turned out; he hit his second HR of the season, so I won $8, but with all the other HR hit (yes, someone even chose Mark Grudzielanek), I think I didn't do much better than make a dollar or two. Anyway, it's fun to play along, especially on what was really the first warm night of the year.

Howard and Carole both spent about 20 minutes in line; we looked down at 10 minutes to game time and the line was still down the block. That was odd, because it seemed much less crowded among people standing along the fence than almost any game this year. And explain to me how yesterday's crowd could be the largest of the year (40,389) against an opponent like the Brewers. The only possible explanation is that there were fewer freebies asked for by players & employees, so they wound up selling more tickets. The average attendance is now 35,103, 89% of capacity, and if the club continues to contend and there are no more rainouts, there's an outside chance they could draw 3 million this year, which would require an average of just over 37,000.

Sue decided it was too hot to wear her straw hat, so she went hatless and exposed her newly-growing hair, now that she's mostly done with radiation & chemo. So then she, Jeff & I decided to make comparisons as to who has less hair. I think she won, but I wasn't too far behind.

Postscript to the brawl on Sunday: in talking to Jeannie, one of the security guards, she mentioned she had wound up at the bottom of the scrum and got pretty bruised up. Frankly, the Cubs simply don't have enough security, and not enough people who are out in the bleachers on a regular basis, who know the territory, especially on days like Sunday, with the White Sox here, when you know trouble could be brewing. It took nearly every security person in the bleachers to break up that fight. Once again, there are two possible solutions: increased security, or decreased beer sales, or both.

The Cubs needed this easy win and the offensive surge, especially with the tough series just completed, and the tough ones coming up against the White Sox, Cardinals and Braves before the All-Star break.