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This Is Why I'm A Cubs Fan

Just when you think all is lost. Just when you think you ought to give up. Just when the Cubs have lost 10 of their last 14 home games.

That's when they come up with a win like tonight's efficient and fun 3-0 shutout of the Giants, a team the Cubs should probably have not been able to beat so easily -- they came in 29 games over .500, running away with the NL West.

But Matt Clement picked today to throw not only the best game of his season, but perhaps the best of his career -- a two-hit, two-walk shutout, throwing a surprisingly high 111 pitches (it seemed like many fewer in a game that ran only 2:14). Neither of the two hits was hard-hit; the first was an infield grounder by Marquis Grissom (a slower runner would have been thrown out), the second a little popup into short right by Andres Galarraga.

Barry Bonds was rendered harmless too; oddly enough, he's never hit very well in Wrigley Field. During his record-breaking HR season in 2001, in six games vs. the Cubs he hit only one HR (by comparison, the same year the Giants played six vs. Atlanta, with a much better pitching staff, and he hit seven against the Braves).

The only Dusty move that I really didn't understand today (and it turned out not to matter, but anyway) -- why wasn't Ramon Martinez in the game in the 9th for defensive purposes at 3B? Aramis Ramirez made another error today, though it didn't matter, and he really is as, well, bad as advertised. It'll be forgiven if he hits, but in a game like this, you ought to put your best defensive team on the field in the 9th. Joe Borowski was, in fact, warming up, but he wasn't needed.

It was nice to be back "home" -- you may remember we were aced out of our seats during the last home game, and Jeff was back from his trip to NY and Yankee Stadium (where they scored skybox tickets, of all things). Carole showed up late and missed all the scoring, and is considering doing this for more games, since -- well, since baseball is full of superstitions, and if this one works, why not? For my part, I'm wearing the same cap tomorrow that I wore today.

With the Astros' 6-3 loss to the Braves, the Cubs move to within 3 1/2 games of first place (down only 3 in the loss column), and with Kerry Wood going tomorrow, I think the club's chances of winning another series are very good. I had told everyone when the scoreboard indicated Roy Oswalt was pulled in the 3rd inning of a 2-1 game, that he had probably been hurt again, and in fact, that's exactly what happened; he reinjured the groin muscle that had him on the DL earlier this year. While you never like to see players hurt, I can't say I'm unhappy that the Astros may be again without their best pitcher.

I also wanted to show all of you how quickly I can get home from the ballpark -- the game ended at 9:21, and it's now 9:50 pm, and I've been writing here for a few minutes already, and soon it's off to bed. But I'm glad I was able to post the game report tonight.

Beloved old Cub news: Bill Mueller hit two grand slams tonight, one from each side of the plate, and had 9 RBI for the Red Sox.

Sight seen: the scoreboard lights were off today. We couldn't quite figure out why -- either they were burned out, or they turned them off to save a little electricity. If burned out, it could take months to fix them, as it took seven months to replace the lights in the men's room. According to Carole, half the lights are now off in the women's room in the bleachers now.

If they'd spend some of this money on better players, I'd be happy to pee in the dark.