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All Wet

That's describing the Cub offense and lineup selection, NOT the state of our little group of bleacher geeks, because we came prepared with ponchos, plastic bags and my trusty blue & white umbrella, and not only did we stay dry, most importantly, Jeff, Howard, Mike, Jon & I kept our scorecards dry after the skies opened up with a sudden downpour in the bottom of the 8th inning today.

The rain was so sudden -- and looking out the window right now it's getting dark and ready to storm again -- that the usually terrific Wrigley Field ground crew was caught before they could get the infield covered; they had to dump a couple dozen bags of Turface on the infield to dry it out, turning the 10-minute rain into a 45-minute delay.

When it ended we got to see a statistical oddity -- Cal Eldred had been announced as pitcher, though he hadn't thrown a pitch, and due to the delay the Cardinals were allowed to pull him and Jason Isringhausen came in, so Eldred gets an appearance in the record books without throwing a pitch.

If you think I'm avoiding talking about the game, I am. The Cubs had another listless loss, 4-1 to the Cardinals today, despite having 8 hits and having two other batters reach on errors; seven left on base again, and I have to blame Dusty's odd lineup selection. Why was Hee Seop Choi on the bench yet again against a righty? Why did Lenny Harris pinch-hit in the 8th for Damian Miller, who actually had a hit today? I told Mike it was for efficiency, since Harris could make an out faster than Miller, which he proceeded to do.

Choi also pinch-hit, but that's not a good role for him; he'll never get his stroke back one at-bat at a time.

You can't blame Mark Prior for this one -- he had electric stuff; he simply made one mistake and Eduardo Perez jumped all over it for a three-run homer. Prior also distracted himself, I think, when after Tino Martinez singled in that same inning, he wasted several throws to first. Huh? Tino Martinez is hardly a base-stealing threat, especially in a scoreless game in the second inning. Otherwise Prior looked great, striking out eleven.

But when your aces throw, you have to start winning. This season is far from a lost cause, even now only two games out of first place, since Houston got swept by Pittsburgh, but the Cubs have to make a deal now to upgrade this offense, and especially get useless people like Lenny Harris off the team. Complicating matters will be whatever the injury to Corey Patterson is; he landed wrong in beating out an infield hit in the 8th, and though he did walk off under his own power and without a limp, he still may miss a few games.

The rain drove about half the crowd away; we were among the few prepared with rain gear, though after the rain there was bright sunshine and heat again. This is predicted to continue for the next two days, after which it's supposed to cool off and dry out for the rest of the week.