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Problem Solved

I've got it figured out, how to stop all this rain. Sure, I bring an umbrella every day and stay mostly dry, but I don't have a poncho, which would keep my feet and backpack dry. So if I go buy one, I'll never need it, right? Tomorrow morning, off to buy a poncho.

And after keeping my scorecard totally dry the whole rain delay, I laid it on the bench to take a walk for a few minutes and Brian's drink dripped on it. Oh, well.

Before I give you more of the summary of yet another frustrating one-run loss, 4-3 to the Marlins, let me address one thing in particular, and that would be this.

You're in the bottom of the ninth, behind but your team is rallying, possibly toward a stirring come-from-behind win. And you have two left-handed hitters on the bench who could potentially hit a game-winning HR off the righty reliever who has nothing today.

And your choice for pinch-hitter is Lenny F. Harris? (And I think you can guess what the "F" stands for.)

What is Dusty Baker thinking? Both Hee Seop Choi and Troy O'Leary were on the bench, and either had at least the chance to hit a home run. Instead, Lenny F. Harris? Even though Harris made the plate appearance somewhat worthwhile by walking, why would you ever do this? Dusty is insane, I'm sure of it. He might be a great motivator of men and loved by his players, but this move just proves what Giants fans warned us about before the season -- that his lineup selection and in-game strategies bordered on the bizarre.

Hey, what can you do. Moises Alou followed Harris' walk with a screaming line drive that Luis Castillo made a fabulous acrobatic catch on; that otherwise would have tied the game. And in the sixth, Juan Pierre ice-cream-coned Damian Miller's fly ball, that otherwise would have been a bases-clearing double. The Marlins play great defense and today, that was the difference, unless you consider the putrid performances of Mike Remlinger and Antonio you-know-who to be the difference.

Interlude -- the scoreboard on the side of the LF upper deck has been broken for two days; it's showed the Marlins with 88 runs, the Cubs with 88 hits and 18 errors, and number 88 at bat.

I'd say it could easily be fixed, but remember this is the club that couldn't fix the overhead lights in the bleachers' men's room from September of last year till about two months ago.

Back to today's action -- Dontrelle Willis pitched as advertised; he is reminiscent of Vida Blue, with the high leg kick and high socks, he does seem like a man out of time. I like these kind of guys; I don't think anyone could have predicted he'd be this good this soon when the Cubs dealt him last year in the Clement trade. Carlos Zambrano, after his own defense nearly cost him a run in the first, settled down and threw six good innings. Too bad the bullpen ruined it.

Even so, with the Cardinals' 8-3 loss to the Giants today, the Cubs still find themselves only a game out of first place, with a chance to still win the series behind Kerry Wood tomorrow.

If it ever stops raining. Howard put on a pink poncho today -- yes, pink -- and after he flattened the hood over his head we decided he looked like a Teletubbie.