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Attack of the Aphids

In the seventh inning, swarms of what Mike (who is an expert on bugs) called aphids descended on the ballpark, causing a scene that would have been hysterically funny if we weren't part of it -- the sight of literally thousands of people swatting at bugs flying in front of their faces. This included almost all the ballplayers, too. Howard & I wound up putting towels over our faces, which led to the inevitable cries of "Osama!" and "Saddam!" Jeff brought some bug spray so we all sprayed ourselves, then loaned it to the security guards. It seemed like that sent a fair percentage of the crowd home.

Then the wind shifted and the bugs blew away, and Joe Borowski blew the Cubs' lead away with a very bad ninth inning, as the Diamondbacks traded yesterday's score for today's and beat the Cubs 4-3.

It was clear that Borowski had nothing; he seemed to be laboring from the moment he took the mound, and as usual, Dusty had no one warming up till it was too late, after Raul Mondesi, who had struggled for two days, had a really good at bat against Borowski and doubled in the eventual winning run.

Up till then, it had looked like a pretty good game; the Cubs had timely hitting, including a double by Shawn Estes, who threw yet another good game by a Cub starter; Paul Bako threw out a couple of runners and had an infield hit. But the Cubs also left eight on base through the first 8 innings and had the chance to break the game open several times and couldn't do so. This is, as I've said so many times before, the maddening thing about this team, that they can't build on emotional wins like yesterday's. They still do have the chance to win two out of three, by winning tomorrow, and once again, that would continue the current little streak. If Matt Clement can even come close to what he did in his last start, that ought to do it.

And with Houston losing to Florida, in progress as of this writing, 4-0, the Cubs would remain only 3 1/2 games back, presuming that score holds up. And tomorrow also ends a very long stretch -- going back to the series at Philadelphia at the end of June -- in which the Cubs played only teams with winning records. If they can stay this close until Labor Day, the schedule turns dramatically in the Cubs' favor.

Today was Howard's birthday and he brought Mint Milanos, which used to be a staple of my diet till I went off carbs & sugar (current count - down 50 pounds). Since it was his birthday I had one ceremonial Milano.

Tomorrow is Jeff's birthday and Brian promised to bring a cake. SHHH! Don't tell Jeff.

Now, it's off to a party at Roz Varon's. See ya!