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That's Better!

Before we talk about today's game, let me tell you a funny ticket story.

Mike gives me his weekday tickets to sell, because he rarely makes weekday games. So I had sold today's ticket to Phil. The very next day, Mike e-mails me to tell me that his company was giving everyone a bonus day off, shutting down for the weekend, and he wanted to come today. Great.

I couldn't find a ticket for him, then Howard called me yesterday and said he had an extra. I said, "Call Mike!" Which he did, and they arranged the drop-off.

Then later yesterday I looked in my ticket pouch and found a ticket for today's game -- I'd been given it by one of the other season ticket holders to sell, and had forgotten. Darn! I could have gotten that to Mike. What was I going to do with it now?

Within one hour after finding that, Phil called. Did I have an extra for his buddy? That was a fortuitous coincidence, I made the arrangements and everyone was happy. Oh, and we swapped ticket stubs so Mike had his own stub back.

Everyone was even happier after today's well-played 4-2 win over the Brewers, snapping Milwaukee's ten-game winning streak and putting the Cubs in position to get back to 1/2 game out in both the wild card and division races, pending tonight's games in various places (there are now ten teams within 1.5 games of a playoff spot -- amazing!).

Matt Clement threw a terrific ballgame without his best stuff, and especially nice was the way he fell behind a few hitters, then worked the count and got batters out -- he did this with John Vander Wal twice, in fact, falling behind 2-0, getting him to pop up once and strike out the other time. 123 pitches is kind of a lot, but with the bullpen implosions of the last two days, I think Clement took one for the team today, and the booing for Antonio Alfonseca was very loud, both times he got up in the pen. Frankly, I think releasing him would be a good thing for his own peace of mind. I doubt he'll ever have any success with the Cubs again. I was also glad to see Clement get through a game with no walks.

Sammy Sosa may be starting one of his hot streaks -- as Mike pointed out, he often starts one with a game like this, with three solid singles. But the biggest hit of the game may have been Damian Miller's two-out, 8th inning home run, giving Clement some breathing room, and perhaps even allowing him to stay in the game in the first place.

Not quite sure why Moises Alou didn't play today -- those of you who watched the game on WGN may even know more than I do about that. There was nothing in the game summary link above either.

Sight seen: ushers wearing "Andy Frain Services" caps, rather than Cub employee clothes. I suppose most of the summer hires have gone back to school, so the Cubs contracted out some of the usher services today. Frain used to run almost all the security/ushering services at all the Chicago ballparks and stadiums, but was squeezed out in the 80's when the clubs took over and ran it themselves.

Now, all of us will become huge Padres and Reds fans for the next three days.