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Well, That Sucked

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- I can't be any more blunt than this.

If the Cubs miss the playoffs by one game, it'll be because for the second day in a row, Moises Alou lost a fly ball in the lights at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Frankly, the lights here are substandard, but it hasn't affected anyone except Alou, and he lost Jose Macias' popup which would have ended the 8th inning with the Cubs leading 4-3, two runs scored, and then Kyle Farnsworth imploded, giving up three more hits and the Cubs lost a really ugly game to the Expos 8-4, falling a game out of first place since the Astros beat the Brewers 3-1.

Mark Prior will try to right the ship tomorrow afternoon. I think it's really fortunate that the final game here is a day game, since that way Alou won't lose any more balls in the lights.

It was the fifth sellout crowd at Hiram Bithorn Stadium this year, 18,002, and it was in a festive mood. After a day of just lazing around by the pool (it was really hot today, so I actually dipped my feet into the Atlantic Ocean, just to say that I did it), we left again fairly early for the game so as to avoid a traffic jam -- that didn't work, and then the taxi driver misunderstood where to drop us off, and tried to drop us at the mall across the street; we finally got the message across that we wanted to go to the "Estadio", so he pulled over to the side, we walked across the street, sold our extra ticket and went in.

At first we sat in right field, wanting to try that out, but you couldn't see the scoreboard at all from there (and frankly, the scoreboard and PA announcing leave a lot to be desired -- there are no out of town scores at all, and they don't announce the lineups ahead of time, and there are no programs with rosters, so it's kind of like trying to score a spring training game, only without a roster list), and so it was back to LF where we sat last night. We did score a couple of nice box seats for tomorrow's game, and since I did want to see the rest of the park, I'll report from "the other side" tomorrow.

Once again, the largely male crowd was enjoying the sight of a hardly-dressed teenage girl vendor (this time it was popcorn instead of pizza), and several lively 40-something men decided to start the wave. We were trying to concentrate on the game, since Matt Clement was attempting to throw the world's worst no-hitter, and when the entire pitching staff forgot how to throw strikes in the sixth, Clement wound up with the weird pitching line of 5 innings, no hits, five walks and three earned runs.

We also got some nice free beach towels for signing up for credit cards (of course, not giving real names or addresses; c'mon, this is the game everyone plays for this free stuff), and they handed out free battery-operated portable fans (with free batteries, believe it or not), as well as more ThunderStix.

Folks, I'm pretty depressed after tonight's loss, so I'll say goodnight now, and hope for better times tomorrow. Sure, it's only one game, but with only 17 to go, every game is big.

Oh, and of course, today the Cubs announced that tickets for possible Division Series games at Wrigley Field will go on sale this Sunday. Bad karma, I think.

Keep hope alive, and go Brewers.