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I had just gotten finished telling Mike, and Howard, and my friend Miles from the Cubs newsgroup, who is in town this week from Atlanta (and who spent a good portion of the game in an Ernie-like rant against the advertising on the new side scoreboards), how stupid it was that Dusty Baker let Glendon Rusch hit for himself in the bottom of the fifth, having thrown 87 pitches, down 4-1... when Rusch hit the first homer by a Cub pitcher this season.

It was almost as funny as the three-run homer Mitch Williams hit against the Mets back in 1989, one of only three major league hits the Wild Thing had.

We weren't laughing. We tried karma. We tried to make every play seem stupid. Turns out it was, as the Cubs lost to the Cardinals 4-3.

Rusch actually threw a pretty good game, finishing seven innings and throwing 112 pitches. He had only one inning in which he made any mistakes, and he made two of them, and they both wound up on Waveland Avenue, back-to-back homers by Scott Rolen and Reggie Sanders.

The Cub offense was fairly moribund again today. Carole's favorite player, Corey Patterson (Carole has been yelling "Corey sucks" for several weeks now, and Mike, who works at an art studio, made her a "Corey Sucks" sticker for her clipboard, matching the "Yankees Suck" one that has been there for several years), actually hit a homer today, into the LF basket, and of course, this is about the worst thing that could have happened to him, since that convinces him that he's a home run hitter, and he promptly had one of the worst at-bats of his season (and that's saying a lot), popping up weakly to right with two runners in scoring position in his next at-bat, and then striking out on a terrible pitch in the dirt in the ninth.

Oh, but wait, I'm not finished. In today's installment of "Wendell Kim Must Go", after the Cubs had come back to 4-3 on Rusch's homer, he sent Jose Macias home with one out when Moises Alou hit what was not even a medium-deep fly ball to center. Macias, who had a decent game with a double and some nice plays in the OF (to chants of "Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose..." -- you know the tune), was out by 20 feet.

Maybe Wendell needs glasses. Or a stepladder. Or something, maybe a book on "Baserunning Fundamentals".

The rest of the game showed up the weakness of the Cub bench with Sammy Sosa out. Todd Hollandsworth sat today for Macias, and that was fine, but then he was wasted in the seventh pinch-hitting for Rusch. Yes, he got a hit, but it was with two out, and with him unavailable (and puzzlingly, then Dusty sent David Kelton to run for him -- why you would waste a runner in that situation, with a five-man bench and twelve pitchers on the roster, I have no idea), the Cubs were forced to send Jason Dubois to pinch-hit for Rey Ordonez (this really sounds like we are describing an Iowa/Omaha game, doesn't it?) in the 9th, and he was completely overmatched against Jason Isringhausen.

It wasn't all bad today. Derrek Lee showed some more signs of coming out of his slump, smacking an RBI double in the fourth and a screaming line drive in the ninth that Rolen made a nice defensive stab on.

There is talk that when Mark Grudzielanek comes back (and that may be as soon as this weekend), the 12th pitcher will be cut (that's likely to be Jon Leicester, who was called up when Joe Borowski was put on the DL). I predict right now that if this happens, unless there is a long extra-inning game, or a blowout, Leicester will not throw a pitch before he is sent back to Iowa. So why bother having him here? Why not have that extra bench guy? I know I've been on this one note for a long time, but tonight, the lack of flexibility (and I suppose maybe there is something wrong with Todd Hollandsworth that forced Dusty to run for him) may have cost the Cubs the game.

It was the first really warm night of the year, and of course that brought out a large number of drunk idiots all over the RF bleachers; by the ninth inning, even with it being a one-run game, there were a dozen or so ejections, with the usual "What did I do??" attitude or worse, the holding up of the arms in triumph as you are led off to Cubbie Jail look. Pathetic.

The Cubs are now 3-4 on the homestand, and really must take the next three games, before heading out on a tough stretch of schedule that includes the Angels, the Astros, the Athletics, another series with the Cardinals, and then the White Sox.

Hang in there. It is still only the first week of June. Enjoy the transit of Venus early tomorrow morning. This astronomical event will occur again eight years from now in 2012, then not again till 2117.

By then, I'm sure the Cubs will have won at least one World Series.