Most of you know that I work the early morning news at ABC-7 in Chicago and wake up somewhere around 3 am on work days.
So, when looking at the schedule for any particular season, I shrug my shoulders when it comes to West Coast night games, because in general I know I won't be able to see the end of them.
Such was the case last night when I fell asleep in the second inning. Too bad, too. I missed one of the best wins of the year -- a 2-1 extra-inning win over the Dodgers, the Cubs' fifth win in a row.
For details on what went on at Dodger Stadium last night, I refer you to the excellent diary written by Clay on the right sidebar. Clay is a friend of Donna, a Wrigley Field bleacher season ticket holder, so we are keeping this game report in the family, at least.
Signs continue to be encouraging. Carlos Zambrano (p.s.: happy 24th birthday, Z!) threw eight one-hit innings and Mike Wuertz and Ryan Dempster finished up uneventfully. Derrek Lee -- who for the second time this year was named NL Player of the Week and is a strong candidate to be Player of the Month for May, had three hits, as did the en fuego Aramis Ramirez -- but Neifi! saved the day with his defense and the game-winning hit, a tenth-inning RBI single that nearly didn't score Michael Barrett. Based on the replay I saw, Barrett hesitated before rounding third and scoring rather easily on the play.
Speaking of Neifi!, you can join all of us in the bleachers in honoring him for his amazing season to date. Howard has designed a t-shirt which doesn't violate anyone's copyright but still shows everyone how we feel:
Tonight, the Cubs will activate John Koronka to make his major league debut, facing Derek Lowe. Koronka's been bouncing around the minors since 1998, and was acquired from the Reds for the eminently-forgettable Phil Norton in 2003. The Reds thought so much of Norton that they sent him back to the Cubs -- he's Koronka's teammate at Iowa. Either Jon Leicester, Roberto Novoa or Todd Wellemeyer will likely return to Des Moines when Koronka is activated -- my guess: Novoa.
I saw Koronka throw twice in spring training and I have to tell you, I was singularly unimpressed. Sometimes, though, guys like this come in and throw really well when a ballclub is struggling, as the Dodgers are right now. LA is without Milton Bradley for a few days and last night started a catcher making his major league debut. It'd be fine with me if they struggled for at least one more night.
And, the Cardinals lost to the Rockies 2-1, with Jason Jennings again pitching well -- so maybe that Cub loss to him last week wasn't that much of a fluke. That cuts the Cardinals' lead to 6.5 games, and puts the Cubs only three games off the wild card lead.
I'm going to give Mike the final word this morning -- he sent me this e-mail at 12:34 am, not long after the game ended: