HAMILTON, New York -- The rest of you sweated out a tense top of the 9th inning; never fear, Carlos Marmol is here! Despite giving up a home run to Scott Podsednik, a non-power guy who seems to hit HR at the weirdest times (he is one of only two players in history to not homer during the regular season, but to do so in the postseason; he did so in 2005, twice, including that walkoff in game two of the World Series. The other one is Lance Johnson, who also did it for the White Sox in 2003), Marmol bore down and struck out Willy Taveras and the Cubs won their seventh in a row, 5-4 over the Rockies.
Seven in a row -- that's the longest streak of the year. And, in reality, it should be at least eight, because that game last Sunday was won until Alfonso Soriano dropped the fly ball, and it's possible that had the Cubs gotten a break or two the day before, they could be riding a ten-game winning streak. They also have now had the lead in 22 consecutive games; yesterday they matched their longest such streak since 1935.
This is a special season, my friends, and it is barely one-third over. I buried this in the comments yesterday, but it bears repeating on the main page: remember each day this year, where you were, what you were doing, who you were with, how you felt as the Cubs win their way through it. Because if this does turn out to be the promised land we have all been waiting for, you will want to remember, savor, cherish every moment from March 31 through October.
Kudos today to Ryan Dempster, who had a rougher-than-usual outing but left with the lead in part thanks to his own hitting, a double (his first double in six years), and a two-run homer by Alfonso Soriano. The bullpen did an excellent job and until Marmol allowed the two-out 9th-inning HR, they had thrown 3.2 innings without allowing a hit, and only one baserunner (a Neal Cotts walk).
Meanwhile, today I was at an alumni author booksigning here at Colgate; we sold a few extra copies of Wrigley Season Ticket 2008, which you can still order yourself by clicking on that link. I also met Jennifer Smith, Colgate class of 2003, who wrote her first novel, "The Comeback Season", about a young girl who loves the Cubs and finds romance through her team. It's aimed at a teenage audience and I highly recommend it -- it was also reviewed on this site by BCB reader akbeck98 back in March. Here's a photo of Jennifer & me at the signing:
I also met Gabriel Schecter, Colgate class of 1973, who works in Cooperstown at the Hall of Fame and has written a couple of books about baseball, including "Victory Faust", about Charles Faust, who was an old-time New York Giants good luck charm, and "Unhittable", about baseball's greatest pitching seasons.
I'll be flying back to Chicago tomorrow morning and back in the bleachers tomorrow afternoon. This season gets more fun, interesting and amazing every day. Let's finish the homestand sweep.
Finally -- yes, I am aware that this site says the Cubs played the St. Louis Billikens today. (They beat the Billikens, too, according to the linescore.) Similar weird things are showing up on other SBN sites -- the Rockies played the Hamelin Pipers, for example, and the Mets are playing the Princeton Tigers. Trei and the team have been informed -- there appears to be an error in our sports info database.