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Random Cubs Recap: July 4, 1994

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Pitcher Randy Myers of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Pitcher Randy Myers of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Today's random recap is actually two recaps.

That's because it takes us back to a time when teams used to play holiday doubleheaders.

This one happened serendipitously. It wasn't scheduled, but back in the days when outside-the-NL-Central teams actually made more than one visit to Wrigley Field on a routine basis, the Rockies and Cubs had been rained out on April 30, so the makeup date was made for a day -- July 4 -- which was to have been the beginning of a three-game series between the two clubs.

Instead, it was a four-game set. And by the time July 4 was over, it must have felt to the players as if they had played all four games on that day. (The story you'll read about what a couple of friends of mine did that day is true, incidentally.)

Wrigley Field doubleheaders, many years ago, used to start at 12:30 p.m.; in the 1960s this meant that on occasion, the second games would be called for darkness before they had completed nine innings; in those days that was common practice. Eventually they moved up the starting time to noon and agreed to suspend games rather than call them.

Once lights were installed at Wrigley Field that all became moot; games could be finished no matter how long they went.

This afternoon and evening, the Cubs and Rockies might have wished that the lights weren't there. Oh, the first game went quickly enough, finishing in two hours and 36 minutes and with an exciting Cubs victory, 4-3, when they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth off the Rockies' Bruce Ruffin. Eddie Zambrano, who has become a pretty good bench player, led off the inning with a walk; Steve Buechele doubled him to third and then Rey Sanchez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

With this Cubs team, that usually spells DOOM. Bases loaded, nobody out? In what creative way would the Cubs fail to score?

This time, they managed to win. Mark Parent tied the game with a line drive sac fly, and after Shawon Dunston struck out, Derrick May singled in the game-winner.

If only they'd just stopped there; big storms came through the north side of Chicago during the second game, causing three separate rain delays. I mention "north side" because the White Sox were also home on Monday. Some friends of mine, hearing that the Sox game against the Brewers was actually going to be played -- it wasn't raining at Comiskey Park -- decided to leave the bleachers and hop on the L to see that game.

They saw that whole game, a 3-2 White Sox win over Milwaukee. It ended shortly after 9 p.m. -- at which time they came back to Wrigley, just in time to see Zambrano drop a fly ball in left field that gave the Rockies a pair of runs and a 4-2, 15-inning win over the Cubs that finished just before 10:30 p.m. I won't blame Randy Myers for this one -- he was already in his third inning of relief.

This season has been pretty much a lost cause since the 9-22 start, although the Cubs have managed -- somehow -- to play .500 ball since then; even the doubleheader split kept them over .500 since that awful start, at 25-24.

At least the Cubs don't have a day game Tuesday; it's a scheduled night game, with Kevin Foster scheduled to throw. Maybe it'll be a better day tomorrow.