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This afternoon, the Cubs defeated the Red Sox for the second consecutive. As it turns out, most of the country was unable to watch the game because Fox decided that fans elsewhere were more interested in the Cardinals/Yankees or A's/Braves.
Fortunately for me, the Indianapolis affiliate aired the Cubs game and I was treated to a rollercoaster victory. In the first inning, Carlos Zambrano allowed a three run homer to Trot Nixon. In the second inning, Zambrano allowed a solo shot to Bill Mueller.
But then, in the bottom of the second, the Cubs offense started working its magic. Jeromy Burnitz, Aramis Ramirez, Todd Walker, Todd Hollandsworth, and Henry Blanco all singled in succession to score two runs and load the bases. Unfortunately, Zambrano grounded into a double play, scoring Walker. However, a quick Neifi Perez ground ball finished the inning.
In the fourth, Todd Walker tripled with one out and then scored on Todd Hollandsworth's ground out. This tied the game at 4. In the sixth, Walker reached on a single and scored two batters later on a Henry Blanco sac fly.
In the eighth, Jeromy Burnitz singled to begin the inning and then scored on an Aramis Ramirez double. Ramirez then scored when Todd Hollandsworth singled him in.
Going into the top of the ninth, the Cubs had a 7-4 lead and Ryan Dempster came in to get the save. He was shaky... very shaky. He gave up doubles to John Olerud and Manny Ramirez, a single to Edgar Renteria, and threw in a wild pitch for good measure. Although he allowed two runs and had Manny Ramirez standing on second, Dempster got the save when he induced a Trot Nixon pop-up.
The game was a nail-biter and included Zambrano leaving the game after five innings. He hurt himself trying to break up a double play by sliding hard into second. However, according to Cubs.com, he has had his foot examined and will not miss his next start.
In other news, also on Cubs.com, Kerry Wood will be pitching in Iowa on Monday, and Mark Prior has graduated from the towel drill to actually throwing off a mound.
So, as I wrote in an email to a Cardinals blogger today:
"I am looking forward to the second half, because this team is starting to get me excited. I think we're better than we thought!"
Chicago Cubs Media Guide Trivia Nugget of the Day:
Page 260: Frank M. 'Wildfire' Schulte holds many of the Cubs all-time postseason records, including:
Most Games: 21 (tied with 4 others)
Most Games Started: 21 (tied with 3 others)
Most At-Bats: 81
Most Hits: 26
Most Total Bases: 34
Most Singles: 19
Most Doubles: 6 (tied with Jimmy Sheckard)
Most Extra Base Hits: 7 (tied with Ryne Sandberg)
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