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Oh Goodness! I just got finished watching the Cubs squeak out a 2-1 win in Los Angeles... and what a pitcher's duel it was. Carlos Zambrano pitched eight innings, allowed only one hit (a bloop double that Jason Dubois possibly could have caught) and one run. Although it took ten innings for the Cubs to score two, they picked up their 26th victory of the season.
So now, a few short observations before I call it a night.
Jason Dubois frustrated me tonight. He took some weird lines to a few balls, including, I think, Cezar Izturis' hit that fell in for the Dodgers in the third.
Izturis hit would have been meaningless had Hee Seop Choi not reached base on a dropped-third strike right before him.
The Cubs got jobbed on a few calls by the umpires tonight. In the fifth, Carlos Zambrano fouled a ball off his foot, but the umpires called it a fair ball. When Dusty Baker asked for an explanation, the umpire pointed to his ear... but didn't check the ball for blue shoe polish.
Later, in the seventh, Corey Patterson was ruled out on a stolen base attempt because of batter interference. On the 2-2 count, Patterson was stealing as Dubois struck out swinging. When the Dodgers' catcher Mike Rose double clutched, he fell into Dubois and was awarded an interference call... but I didn't think Dubois was out of place or that the catcher could have thrown out the runner after double clutching.
Of course, Dodger fans might point to some questionable strike calls against Jeff Kent in the seventh and ninth innings. In the seventh, Zambrano struck out Kent on a pitch that I initially thought was a ball (the replay showed it was a strike.) After an argument, Kent went back to the dugout. In the ninth, Kent was called out again on strikes by home plate umpire Ed Rapuano. This time, the ball was a good foot out of the strike zone. I'm guessing Kent earned himself that strikeout with whatever he said in the seventh.
I mentioned the Jason Dubois batter interference play. When Dusty came out to argue, he did so in his typical fashion of getting right up into the umpire's "personal space," but then not looking at him? I'd love to hear thoughts on why Baker doesn't look at an umpire when he starts talking about their Mommas.
Finally, I want to point you over to Goat Riders where I have posted a "You be the Manager" Scenario from today's game.
Update 1:08 P.M.
I also forgot to mention a few things. Neifi! Absolutely wonderful glovework tonight... and a game winning hit on the road.
In the ninth, I would have liked to see Derrek Lee attempt to steal second base, rather than having Jeromy Burnitz attempt to sacrifice bunt. I thought that decision cost the Cubs a run... which probably also cost Zambrano a win.
Wait... is that Mike Rose going out to the mound AGAIN to get the signs straight?
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