It was a wild and weird weekend at Wrigley, as the hated Cardinals visited the North Side to take on the Cubs. All three games featured entertainment for fans of both teams, with the boys in blue showcasing a new way to lose in the first game of the series.
Ted Lilly took the mound for the Cubs Friday and pitched a gem up until the Cardinals’ Preston Wilson connected for a two-run homer in what turn into a weird seventh inning in the bottom frame for the Cubs. With runners on first and second and no outs, Cubs catcher Henry Blanco popped up a bunt to St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
Molina got tangled up with Blanco while making the catch. The Cards infield then threw haphazardly to each other, tagging bases and runners alike, claiming a triple play. It wasn’t, thanks to the umpires ruling Blanco out for interference. It didn’t matter anyway, since the Cubs would predictably strand runners behind hilariously ugly strikeouts from Ronny Cedeno and Daryle Ward.
Cedeno would press Cubs fans’ ire in the ninth. Running with the 3-2 pitch to Jacque Jones, Cedeno drew a throw from Molina despite Jones surprisingly drawing a walk. The umpires again huddled and a sober-looking Tony La Russa came out from the dugout bar to push his agenda. The umps ruled Cedeno out number two of the inning and bleacher fans littered the field with a wide array of trash, which the umps didn’t have cleaned up, instead somehow knowing Matt Murton would come out hacking on the first and pop up to short. That was exactly what Murton did, recording the third out and first loss of the series for the North Siders 2-1.
After the game, fans around Wrigley vented their frustration with the Cubs inability to overcome a simple one-run deficit.
“They might as well just walk off the field after they lose the lead, even if it’s the second inning,” Cubs fan Adam Trudo said. “I know I’m going to leave the ballpark when they do that in the future. At least I’ll beat the crowds that way.”
Saturday’s game featured ex-Cardinal Jason Marquis on the hill, who was dominant as a pitcher and batter. Marquis continued to baffle fans by being un-Marquis like, overpowered his former team and would combine to shut the Cardinals down with the un-Ohman like Will Ohman to win the game 6-0.
The un-Cub trend also struck the normally anemic Ronny Cedeno, who had a double, home run and two RBI. Michael Barrett added a three-run shot off of Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes.
Sunday’s game proved to be more Cub-like in which Wade Miller took a chapter from Glendon Rusch’s days with the team, giving up seven runs and being replaced with an even less effective bullpen.
The score would fluctuate like an Ohman curveball throughout the game with the help of ineffective starting pitching on both ends and the wind blowing out at 18 mph. Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez had home runs for the Cubs. The Cards countered with dingers from Jim Edmonds, Chris Duncan, Scott Rolen, and the final game-winning three-run shot by Albert Pujols in the 10th off closer Ryan Dempster. The Cubs lost the final game and the series 12-9.
Number of the weekend: 29,418
Drunk Cubs fans ironically heckling Tony LaRussa over his DUI.