Sunday, April 20, 2008

Game 18: Cubs 13 Pirates 6

When I talk about soul-sucking losses by the Pirates, this game is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about. The Cubs ran out to a 5-0 lead early in this one, but the Pirates managed to load the bases with one out in the top of the fifth and seemed poised to make it seem like they were going to do something in the game. Doug Mientkiewicz hit a one-run single and Nate McLouth drew a walk off of a clearly faltering Ryan Dempster, leaving the bases still loaded, two runs already in, and the heart of the order due up. Freddy Sanchez bounced into a run-scoring ground-out, Jason Bay walked, and Adam LaRoche did his best impression of a person that's never seen an off-speed pitch before and the Cubs managed to avoid a huge inning. Still. 5-3 is certainly a manageable deficit.

Then the bottom of the fifth happened. After two hits to start the inning, Mike Fontenot hit a grounder right at Adam LaRoche, who whiffed and watched the ball roll into the outfield. Then Reed Johnson hit a hooking liner down the third base line that Jose Bautista leaped wildly at trying to spear. He dropped the ball (that was almost certainly hooking foul anyways) for a "that's an error but not an error "single. Next up, Ryan Theriot laid down a bunt that Osoria just kind of fell over in front of, drawing Ryan Doumit and Adam LaRoche in to field the ball. That left home plate wide open with Fontenot streaking for home. For some reason, he turned back towards third and Doumit was able to throw him out. THEN (because Lord knows, we're not done), Derrek Lee hit an inning ending double play to Bautista, but Freddy's gimpy shoulder sent a ball into the dirt and LaRoche failed to scoop it. After two errors and two kind of errors, everyone in the universe knew what was coming next: a three-run bomb from Aramis Ramirez. Suddenly a 5-3 game was 10-3 and over. Ugh.