Tagged: Greg Maddux

Just when things are starting to look up…

The Cubs were in action today looking to keep their perfect May going.  Things are starting to look better.  Players are getting back into the fold after injuries.  Bats are heating up.  Power is coming from unlikely places.  The bullpen is actually holding onto late inning leads.  They were actually looking to win a four game series against a first place team.

Along with being a Cubs fans comes a sense of cautious optimism.  You never really want to get too high, because you know the other shoe will most certainly fall.  Being a Cubs fan is an emotional roller coaster.  Today was a perfect example of this.
Today began on a high note with the retiring of number 31 in honor of Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux.  
Tribune photo
by Scott Strazzante / May 3, 2009 

Congratulations to both Fergie and Mad Dog.  This honor couldn’t happen to two classier men.  What a great day it turned out to be for such an event!  Maddux’s flag is on the right field foul pole and Fergie’s is on the left field foul pole.

Fast forward to the fifth inning with the Cubs and Marlins tied at two.  Zambrano leads off and lays down a bunt.  He caught the defense off guard and he legged out a hit.  What a great weapon Zambrano is!  The crowd is going crazy.  


Strazzante, Chicago Tribune / May 3, 2009 

But wait.  Is that Zambrano limping?  Is that the trainer coming out of the Cubs dugout to go talk to the ace pitcher? 


Scott Strazzante,
Chicago Tribune / May 3, 2009

Apparantly, Zambrano strained a hamstring.  Initially, Zambrano wanted to remain in the game.  I think Piniella wanted to pull him out and err on the side of caution.  When Piniella went back in the dugout, Big Z signaled that he needed to come out.  Oh, boy.  See, the Cubs are finally getting their walking wounded back, bats are heating up, Zambrano legs out a bunt hit, and what happens?  We can’t get too high because our ace pitcher is probably headed to the DL.  See how it works?  And who did Lou have pinch run for Big Z?  Let’s see, who’s on the bench?  Joey Gathright.  Nah, too speedy.  How about Rich Harden?  Exactly.  Lou put in Rich Harden to pinch run.  Harden, a pitcher who the Cubs should thank their lucky stars isn’t already on the DL this year.  Let’s risk him getting hurt on the base baths.  Lose two starters in the same inning to base running injuries.  Yeah, our bench isn’t weak, right?  The inning continued with the Cubs loading the bases for Derrek Lee.

Strazzante, Chicago Tribune / May 3, 2009 

Derrek’s starting to heat up!  Lee smoked a grand slam to deep center giving the Cubs a 6-2 lead.  All was right with the world!

Until Carlos Marmol came in with the score 6-3 to drop the proverbial other shoe.  First batter he faces launches a homer to make it 6-4.  Then he walks the next batter.  Something isn’t right with Marmol.  Hopefully it’s only rust he needs to work out.  Well, he righted the ship and got out of the eighth inning.  


Strazzante, Chicago Tribune / May 3, 2009 

Gregg pitched the ninth to preserve a 6-4 Cubs win.  So many ups and downs.  One thing for sure, the Cubs are starting to play better.  They’re starting to hit.  The bullpen looked better in the last three games against Florida.  We’re ready for the Giants!

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Power Surge & Honoring Number 31

He did it again!  In the bottom of the first today against the Marlins, Ryan Theriot launched a two run homer.  It was Theriot’s second homer in as many days.  Where did this come from?!

                                   Paul Beaty,
Associated Press / May 2, 2009  

It’s great to see the power from Theriot, an unlikely source.

Derrek Lee also launched a monster home run onto Waveland Avenue.  The bats are starting to heat up!

Ted Lilly pitched one heck of a ball game today, going eight innings and only allowing a solo home run.

     Paul Beaty,
Associated Press / May 2, 2009  

Tomorrow, the Cubs will honor Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux by retiring the number 31 each of them wore.  They are both deserving of the honor.  As I said before, I do wish that the Cubs would have retired Jenkins number before Maddux came up so that each of these pitchers could have had their own special day.  I won’t let that detract from what will be a very special day in Cubs history.  

     Tribune photo
by Ed Wagner / February 16, 2004  

I have some fond memories of Fergie Jenkins.  I actually got his autograph twice.  The first time was at my first Cubs game on July 1st, 1982.  My father took a couple of my friends and I to the game and we got Fergie’s autograph on a scorecard before the game.  This was when stadiums were more lax about fans going down near the field.  Nowadays they’d probably tell you to sit down.  I’ve framed that scorecard not only for Fergie Jenkins and Jay Johnstone’s autographs that are on it, but also for it being my first ever Cubs game.  The second time I got Fergie’s autograph was when my family went down to Wrigleyville before the first night game in 1988.  We went to get a “First Night Game” t-shirt and who did we see walking into the same souvenir shop across from Wrigley?  Feguson Jenkins.  My father was actually the one that recognized him first.  After he signed an autograph for us, the clerks in the store asked who that was.  My father told them Fergie Jenkins.  Of course, we had to hear about the fact that Cub fans don’t even know who their players are and that they don’t know anything about baseball.  Blah, blah, blah.  Cardinal fan.    Fergie Jenkins is a great guy so I’d like to congratulate him on the honor, as well as congratulate Greg Maddux.   

archive photo / September 8, 2008  

If you go to http://www.chicagotribune.com, you can read Dave Van Dyck’s interesting article entitled “31 Things About Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux.”  It’s a good read.

Congratulations to Kyle Busch on winning the race at Richmond on his 24th birthday no less.  Happy birthday!


I also have to congratulate the Blackhawks who came back to defeat Vancouver in Game 2 of their second round series.  Do I dare start thinking they have a chance here?


Darryl Dyck,
Associated Press / May 2, 2009  

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