The Gist: A Bad Day to be a Closer

March 31, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Opening Day. Mr. Cub (finally) had his statue erected, the weather was drab and depressing, but spirits were high. After a 40 minute delay to start the game, the pitchers came out firing, matching one another pitch for pitch. Zambrano was nasty and had a perfect game going for 1/3 of an inning. Ben Sheets was equally impressive, going 6-1/3 innings, striking out 7 and yielding only two hits. Only Mr. Fukkake was able to have any success, going 2 for 2 and a walk against Sheets. Chaz Z went 6-2/3, striking out 5 before leaving with an injury after picking off Rickie Weeks. It looked to be cramping in his forearm. No word on internet porn usage in the clubhouse.

Aside from a few odd hits, nary a run was scored through the first 8 innings. With Wood making his debut as The Closer in a nil-nil game, he started off rather dubiously, plunking Rickie Weeks. After a sacrifice moving Weeks to second and a free pass issue to Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun singled home Weeks to give the Brewers the lead. Two more insurance runs followed to give The Brew Crew a 3-0 lead. Things looked bleak.

Derek Lee led off the bottom of the 9th with a single, and was moved to second on a Ramierez walk, courtesy of Brewer closer, Eric Gagne. (Gagne, who Ron Santo commented "is overweight, in my opinion" and "wouldn't look good in tights". Thanks, Ronnie!) That brought up the only Cub who'd shown any promise. The Asian Babe Ruth didn't disappoint. Fukkake slammed a fastball over the wall in right center to tie the game, to which Santo remarked with a 'word' that sounded like a cross between a lion's roar, a rebel yell, and a cough. With no outs and the score tied, the Cubs got nothing else going in the inning, nor the rest of the game. Newly christened Cub-killer Tony Gwynn sacrificed home Craig Counsel, and the Brewers took the game 4-3 in ten innings. At this rate, the Cubs may not win a game this year.

The teams are off tomorrow, and return Wednesday with Ted Lilly squaring off against Jeff Suppan.