The Gist: Game #131

Cubs Win, Cubs Win 12-3

My God, it has to suck to be a Pirates fan. I have to confess (please don't tell anyone), I'm a bit of a closet Pirate fan. Odd because I absolutely despised those Pirate teams in the 80's that featured skinny Bonds, Bonilla, Van Slyke, and Doug Drabek. Sure, I had a soft spot for Spanky LaValliere, who looked creepily similar to our own Hector Villanueva, but who didn't? The Pirates version 2008 are clearly no Leyland-led team of the 80's. It surely begs the question: Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?

Seriously though, how bad would it be to have the Pirates as your favorite team? You have an extremely storied club, one of the best and most picturesque ballparks in the MLB, you have classic and ├╝ber cool jerseys, and you had arguably one of the 5 most important ballplayers ever in Roberto Clemente (fabulous biography too), yet you painfully struggle through each year with a bad team, an inept front offense, and an empty stadium. It doesn't make sense. With all of their recent futility, I'd love to say, "Hang in there, Pirate Fan. Sure this year's lean, but look at how teams like the Cubs and Devil Rays have gone from laughable to legitimate." Only for Pirate Fan, it must be like a sick Groundhog Day Dream. The same bad team over and over and over...

Oh, yeah...the game. You gotta love a box score with so many crooked numbers. A dominating game in every way for the Cubs. Ted Lilly went seven strong innings, really only making one mistake to Adam LaRoche, and even adding an RBI at the plate. Wow, Ted Lilly has quietly put together a solid year once again and has been an unsung rock in the rotation from June on. The offense fired on all cylinders with Lee, Fukudome (career high 4 RBI), Soriano, and Edmonds all banging out 3 hits a piece. Obviously a horrible day for the Bucs pitching staff, with starter Jeff Karstens allowing 5 ER and reliever Jason Davis getting pounded for 5 ER as well, all the while flashing his Are-You-Seriously-Not-Taking-Me-Out? face to the dugout. Even poor umpire, Jeff Nelson was in pain, and not from calling such a long, lopsided game. He took a nasty A-Ram foul ball off his neck meat.

Holy Schnikeys, we're friggin' 31 games over .500. And we have a good chance to put some more distance on the NL Central with us facing Ian Snell and Zach Duke in the next two games. They're a combined 9-22 this year.

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