In the running: Monday night special - Cubs @ Reds

Going outside out AL comfort zone for a little in-running madness. Having said that, this could be about the fifth or sixth time the writers at 'Boston Irish' have seen the Cubs, those little Cubbies, in '09. We think the programmer at the station that shows MLB in Ireland has a crush on the Cubbies.

  • Cold Heineken's in the fridge - check
  • Belly full of Mexican food - check

The night that's in it, dreary Dublin Monday evening, the Dubs having been flattened at Croke Park today by a pack of wild Ginger Bog Monkeys, the current state of affairs for the Mac, we will be interspersing each half inning with some cheesey mellow grooves which we hope will meet with your approval. If you are reading this on Facebook, stop being lazy and click the 'read original post' at the bottom, otherwise your missing out on all the bells and whistles. Productions values, that sort of lark.

Enough already with the chit chat, let's get it on.

Top of the first inning
Chicago 0 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; zero as yet however this is a bit facetious, as the game has yet to start.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; just the three so far, pre-game.

''The rejuvenated Cubs with first place in their sights...'' with this in mind, when does the sky fall?

The guy in the booth is trying to describe the Cubs as 're-born' since the All Star Break however he does drop in a little cautionary 'Although they did lose two heart heart breakers to Florida over the weekend.'

So I guess they are only a little rejuvenated. Reasonably rejuvenated. Ouch. We should not be knocking the Cubs so much, the Reds are 5-20 in their last 25 games. Ouch. Those numbers are Washingtonesque. Joey Votto looks like a bum. He looks like he turned up for the game seven minutes before first pitch and said ''Sorry guys I was out last night and a hooker stole my pants.'' He looks like unshaven trouble.

Ball one. If you are paid seventy billion dollars to play a game don't you think you could throw strike one to start a game? So far Aaron Harang, we are not impressed. Of course he will probably throw a one hit shut out now that we have said that.

Unlikely, however.

Ball four. Fukudome (Love this guy, love him) walks to start the game. FUKUDOME! clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. Harang is 6'7'' and throws in the mid to high nineties. That has got to look intimidating for the batters.

Ryan Theriot, the Cubs two hole batter, looks over-matched. He strikes out feebly. Yes, feebly. Decent sized crowd, although this is boosted by all those crazy Cubs fans. You have to love those Cubs fans.

Harang actually has some pretty nasty stuff, easy cheese, nice easy going delivery, the ball shoots out of his hand pretty easy. You have to wonder, how can you get beat as often as he is being beaten, lately, with stuff as good as Harang has? Harang must have heard us as he induces a double play ball of the dangerous Lee, half inning over.

Bottom of the first inning
Chicago 0 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; None, at all, nothing even close actually
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Number four is now open, I repeat, numero four is now open.

Randy Wells baby, starting for the Cubs, 26 year old rookie with a very tasty 2.84 ERA. Most important of all, he is on my Fantasy Baseball Keeper League team, 'The Tusken Raiders'. Nice pick up, right?

First batter grounds out, this smells like it might be a quick game. Unlike that Red Sox game last night. 18-10, what? Really? Good lord, that thing was long, a long, long game.

Oh, a big player is not playing, Scott Rolen, concussion, well, possible concussion. He got hit in the head by a pitch last night. Pow, right in the ear-flap.

Randy Wells strikes out the bum known as Joey Votto and that, ladies and Gents, is the first inning in the books. Nice and efficient, speedy first inning. I like it.

Top of the second inning
Chicago 0 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Nothing, zip, nada.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; We are currently enjoying number four.

Aramis Ramirez, back from a long stint on the DL. Is it in his contract that he has to spend half a season on the DL? Cal Ripken, he is not. Joey Votto the drunk catches a pop up off the bat of M*A*S*H Ramirez and that's one away.

We have some Red Sox chatter! Victor Martinez getting some serious props from the ESPN guys in the booth. Five base hits the night before will do that for you. Not sure how they segued into that, but, that's fine.

Milton Bradley basically sticks his leg out and gets hit by a pitch. Interesting they don't really ever call that rule in the Majors where the batter is supposed to make some sort of an effort to get out of the way of the pitch. Bradley actively stuck his leg out there.

Alfonso Soriano is batting an ugly .249. Wait, single, make that .250. Two on, one away, the Cubs making a little noise in the second. Kind of getting close to the pitchers spot however. NL baseball, crazy stuff.

They are talking about the Cardinals now and saying they are clearly 'improved' since the All Star Break. That's like saying Pizza is delicious. We know this. The Cards do look playoff bound however, some nice moves to an already decent team. If you don't enjoy watching Albert Pujols swing the lumber, you are a miserable bastard.

Bing bang boom - three run shot to get the Cubs going in the second, Mike Fontenot. Harang is a bum. I do not understand how you can have the stuff he has and pitch this poorly.

Long, long drive to deep right center. Nice swing by Fontenot. Good start for the little Cubbies. That woke the crowd up. Well, actually, the crowd just kind of, stirred.

Hill strikes out, now, I have to say, isn't it so funny that the guy after a home run more often than not strikes out? I guess the pitcher is infuriated and throws a little better, harder, more focused or whatever. With Harang this lasts one batter only, as the pitcher for the Cubs, Wells, slaps a nice double to center. Ugly inning for Harang.

We should note that Harang is chewing gum as he pitches. Maybe he is not a good multi tasker.

Having said that, he jams a 95mph heater in on Fukudome for strike three and the last out of the top of the second. Cubs with the quick 3-0 lead.

And now for the greatest band in the history of the entire universe.

Bottom of the second inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; We have one! Big, bad Victor Martinez.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Still enjoying numero four.

One away before I even get back from the little boys room. One could get to enjoy watching the crisp, quick game known as NL baseball. Let's face it, the AL can be a bit of a grind sometimes. Maybe you have to be a pitcher to say that, they do say Chicks dig the long ball, and lots of them, but give me a well played 1-0 game and I am in heaven. You can take your 18-10 slugfests and stick 'em where the sun don't shine.

Unbelievable, cheap-o single, then a ground ball, double play and the innings is over. A five pitch inning for Wells. 'The Tusken Raiders' are delighted.

Top of the third inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Still just the one.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; 'Crack', that's the sound of number five getting cracked open.

Johnny Gomes makes an out in right for the Reds, didn't he used play for the Ray? The DEVIL Rays? How retarded is it that MLB forced the Rays to take the 'Devil' part out of their name? There is political correctness and then there is right wing rubbish. That really annoys me, the Indians are allowed have that disgusting Chief Wahoo logo but the Rays can't have the word 'Devil' in their name? How on earth is that logical? Once again though, what more can you expect from a country where an Adult can not place a bet, a wager, legally however they can buy an automatic weapon. Logic, I dub thee gone.

This game is going to be over before it started. Half inning over already. Cubs went pretty quietly there.

Bottom of the third inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Still stuck on just the one.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Working on number five

First player I have never heard of before, Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan. He promptly grounds out. Makes sense.

Randy Wells is dealing. He is the anti Harang. He appears to have a purpose behind every single pitch he throws. Irony is he doesn't have half the 'stuff' that Harang has. Just, apparently, a better make up.

Wells strikes Harang out easily to end the third. We go to the fourth.

Top of the fourth inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Do ads count? No? Just the one so, still.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Half way through number five.

Mmmm cosy hoodie and tracksuit combination. You know the beer is kicking in when you start typing 'Mmmmm' as a descriptive 'word'. Stay tuned, this could get funny!

Harang kind of looks like he is throwing darts in a bar, maybe a cold pint in his left hand, chucking the darts lazily with his right. You just want to slap him in the face and say, 'Mr Harang, your 'stuff' is upper tier, however your effort is very poor, pull it together, man'

Of course as I say that, Milton Bradley strikes out on a nice enough pitch. One away. This could finish 3-0.

Aaron Harang is angry! Soriano strikes out feebly on a pitch in the dirt, the Cubs are helping Harang out with some really pathetic at bats. Fontenot flies out and the Cubs are gone in order. Three little Cubbies, one, two, three.

That half inning took about four seconds.

Bottom of the fourth inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Just the one, there isn't time for side stories with the speed of this game!
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Number five is almost done.

Red Sox @ Yankees for four next week. Assuming the Yankee fans have a 'steroid' chant ready for Big Pops, will A-Fraud be able to differentiate between them having a go at him and when they are having a pop at Papi?

We are going to sit this inning out, enjoy a cold beer and watch the game. If the piece doesn't get finished, well then you know I fell asleep on the sofa. Good times.

Top of the fifth inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; One.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; On to number six.

And we're back! This could be a quick half inning, catcher, pitcher and Fukudome due up. Still 3-0h by the way, the Reds left two runners on in the last. Harang actually has six strike outs so far, so I guess we should ease up on the chap a little. Make that seven. His 'stuff' is better than he is. If that makes sense.

Wells grounds out and there is two quick ones away.

Fukudome absolutely tears the hide off the ball with a line drive double to right to break up a stretch of nine in a row set down by Harang. Absolutely golfed that one. Can the Cubs keep the inning going? No, no, they can not. Ground out. Half inning over. The Cubs have left a few lads on base, you have to wonder might this come back to sting them in the posterior.

Bottom of the fifth inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Yeah just the one, still
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Nineteen, no, wait, six, sorry.

Hey, now! Fifth inning. Bottom of. Wells strikes Gomes of the Devil Rays out on an absolutely nasty slider down and away, Gomes had no chance what so ever. Beautiful pitch.

By the way it is windy, wet and raining outside, Summer in Dublin folks, you have to love it. Ramirez waves feebly at a ground ball and the Reds have a runner on. FookYOUdohMĂ© makes a nice out to make it two away however.

They are talking about the pretty disgraceful break up of the Pirates. They list nine prominent players that the Pirates traded away in the last two months. Pretty disgusting if you are a Pirates fan. Sorry, I mean, pretty disgusting for 'the' Pirate fan.

And that's it, inning over, faster than a speeding bullet.

Top of the sixth inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; We're up to two, with more Victor Martinez chatter.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Seventy five. I mean, six.

Isn't it funny how you get kind of, well, belligerent, when you have had a couple of adult beverages? They just flashed an image of A-Rod on the screen and I actually let an expletive out. For no real reason. Well, other than that he is a douche bag of course.

I might try one of these 'In running' pieces after two bottles of Jack Daniels some time, for the laugh basically, or, for science, either.

Harang appears to have figured something out, he is now officially 'dealing'. Lee gets called out on strikes, meaning that is now eight for Harang.

The blue is helping him out a little by calling borderline pitches strikes. I hate it, hate it, when umpires get lazy and just 'guess' pitches. It happens so often too, where a pitcher throws a few good pitches, so the 'blue' lazily decides, 'right, fuck it, I am just going to call everything a strike, anything close, strike!'

Ramirez strikes out and Harang is now upgraded from 'dealing' to 'cruising'. One thing to note, if the Cubs make the playoffs they will get absolutely drilled. Their lineup is absolutely punch and Judy. You can deal in absolutes after thirty seven beers. Fact of the matter is the Cubs lineup would not scare any decent front line starter. Any team making the playoffs will be showing off their top two or three horses and the Cubs lineup will produce a lot of outs against those arms.

Half inning, and rant, over.

Now, more from the greatest band in the history of the entire universe. Ever.

Bottom of the sixth inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Two.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Six

My boy Randy Wells is working on a three hitter. There is a lot to like about the way he works his trade. He goes straight after the first batter and two pitches later, one away in the bottom of the sixth.

First pitch strikes are so vital, so important. If you are pitching and you can get a good percentage of first pitch strikes in, then you are basically doing yourself a big favour. Two away, little dribbler in front of the plate and Hill, the Cubs catcher, picks it and throws the runner out.

Joey Votto! Still looks like he just woke up with a terrific hangover. Flies out to left, inning over. Goodness this is all happening so fast.

Top of the seventh inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Two.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Ten. Or six, I think.

This might be the final transmission, this seventh. It is getting pretty late here in wet and windy Dublin. Plus, it is a school night, we can't forget.

Soriano flies out to left, whatever, I mean, what is the point of Soriano? Does he really do anything consistently? The occasional jack aside, does he really do much offensively? Plus you have to hate the way he plays the field, catching fly balls with one hand, hot dogging around in the outfield like there is no tomorrow.

Harang picks up 'K' number ten with some serious assitence from the blue. They show the plate from above in a replay and the pitch was seven to eight inches off. Why not just start the batters on two strikes? Wells grounds out (interestingly the Cubs pitcher has not struck out yet tonight) and the half inning is finito, Kaput, done, over.

Bottom of the seventh inning
Chicago 3 Cincinnati 0
Red Sox references; Whatever.
Heineken's downed so far tonight; Glug, glug, glug.

Do not judge me for only lasting seven, by the way, it is late, late, late in Dublin, wet and windy Dublin. One away before I even finish typing that. Randy Wells, I like your game, we like your style! He just gets it, throws it, no fuss and no histrionics.

ESPN note that a team called the New York Yankees are 0-8 against some team called the Boston Red Sox in '09. Interesting!

Well has 18 of 23 first pitch strikes. That is just superb. That is the key to the game, the game of pitching that is. You can get the first pitch strike over 18 out of 23 times, well then, you will be King, my son. You will be King.

Wells has been upgraded from 'cruising' to 'rolling'.

Some random Red singles with two away. Wells walks a guy and there's suddenly two on with two away. See, I blame the Cubs offence for this little corner that Wells is now in. They had stacks of chances to score a few extra insurance runs however they snubbed their noses at all of them.

Wells does the job however, inducing a ground ball out to end the inning.

And there it is, that's it for this Chug Monkey. What did we learn In Running tonight? Randy Wells throws strikes, Joey Votto looks like a homeless guy and the Cubs lineup is pretty weak, thin or whatever derogatory term you want to apply to it. Don't even get me started on the Reds.

Goodnight, and, good luck.