Last night I got an email asking if I wanted to go to the Cubs game. Free tickets close to the action next to first base. I had to say yes. We all know that the Cubs are not my favorite team, but watching a game at Wrigley Field is always fun. More Cubs fans should try it. We got a late start out of town, and would not have seen the first pitch, but a carefully planned rain delay helped us see everything. The last time I saw Chris Young and Derrek Lee on the same field was in 2007 when they went toe to toe. They swung an awful lot, and almost connected on a few. One of the first things that I noticed was the fact that the wind was just howling straight out of the park. It reminded me of the Mother’s Day game in 2003 that allowed us to see 9 home runs in 4 1/2 innings before the game was called. In fact that was on 5/11, and of course yesterday was 5/13 so the dates were close. During the initial rain delay some bright one in the Cubs organization decided to send all the vendors home for the night. The only ones to stay were the cotton candy boys. I don’t drink so this really did not bother me. In fact it was kind of nice not having a beer man sit in front of you for half an inning while waiting for someone get a loan to buy $7 beers. A lot of people were not happy about the vendor situation though. In fact my uncle spent an entire inning in line for a beer. Not the way that you want to spend the ball game. Every time that he left his seat though, the Cubs would hit a dinger. Maybe he is the anti-Bartman. I would guess that the person who made that call to send the money makers home probably heard about the call a few times today. If the game had been called it would have made great business sense though.
In the first inning Adrian Gonzalez got things going by hitting a two run homer to put the Padres up. Before the game I was talking about this guy, and how he is just on fire. He kept his hot streak going last night hitting two dingers. A hit by him instead of a groundout in the 7th would have changed the game completely. He takes a big cut at the ball, and when he makes contact, it really goes. Off the bat I started thinking how this game could be special. Home runs could be plenty tonight. After the first inning though Ted Lilly really seemed to settle down. He only gave up three runs while striking out 7.
The Cubs got things going for themselves in a hurry. Alfonso Soriano hit Chris Young’s first pitch of the game onto Waveland Avenue. It was his 53rd career leadoff home run. That moved him into second place all time along with Craig Biggio. Rickey Henderson is in first with 81 all time lead off home runs. Just ask Joe Morgan how he is responsible for that. Ryan Theriot then came up and hit Young’s second pitch of the game out of the park. Theriot would also add another home run in the 4th inning of the game. The Cubs hit four home runs, but they also got some timely hits. Milton Bradley took a huge cut on the first pitch that he saw in the 3rd inning, then laid down a great bunt on the second pitch. I heard people asking why a slugger would do that, but when Geovanny Soto hit his first home run of the season a couple batters later the question was answered. Get on base and let your teammates drive you in. The White Sox could learn from this example.
We really lucked out on our seat location. We were protected by the upper deck and the wind from getting wet until we had to leave the ballpark. As you can see in the picture to the right it really was coming down at times. In the top of the 6th they started to put the tarp on the field, but it let up as soon as they started. The game would have been back on quicker, but they did not roll the tarp up right, and had to do it again. These are the hangups that you get going to Minor League games though. The game was called in the 8th inning, but I had a blast. The weather the first couple of innings was absolutely georgeous. It made me really want summer to come so that I can enjoy some night baseball without freezing. Everything looks so much better under the lights.
This makes the 6th professional stadium that I have been to so far this year. The second Major League stadium. Where will the next one be?