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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps


Sox win, Cubs Choke!

"Oh, nooooo!"

(July 6, 2000)

Woo-hoo!  Did anyone hear about the time back in '00 when the Sox beat the Cubs at Wrigley on a throw by Brant Brown's that was so high it nearly drew rain?  As Ron Santo might say, "Oh, noooooo!"  The Sox win another in championship fashion and the Cubs lose yet again like the pathetic losers they are, 4-2 in twelve innings.  

The game was tied at 2-2 after nine innings.  The Flubs Damon Buford managed to tag Mike Sirotka with a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead.  Could the Cubs make the lead hold up?  Ha!  Sirotka was brilliant the remainder of his six innings work, allowing just three more Cubs hits, and left the game for a pinch hitter in the seventh.

Ah, National League baseball where quality starts are ruined and every ninth at-bat brings a disruption to the flow of the game.  "Should I bunt or should I pinch hit?"  Yeah, sure -- like any manager with a brain in his head ever has a real choice.  Of course the "brain" qualification would count out ex-Cubs manager Don Zimmer who always threw out the book on conventional baseball strategy -- probably because he couldn't read it.

With homeplate umpire Marty Foster calling a strike zone that varied by as much a foot from inning to inning, the Fight Sox were left to guess what was and wasn't a strike.  Still they managed to scratch out a run in the fifth when Ray Durham doubled home Carlos Lee who had doubled himself.  Sirotka was lifted for pinch hitter Paul Konerko who singled home Carlos Lee to tie the game.  

The Sox bullpen went to work and shutdown the Cubs allowing just three hits the remaining six innings.  With them there was no way the Sox could lose this game; they were the heroes:  Bill Simas (1-2/3rd innings, 0 hits), Kelly Wunsch (1/3rd inning, 0 hits), Keith Foulke (1 inning, 0 hits), Bob Howry (1 inning, 0 hits), Sean Lowe (1-2/3rd innings, 2 hits), and Jesus Pena (1/3rd inning, 0 hits).  

Sammy Sosa left Wrigley's drunks groaning and tiny tots crying after Keith Foulke's ninth inning strikeout.   The winning run was at third base, but you know Sam-ME only had  visions of another homerun like the blind squirrel luck he had at Comiskey last month.  Not this time, and Sox fans stood and cheered!  

Flubbie fans had one last thrill in the eleventh when Ricky Gutierrez hit a dribbler to Herbert Perry leaving him sprawling in the infield with the winning run coming home from third base.  Perry only had enough time to right himself to his knees, pause to aim, and fire a strike to first base beating the runner and ending the inning.  Only the most ignorant of Cubs fans didn't know what was coming next!

Todd Van Poppel came in to pitch the twelfth having relieved Tim Worrell and Kerry Wood who each were smart enough to avoid pitching anything close to the plate and take their chances that Marty Foster might call it a strike.  Even Jaime Navarro would look like Cy Young if Foster were calling the balls and strikes.  Ray Durham singled to center and Jose Valentin sacrificed him to second.  

Then came the moment of truth, and wouldn't you know Brant Brown was at center stage.  Frank Thomas was the next batter and drove a frozen rope into left field to the hapless leftfielder famous for choking on a pop fly two years ago in Milwaukee, nearly costing the Cubs a post-season berth.  The ball reached Brown so quickly, a gimpy Ray Durham might not reach home safely.  A good throw gets him and that was the problem -- Brant Brown knew it.   He fielded it cleanly and -- CHOKE! -- uncorked a throw so high and so far, you half-thought he was trying to reach homeplate at Comiskey eight miles south.  Not only was it over catcher Joe Girardi's head, it was over Van Poppel's head too, backing up the play.  It bounced off the far wall and allowed Thomas to reach second base wondering how many extra bases Wrigley's ground rules would have given him if Brown's throw had reached the upper deck.  "Oh, nooooooo!"

Van Poppel came unglued and Herbert Perry left no doubt how this one would end stroking a double to left, scoring Thomas.   4-2 Sox and all that was left was for Chip Caray to start his daily post mortem.

Mark Grace singled off Sean Lowe to start the desperation twelfth inning for the Flubs and you knew he would be shortening his lead after last month's embarrassing pick off at Comiskey.  Lowe didn't need it this time, because Sammy Sosa hit a shot down the first base line which our first basemen, Frank Thomas fielded like a champ, stepping on first for an unassisted double play.  "Oh, nooooo!"   Yeah, let's leave Frank Thomas off the all-star team because he's not a true first basemen.  Who but an ignorant Cubs fan would honestly think Sammy Sosa is a true rightfielder?

A great Sox victory filled with plenty more great memories to share with all your Cubs fan friends all winter long.  Oh, nooooo?   Oh, Yeah!!!


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