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by alex ciepley
I'm thigh-deep in last-minute planning for my Maine roadtrip. Fore Street, Street & Company, Natasha's... I've never spent time in Portland, so how am I to know which is the best restaurant to choose for Sunday dinner? So many choices, so few days, so little moulah. You can probably guess what kind of traveller I am; obsessive in the planning, paralyzed in the execution.
Last night's game (of course) wasn't on my Extra Innings package, so I just casually had MLB's Gameday up in the background while figuring out what to do on a Friday night in New Harbor. Gameday has its flaws (The balls and strikes are manually put in to reflect the umpire's calls, rather than where the ball actually crossed the plate. Of course, I guess it would be problematic if baseball's official website were disagreeing with the umps on pitch location.), but I certainly think it is the best of the real-time game trackers out there. I long ago made the switch from ESPN and CBS's products, and am finding myself using ESPN.com and it's horrifying video and Java toys less and less with each passing month.
It looked like vintage Maddux on my computer screen. Not a lot of pitches, not a lot of strikeouts, no walks, and no runs. Maddux has been utterly reliable in the past couple months, and his season ERA of 3.70 is as high as it is primarily due to a wretched April.
As I type this, the Cubs are about to step up against the Expos' stopper, Livan Hernandez. I'd give even odds on Livan pitching a complete game, given his penchant for going all nine and the Cubs' for swinging at the first pitch. John Kruk went on and on about tonight's game was a must win for the Cubs, the biggest threat to Chicago's health since Mrs. O'Leary's cow stepped foot in the city. Sure, it would be better to win than lose, but it isn't the end of all things if they don't. Then again, it was John Kruk, so I probably should have been paying more attention to my travel notes and less to Baseball Tonight while he was offering his opinions.