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No Bobble: Cubs Take Two Of Three
by Phil Bencomo
Why can't the Cubs play like this every day? Solid starting pitching, lights-out bullpen work, an offense that actually scores runs... That is a guaranteed recipe for success.
I made the trip out to Wrigley for Sunday's game per an invitation from a friend with an extra ticket. The weather couldn't have been better: A cool breeze tempering the heat of the sun. A beautiful day in Chicago made all the better by a Cub victory.
We arrived at the park early, even before the gates had opened, and doodled around in line while waiting to get in. There were quite a few Brewer fans amid the waiting throng (more on that in a minute). And as if going to the game wasn't pleasure enough, what do I receive upon walking through Gate K?
An exclusive, limited-edition Michael Barrett bobblehead doll (in home uniform)! Don't you just love planned giveaways?
(As is quite obvious by the above photo, my bobblehead's head doesn't exactly bobble. I kept mine in its box until I arrived at home, instead checking out my friend's doll [which, by the end of the game, sported a pencil-drawn black eye and blacked out teeth]. So I was quite surprised to discover, once I'd pulled it out of the box and unwrapped the bubble-wrap, that my doll was, sadly, DOA, its neck snapped at the point where it connects with the head. Without that vital connection, the head cannot be suspended above the shoulders to bobble to and fro; it instead sits neatly on the shoulders, resulting in a doll that oddly resembles the photo caricatures found on the Scorecard page in Sports Illustrated.)
The game was a quick one; I kept looking at the scoreboard clock in astonishment as the innings flew by. Marquis, in particular, was really dealing – especially early – and the electric Marmol struck out four in closing out the last two innings.
The only thing that really marred the day was a pair of Brewer fans sitting about three rows in front of us – and even so, the comedy all but made up for it. They started out well enough, with pointed heckling of nearby Cub fans that actually had merit. But before long, the beer men made their way to our section, and their commentary devolved into a lot of yelling and, as the game slipped away, cursing. Before long, the crowd was pretty fed up with the drunk pair, and their brilliant idea to get back in its graces was to buy beers for random women. As the first recipient quickly turned down the offer, then cash, then a date offer, the Cub fans let them have it. "Say no to dairy!" and "Rejected!" cried the fans, as the two returned to their seats, disgraced.
And so the Cubs took two of three, making a bold statement to the Brewers and the league: Watch out. And with a very soft July schedule, as the venerable rynox pointed out in the comments yesterday, the Cubs have a great opportunity before them to be sitting pretty come August. Perhaps not first place, but certainly within striking distance of the playoffs.