For some reason when I go to Cubs games, momentous things happen. In 2002, in Milwaukee, I saw Mark Bellhorn hit home runs from opposite sides of the plate in the same inning. In 2003, at Wrigley, I saw Sammy Sosa ejected from a game when cork was found in his bat. This time around, I saw Brad Hawpebreak Mark Prior's arm with a line drive that had the sound and effect of a gunshot. If this is what the Rockies have to do to affect a pennant race, I don't want to see them lead off SportsCenter again this season.
The game itself was nondescript, although a few good defensive plays brightened what was otherwise a dull blowout. Todd Wellemeyer came in after Prior's injury and locked the Colorado offense down, allowing nary a hit in 3 2/3 innings. Meanwhile Joe Kennedy got pounded, although only three of his seven runs were earned thanks to a Garrett Atkins error in the fourth. None of the Rockies' pitchers fared particularly well as Neifi Perez, Corey Patterson, and Derrek Lee homered, Lee connecting twice. Once again Kennedy couldn't avoid the big inning and the Rockies' offense was ill-equipped to bail him out.
Preston Wilson did homer, boosting his trade value. He was busy in center as well, as we could see from our vantage point in the upper bleachers. J.D. Closser was hitless but drew three walks, which I'm taking as a good sign. Todd Helton's struggles continued with an 0 for 4 day. Luis Gonzalez was the only Colorado hitter to have a multi-hit day, with two singles in five at-bats. Clint Barmes took the day off. Eddy Garabito pinch-hit for his major league debut.
Even if the bleacher fans are occasionally abusive to park patrons in out-of-town colors, Wrigley Field is the best place to see baseball games in the world. It's a credit to the Cubs' fans that they have 38,000 people every home game, even weekday day contests. Today was Cubs' radio announcer Pat Hughes' 50th, so I joined in singing "Happy Birthday" for him. Northern Illinois' football coach sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch. I yelled "Rockies" as loud as I could at the appropriate time, but it didn't seem to much help.