Northside For Life

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Game Report: Pirates vs. Cubs 4/24/05

Today (actually this was a couple of weeks ago but I'm just now getting around to writing about it) is my first game of the season at Wrigley. It's also my 27th birthday (hooray for me!). Tickets to the bleachers was my birthday gift to myself. Can't think of a better way to spend a birthday, can you?

I usually don't like going to Wrigley in April, with the exception of Opening Day, because the weather just plain sucks most of the time. On this day the temps were in the low-'50's and it was sunny and clear out. It was a major improvement over the day before where the temps were in the '30's with below freezing windchills and flurries blowing about. I left home around 11 in the morning and drove into the city, arriving in Wrigleyville around 12:30 (yeah I live pretty far). I drove around looking for a parking space before finding an open slot on Clark just north of Irving Park Rd. Walked the few blocks to the park and got in close to 1:00. Of course by that time most of the bleachers are filled so I ended up having to sit way up in the centerfield bleachers right under the scoreboard. No biggie though, as the view was still great. I got the game as well as the city skyline to my left. Pretty cool.

The game itself was pretty good. Kerry Wood was on the mound and gave up two runs early, but then settled down and was dominant. Until about the 5th inning. In the bottom of the 5th, he comes up to bat and pops out. At the top of the 6th, he's gone, inexplicably replaced by Glendon Rusch. Um, what? Where the hell is Woody? Of course I'm sitting there worried thinking he injured himself again. No one else around me seems to care and are busy talking about corporate finances (the too-well-dressed-for-a-ballgame grey hairs in front of me) or what Sheila said to Darcy about Rob at the bar last night (the chatty bitches behind me that talked about everything except the damned game going on in front of them). Of course it turned out to be that pesky bursitits again. Which later turned out to be Woody's strained shoulder after he went only 3 innings his next start. *Sigh*.

The offense was provided by the long ball. First a Neifi solo shot followed later in the inning by a monster 3-run homer by Burnitz. That was it until the 9th when Patterson scored to make it 5-2. Chad Fox came in and closed out the Pirates fairly easily, only to come back the next night and blow out his elbow.

Still, the Cubs won. A day in the sun, with ones you love, and a Cubs win? That's the best birthday present of all.

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