[Andy has punted the Day 6 posting to me – Dave]
Pre-Game: An early morning is one thing but an early morning and a late night is brutal. We were on the road after a quick graze of the continental breakfast. (Our first of the trip) RED BULL !! I don’t know if gives me wings but it was the only reason I was awake enough to drive. After staying up after arriving in Indy to figure out how to take the train to Wrigley Field we decided mid trip to drive all the way since we were making excellent time. After a stop for new directions, we made it to Chicago in record time and promptly sat in slow moving traffic. UGH I hate traffic. Fortunately it was not as bad as on the way to Milwaukee and we made it to the Devry parking lot in plenty of time. The shuttle that the Cubs organization runs from there is great and dropped us off right at the stadium. It is obvious that Wrigley Field has been around awhile because there is NO parking around it like most newer built/planned parks.
The Field and the Game:
Wrigley Field is not very aestically pleasing form the outside and looks old. That is part of its mystic. It was crazy to see the famous red sign in person. When we entered we immediately walked around taking pictures as batting practice finished up. Wrigley is a nice field and it truly seems to transport you back in time with the old school scoreboard and lack of HD screen a la Target Field. It is easy to see why everyone loves Wrigley and it is defineately cool to at a field that isn’t a copy of another stadium and has its own personality. We went and found our seats soon after and had a great view directly behind homeplate from section 222. Though Andy had a slight issue seeing rightfield with the support beam in front of him.
It was great to finally be at a Pirates game. Very few chants of lets go Bucs but they did stop them from getting off to a fast start in the first plating three runs. Two walks set the plate for McCutchen’s rbi single and Church doubled in the other two. Maholm pitched well through the first two innings but I was not very confident it would last as every out seemed to be a rocket shot off the Cubs bats. The dam did break in the bottom of the third after a lead off double by Dempster (so much for the pitcher being an easy out) and a single by Theriot (and a fly out that moved Theriot to Second), Ramirez doubled in two runs. The inning could have been a lot worse but Ramirez was sent home on Soto’s single to leftfield and he was out at home by a country mile. It wasn’t even a tough play for Church to make. Doumit had time to take three steps up the line as A-ram was running in. After the third things moved along quickly with both teams threatening but neither one able to capitalize. I was surprised to see more then a handful of Pirates fans in the house. During the top of the ninth Clement drilled a Home run to leftfield, the crowd was silent except for his family going nuts behind Home plate it was cool to see. In the bottom half of the inning Dotel finished out the game but not without making it interesting giving up a run scoring triple to Fukudome. With Fukudome on third he buckled down and struck out both Theriot and Byrd. It definitely kept the crowd on its toes and was by far the best finish to a game we have seen all week. It was also the largest crowd we have seen at 41,336 people, barely edging out the crowd at Target Field.
Only two things to mention after game. On the shuttle ride back to the parking lot the bus driver pulled over and through people off the bus for leaning out the window and pulling on the stop request buzzer. He was jacked!! I couldn’t believe to see people so disrespectful. The second thing … Chicago traffic sucks.