cease-fire in uganda...
"I'm such a good person."
(Please realize the above is in jest and I'm overjoyed for the people involved.)
Arena: Oh yeah. They're going to win the next World Cup, from what I'm told. So I wish them the best. Because we did so poorly over the last eight years, I'm sure they're going to win the next World Cup. ...Do you think I want to show them something? What am I going to show them? I've probably showed them the finest eight years of the national team they're going to see for a long time. I don't need to prove anything to them."
The Long Islander has thankfully left the national team and is coaching in New York now. Aren't they just so lucky to have him?
Borkowski's pitching, now, against Ronny Cedeno. He's fast, but no power. Flies out. Michael Barrett, who's a total jackass by the way, grounds out. And Matt Murton, whose 9th-inning homer sent this thing to extras in the first place... flyout. Big Dave holds it down.
Adam Everett tries to get it going for Houston. Strikes out after a long battle. Ausmus - double! Lane... strikeout. Naturally. Taveras. Deep flyout.
To the 14th. This is turning into LDS Game 4.
Pierre. Lines out. Izturis singles. Carlos Zambrano, yesterday's starting pitcher, pinch-hits for Guzman. That means the Cubs are out of relievers and Zambrano will presumably be staying in the game.
Ah, my mistake. Guzman was a starter - so the Cubs had one reliever left, Ryan Dempster, who comes in now. Burke up, 2-2 today. Now 3-3 with a single to left here, bringing up Ensberg.
HE FLIES OUT AND FAILS TO ADVANCE THE RUNNER.
He's going to need to confess to the Archbishop of Denver about that.
Berkman. With Borkowski on deck and the bench empty - and the Cubs are pitching to Berkman. Ha ha!
He strikes out - Burke takes second.
Borkowski up. A game-winning hit here would be absolutely legendary. But he grounds out.
Fifteenth inning on the way. Good God almighty.
The only pitcher the Astros could use without breaking into the starting rotation is Jason Lane, who's now playing right field, and who pitched in college for USC.
Statistical note - before this year, Borkowski had not had a major-league plate appearance since 1999.
Aramis Ramirez up and flies out. He's the big gun in the lineup, so it's nice not to have to face him for another eight batters. Jacque Jones strikes out. John Mabry, who grounded into The Double Play as a Cardinal last postseason, is now up. And grounds out.
Plugging onward. Eric Munson, a backup catcher now playing first base by necessity, with a leadoff single. Everett bunts him over to second. It's now up to Brad Ausmus or Jason Lane to bring him home, and two factors work against that - they're bad hitters, and he's a slow runner. Sixteen innings, anyone?
Lane flies out. It's up to Willy T. Who fails, grounding into a fielder's choice.
On to the 16th. The Cubs haven't mounted even a limp offensive threat for something like an hour. The Astros have merely failed to cash in on their opportunities.
Cedeno leads it off. Borkowski is beginning his fourth inning of work. Flyout to lead off the inning. Barrett, having gone 1-4 and yelled at three puppies so far today, pops out. Murton grounds out to short.
The Astros' bullpen has been flawless since the 10th inning. Wish they could hit.
Chris Burke leads off with a hit-by-pitch and has still not failed to reach base yet today. Ensberg, who's sucked harder than Augustus Gloop on a blueberry lolly since about May, grounds into a fielder's choice that is the end of Burke on the basepaths. By far Houston's best pure hitter, Lance Berkman, is now up, 0-5 today and clearly due. He strikes out, bringing up Borkowski, again. Who grounds out, again.
To the seventeenth. This is already the longest regular-season game in Minute Maid Park history. Juan Pierre, again. Grounds out. Izturis. Flies out. Dempster, pinch-hit for by another pitcher, kid named Carlos Marmol. He's a starter. Will he pitch the bottom half? He strikes out.
Young Rich Hill, another starter and a lefty, comes in to pitch to Eric Munson and strikes him out on three pitches. Everett grounds out. Ausmus singles on a hard liner up the middle, bringing up, once again, the erstwhile Jason Lane. He strikes out.
We go to the 18th.
I swear I'm not making this up.
Borkowski trots back out for his sixth inning of work. His mother must be upset with how Phil Garner is treating her son's arm.
Ramirez leads off with a double. Frylock, get out of the pool. Jones up and ideally will be retired without moving the runner over.
(Interesting side note - the Cubs started the game with a guy named, honestly, Angel Pagan playing left field.)
Jones singles, but the threat of Jason Lane's arm (really?) holds Ramirez at third.
Mabry pops out foul. Ronny Cedeno batting, and a double play would end the threat. He grounds out to the drawn-in third baseman, with Ramirez holding at third. Two away and Michael Barrett up. He's walked intentionally for Matt Murton. I don't get this move.
Two-run single. 8-6. Pierre grounds out, but damage done. Taveras leads off the bottom half of the 18th to try and get a rally going.
He works the count full and flies out.