Good game. Not the way we would have wanted it to turn out, of course, but good game. In many ways a tenser, less goofy version of the first game of the series, down to the crummy umpiring and the absurd weather.
That bottom of the second, though? Ugh. Hit by pitch. Absurd pop-fly single in the howling wind. Balk. Walk the pitcher. Wild pitch. A should've-been double play that went awry when Minky, his fingers undoubtedly frozen, alligator-armed Piazza, who came up empty on the scoop. Single. Cubs 3, Mets 2, death by a thousand little cuts.
Sure, we fought back, showed life, even (ulp) battled. That hideous inning aside, Zambrano wasn't too bad — infuriating, sure, but not bad. Heath Bell was terrific…in the 9th. Piazza kept smashing balls that unfortunately went right at Cubs. Eric Valent kept himself on the roster with a jump-out-of-the-coffin single. The Nameless Koo provided more evidence that he's not capable of doing the extremely specific job he was brought here to do, and we didn't lose a game for it. That short-arm of Piazza was just about the only play Marvelous Minky didn't make all day. But it wasn't enough, leaving us to confront that age-old baseball question: Which makes the stomach burn more, falling short in the ninth or tying it and saving the death rattle for extra innings?
Still, whatcha gonna do? Derrek Lee fouled off ball after ball in an 11-pitch at-bat, finally slamming one that was mightier than the mightiest Wrigley wind. Sure, he got a call in the sequence — good hitters get calls, and he's hitting .383. It's only fair that sometimes the other guys play well and get a little lucky. Even if they are Cubs.