When Lou Piniella and Don Wakamatsu exchanged lineups at home plate, fans began yelling 'Louuuuuu" and the Chicago Cubs manager waved happily to the crowd as he returned to the dugout.
It's the Cubs vs. Mariners, Ryan Dempster vs. Jason Vargas.
Seattle comes in with a four-game winning streak, but there should be an asterisk - in two of those games they scored only one run, in a third they scored twice.
How long can superb pitching overcome that kind of offense?
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- Think Cubs fans out-number Mariners fans tonight? When Josh Wilson grounded into a first-inning double play, the crowd cheered. And when Milton Bradley came to the plate, the crowd booed. Loudly.
- Jose Lopez led off the second inning with a single and Franklin Gutierrez hit his sixth home run of the year into the Seattle bullpen. In the second: Seattle 2, Chicago 0.
- Remember that face Lou Piniella used to make when something stupid happened on the field? He just made it - with reason. Alfonso Soriano dropped a pop fly double into right field, then took off when Tyler Colvin lifted a ball toward left field. Michael Saunders caught the ball chest high, but Soriano was already around third base. Easy double play. And Lou made that face.
- Vargas may have the only two runs he's going to get, and if so he's making them look like enough. He's pitched seven innings, allowed four hits and struck out seven Cubs. Mixing a changeup hitters are chasing with that 88 mph fastball, he's thrown 94 pitches.
- Brandon League is warmed up and may start the eighth inning.
- Mike Carp was safe on shortstop Starlin Castro's error and Eliezar Alfonzo singled. Jack-not-Josh Wilson fouled off three consecutive bunt attempts for the first out. Saunders struck out. Ichiro grounded out. If the Mariners lose this game, this was the inning they should have put it away. After seven: Seattle 2, Chicago 0.
- Pitching the eighth inning: League. Castro walked on five pitches. Ryan Theriot singled. Marlon Byrd grounded into a double play. Pinch hitter Chad Tracy flied out. In the eighth: Seattle 2, Chicago 0.
- Ninth inning. David Aardsma time. Derek Lee popped out. Xavier Nady grounded out. Geovany Soto walked and Soriano singled. Tyler Colvin struck out. Aardsma gets save No. 16, the Mariners win their fifth straight. It's a final: Seattle 2, Chicago 0.