Cubs win! Cubs win!

Mike, Joannie, Derek, and I caught the Cubs Giants game tonight from the left-center field bleachers. It's been ages since I was able to sit in the bleachers, and it's still a blast. Wrigley Field might be one of the few stadiums in baseball where the outfield seats are the most coveted seats in the ballpark (not coincidentally, it's the best section for ogling bikini-clad babes on a sunny day).
Wrigley has installed a few thin strips of electronic color scoreboards in the upper deck down both left and right field, and the thin electronic scoreboard below the massive manual scoreboard in center has also been upgraded to color. Neverthless, it remains to me the most old-fashioned and charming of baseball stadiums.
Contrast it with Safeco Field, one of the prototypical modern ballparks. Between innings at Wrigley, there are no crazy scoreboard games or promotions. After having been aurally assaulted at Sonics and Mariners games for several seasons now, it's refreshing to be able to just listen to the sounds of the ballpark between innings. When batters walk up to the plate at Wrigley, rap songs (or Creed, in the case of Bret Boone) do not blast out from speakers around the stadium. Wrigley does not sell $6.00 high-falutin microbrews. The view behind Wrigley's home plate is clean, devoid of any advertisements. For all the talk of distracted Wrigley fans focused on anything but the ballgame, the ballpark makes the game the focus of attention more than any stadium in MLB. It's also a ballpark that is fairly symmetrical and free of any gimmicky dimensions or features.
The tiny new electronic scoreboards are somewhat of a visual distraction, but they do offer pitch speeds which I enjoy watching if no other reason than it helps me to determine what pitch the pitcher threw to a batter.
The bleachers offer not just the most obnoxious and entertaining fans in the stadium but some of the best sightlines. We had a great view of the pitcher's pitches and of all the action.
It was Shawon Dunston baseball card today. That seemed strange until he showed up to sing the 7th Inning Stretch. Some old Cub fan revived the Shawon-O-Meter which stood at a sturdy .267. It's a sign of my age that I recall seeing Dunston's first MLB home run at Wrigley Field.
Unfortunately, Bonds and Sosa were both sitting and contemplating trips to the DL b/c of back injuries, Sosa's from some particularly violent sneezes. That reduced both offenses to starting punch-and-judy hitters like Jose Macias, Damian Jackson, and Ramon Martinez. Dusty Baker hit Macias and Jackson 1 and 2 in the order. Ugly.
Twice Corey Patterson threw his between-inning warm-up balls at us. Once he tossed it to Joannie and the guy in front of her snatched it away. The second time the ball hit Mike in the hands and he committed an error and let some other guy pick it off. Oh, the tragedy! I was standing next to Mike and if only my arms were longer I could have had it.
Zambrano was pitching for the Cubs. Before the game, he was 2nd in the NL in ERA. He's filthy, with a mid-90's heavy sinker and a nasty slider. He also seems to have learned to pitch more efficiently by letting batters put the ball in play. Through 7 innings he had thrown only 87 pitches.
He and Michael Tucker provided some solid entertainment. Tucker homered off of Zambrano in the 4th and apparently flipped his bat and said "How's that?" The next time Tucker batted in the 7th, Zambrano fanned him and then shouted "Get the hell out of here" while pumping his fist. Good stuff. In his next at-bat, Tucker got hit on the elbow by a 2-2 Latroy Hawkins fastball, causing Tucker to throw his bat angrily to the ground.
The Cubs won 4-3 in the 10th on a walk-off homer by Moises Alou. Jim Brower threw a fat change-up right down the middle and Alou tagged it. As soon as he hit it I knew it was gone. I don't care if Alou pees on his hands as long as he keeps hitting.
The Cubs offense is vulnerable when Sosa is out. Let's hope the Cubs can hang close to the Astros until Remlinger, Sosa, Prior, Wood, Gonzalez, and Grudzielanek return. It seems like half the team is hurt.