14 September 2008

36 years, 12 days, Magic number is 7

It's been 36 years and 12 days since the last Cubs no-hitter thrown. I was at that one. September 2nd, 1972, Milt Pappas has a perfect game in play and the 27th batter for the San Diego Padres goes to a 3-2 count and the umpire called a questionable ball to give a walk. Next man up pop's out and an almost perfect game becomes a no-hitter.

Tonight Carlos Zambrano, the man most Cub fans will admit was the most likely candidate to do this, actually did it. The fun is that the Cubs were the road team playing Houston, in Milwaukee thanks to Hurricane Ike. They play a day-night double header tomorrow as well. So yesterday the Cubs put tickets on sale and tonight there was something like 23,000 in attendance who travelled the 90 miles north, across the Cheddar Curtain, to cheer on their Cubbies. Not really fair to Houston but hey, who the hell would be going to Texas right now anyway?

This continues the incredible run that the Cubs have put together this year. The best thing is that Milwaukee dumped a double-header to Philadelphia and were swept all four games by them. This took the Magic Number from 10 to 7 in one night!! Tomorrow could potentially take it down to 5! before a crucial final home series with the Brewers and the Cardinals.

Carlos had all of his stuff tonight. He only threw something like 105 pitches, which, if you've read my rants before about him, is just about where his arm goes to hell and a hand basket so thank god for this. He seemed genuinely overwhelmed in the post-game interview and was pretty much speechless. That's good. Win #14 on the year for him and he did it with class and style.

Milwaukee has got to be just livid. The Cubs basically are getting three extra "home" games, the Phillies just pulled into a tie with them for the Wild Card and the Astros and Cardinals are right behind them all vying for that last post-season place.

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