Welcome to owning the Cubs, Tom Ricketts! Top of the first, a three run Marlon Byrd hr, to give you the requisite false hope. Then Carlos Zambrano gives up 6 runs on 5 hits, two walks, and a home run by rookie Jason Haywerth in his first MLB at-bat. Then you leave Zambrano in for the 2nd inning, and he promptly 1) hits the first batter; 2) covers first on an easy out, but sees the guy he hit going all the way to third and tries to cut him down with a throw that sails over 3rd Baseman Aramis Ramirez's head for the seventh run; and 3) promptly serves a gopher ball first pitch to next batter Brian McCann to make it 8-3. 1 1/3 innings, six hits, eight runs, two walks, a HBP and two long hrs. Add a little more false home on a Ramirez 2-run hr and let it simmer for a while. Top off by giving a bewildered Jeff Szmardjia a Zambrano-like 6- run inning to push it to 14-5 and even I've been amused enough.
Catching us up on KHL playoffs, Lokomotiv got beat in a sloppy 6-4 game Sunday, in which Evgeny Federov scored twice for MVD. But today, they evened the series back at 2 apiece with a 6-1 win. Richard Zednik scored twice, and my boy Josef Vasicek registered 3 assists. Not so rosy for top-ranked Salavat Yulaev today. They blow a 2-0 lead given them by Viktor Kozlov's pair of goals, with Ak Bars' Illya Nikulin tying the game at 1:18 remaining in regulation and losing on Nikita Alexeyev's goal 8:51 into OT, Ak Bars winning 3-2. Kazan now holds a 3-0 stranglehold on the boys from Ufa, making it look extremely likely that Salavat will have won their second straight regular-season title without making the finals either year.