Columnist Phil Arvia says it's not enough to win, the Cubs like to win in the last at-bat to give fans something to cheer about.
Kerry Wood, aka Carnac the Armdeficient, stood in the clubhouse, watching Aramis Ramirez face major league saves leader Francisco Cordero with the Cubs one out from falling 8 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the National League Central.
“Woody said, ‘Rami’s gonna leave those guys standing on the field,’ ” said Michael Wuertz, who had joined his rehabbing teammate in the clubhouse after throwing two scoreless innings of relief. “And that’s exactly what he did. Unbelievable.”
Nah. Once, maybe, would be unbelievable. Twice, coincidence. Three is a trend.
Three times in their current seven-game winning streak, the Cubs have won in their last at-bat. The last two of those have been come-from-behind, walk-off jobs.
Friday’s, against first-place Milwaukee, was on Ramirez’s no-doubt line drive to left-center, dead into the wind, off a hanging slider from Cordero. The two-run homer capped a three-run rally to a 6-5 win before what was left of the largest crowd of the season — 41,909 — at Wrigley Field.
“That’s what they pay me for — to drive in runs and perform in the clutch,” Ramirez said.
And what they pay Lou Piniella for is to guide his impressionable players. So perhaps he might want to direct toward them the advice he doled out liberally in his postgame news conference.
“Let’s just play them one at a time and not get too excited,” he said.
“Let’s not get crazy,” he said. “There’s a long season ahead of us.”
“Again, I don’t want anybody getting crazy,” he added, at the conclusion of his remarks.
Too late. The Cubs engaged in an orgiastic scrum of blush-inducing proportions, as far as Mark DeRosa was concerned.
“This place is electric,” he said of Wrigley. “When things are going good, there’s no better place to be.
“If you look at the tape, you’ll see a lot of guys acting like fools. Hopefully, Milwaukee doesn’t take it for more than what it was — a bunch of guys being happy.”
OK, that’s all the celebration was. But what, exactly, was the win?
Granted, we’ll probably not know the definitive answer until, oh, Septemberish. But, at the moment, it is fairly easy to see