Wednesday night home runs?
Bryant, Baez, Russell, and …
And who threw some heat?
Biden, then Bloomberg, Kaine, and …
Like many politically liberal Cubs fans, I spent Wednesday night switching between the third night of the Democratic Convention and the third game of the Crosstown Classic.
At Wrigley, things did not start out well for Cubs. White Sox starter Anthony Ranaudo not only hit a home run in the top of the fifth for what was then the game’s only run, but kept the Cubs hitless through 5 innings.
I spent most of that part of the game watching the current and future Vice Presidents give their convention speeches. Biden pointing out – in what was likely his last major address as an elected official – that Donald Trump “doesn’t have a clue“, and Kaine doing his moderately impressive impression of the Republican nominee. Sandwiched between them was a genuine billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, advising America to “elect a sane, competent person” instead of the self-proclaimed billionaire the Republicans nominated last week.
Back at Wrigley, the no-hitter – and the shut-out – ended with Kris Bryant’s solo shot in the bottom of the 6th. A 7th inning 2-run homer by Javy Baez gave the Cubs their first lead of the game. By the time Addison Russell got his first career grand slam in the 8th, I was ready to switch back to the Convention, just in time for President Obama to take the stage for his valedictory convention address.
Obama was a bit more subdued than Biden, Bloomberg and Kaine when criticizing Trump. But when one mention of The Donald elicited boos from the crowd, the President warned them, “Don’t boo. Vote!” Obama has a well-deserved reputation for good speechifying and Wednesday night was no exception.
While watching Obama, I turned to my computer to monitor the first appearance in a Cubs uniform of closer Aroldis Chapman. He came in with a 7-run lead so it wasn’t a save opportunity. But of the 15 pitches he threw in a perfect ninth inning during which he struck out 2, only 3 were under 100 MPH – with one pitch recorded at 103 MPH and three more above 102. Chapman provided good evidence that Theo was right about his on-field upside, even if the jury of Cubs fans is still out concerning his off-field downside.
By the time the night ended the Cubs had defeated their crosstown rivals 8-1. The Democrats, meanwhile, proved that compared to what the GOP presented in Cleveland last week, it’s relatively sunny in Philadelphia.
It was a good night to be a Democrat, and a great night to be a Cubs fan.
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