As the Wind Blows
Right now, those iconic flags atop Wrigley's dull green center field scoreboard are flapping toward the right field foul pole, and I mention this only because today's pre-game media sessions had a distinct fascination with all things meteorological. Yes, it's all about the wind. Greg Maddux has counseled tomorrow's LA starter, Chad Billingsley, about it. Lou Piniella has modeled his starting outfield (Soriano, Fukudome, Edmonds) to combat it. (He wants the best defenders.) Joe Torre crystallized the Wrigley Field either-or by referring to the "Play Big, Play Small?" question.
In other words, the wind will dictate the tenor of the game.
"The fact that the wind blows out, anybody can hit one [out]," Torre said. "The wind blows in, nobody can hit."
Both of tonight's starters have had their share of success at Wrigley. LA righty Derek Lowe is 1-0 with a 2.67 ERA in four career starts. Then there's Chicago's Ryan Dempster, who this year went 14-3 at home, the top home W mark for a Cub since Fergie Jenkins in 1967.
Said Lowe: "I've been very fortunate to only see this park as a pitcher's park. I've seen it as a hitter's park on TV. But I think you're setting yourself up for a negative feeling if the first thing you do... is go outside and see the wind, and if it's blowing out."
Dempster, if you're wondering, has pitched here enough that he's seen both kinds of conditions. So he credits his home numbers on something else. "I said earlier it was Tom Helamn's cooking, our clubhouse guy," Dempster said. "He makes a mean omelette in the morning that gets me going."
Now, the lineups...
Furcal - 6
Martin - 2
Ramirez - 7
Ethier - 9
Loney - 3
Kemp - 8
DeWitt - 4
Blake - 5
Lowe - 1
Soriano - 7
Kukodome - 9
Lee - 3
Ramirez - 5
Soto - 2
Edmonds - 8
DeRosa - 4
Theriot - 6
Dempster - 1
October 1, 2008; 6:04 PM ET
Categories: Cubs , Dodgers
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