Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Even with weeks to plan, the Cubbies stuck to their line and trotted out another company man to sing the stretch. Cubs television play-by-play announcer, Len Kasper, flexed his velvet pipes from Sheffield to Waveland with a pitch-perfect but very slow rendition of the 7th inning classic.

It was a nice welcome back to Wrigley after the long road trip and getting a sure thing for the stretch was a good plan. Kasper delivered, giving a slow, deliberate, pitch-perfect recital.

He shared the glory, letting the fans sing "One, Two, Three Strikes Yer Out" and hit all the key parts with the comfortable consistency you'd expect from someone who has heard every stretch since 2005.

His slow cadence was an exact duplicate of the game it serenaded - a 0-0 sleeper on a cold, Chicago day that saw many would-be homeruns get knocked down by the frigid air. Even the normally reserved Carlos Pena had a rare burst of emotion after his would have been walk-off homer fell just short of the wall with two-outs in the ninth.

Len notably finished with "Let's get A run! Go Cubbies!" emphasizing the "A" instead of the customary, "Let's get SOME runs." This meager request coupled with his steady, error-free overture gave him his wish.

It was so well-sung, in fact, that the Cub's only and winning run came as a result of catcher Giovanni Soto beating out a double play ball due to a defensive bobble. This was followed by a Tyler Colvin double that got him all the way home from first. Soto is not a fast guy by anyone's reckoning but it was the trundling catcher who won the plodding game, not with his arm but with his legs - twice in two plays.

Now that is some play-by-play mojo. Thanks Len.

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