“I love you, Kevin Gregg” were the very last words I ever thought I’d utter after Gregg’s, um, exciting tenure with the Marlins in 2008.
That changed Sunday evening at Land Shark Stadium as the Marlins took on the Cubs in the rubber match of the series, and Kevin Gregg took on the responsibility of continuing to remind Fish fans of what they have most definitely not been missing since last season.
Ricky Nolasco was on the hill for the Marlins and put in a lovely performance, striking out eight and allowing just one run on four hits through seven innings. The bad news for Ricky was that Ryan Dempster also picked Sunday to have an excellent outing, and the former Florida pitcher held the Marlins to three hits over six scoreless innings.
Cody Ross finally got the Fish on the board in the seventh, tying the score at one run apiece when he homered off of [Marlin mutilator] Aaron Heilman. In the top of the ninth, Chicago reclaimed the lead as Brendan Donnelly’s streak of scoreless innings came to an end on a solo shot from Jake Fox.
With the Cubs up 2-1, Kevin Gregg came in to close the game, and although I was there to witness some of Gregg’s more heart-wrenching performances for the Marlins last season, it really seemed too much to hope that even he would blow a save for the second game in a row.
Obviously, my memories of Gregg have grown incredibly fuzzy over the last ten months. (Regardless of what the old cliche says, I don’t think that the passage of time ever fully heals all wounds. But, as my faith in Gregg’s ability to hold the lead would suggest, it certainly does a lot to dull the memories of their searing pain.)
Gregg got Hanley to pop out to start the inning, and that’s where the cheering ended–and, I’m assuming, guzzling of hard liquor started–for Cubs fans. Dan Uggla crushed a home run to tie up the score, and Cody Ross followed with his second long ball of the game– a walk-off home run that sealed the victory and the Marlins fourth series win in a row.
Judging from the number of hits this old blog entry received today from various cities throughout Illinois, Cubs fans are enjoying Kevin Gregg this season as much as Fish fans did in 2008.
Cody! Cody! Cody!