The miracle basket was empty Tuesday night, and the Cubs lost 4-2 to the Giants.

Quite an inauspicious debut for Jason Kendall, the new Cubs catcher. He failed to come up with a tough, short-hop throw from leftfielder Alfonso Soriano in the fourth inning as Omar Vizquel scored, tying the game at that point, 1-1.

Then, in the eighth inning, Kendall couldn't locate a foul pop-up hit behind home plate by Bengie Molina. Finally, Kendall spotted the ball in the air and scrambled back to grab it, but the ball bounced off his mitt for a questionable "no play." His at-bat extended, Molina wound up singling to left field and Freddie Lewis, who entered the game to pinch run for the Giants catcher, eventually scored the go-ahead run when Will Ohman walked Dave Roberts with the bases loaded.

At the plate, Kendall was no better, going o-for-3. He was lifted in the ninth inning for pinch-hitter Daryle Ward, who grounded out to Ray Durham, stranding Aramis Ramirez at second base and ending the game in the visitors' favor.

Though Barry Bonds was not in the starting lineup for a second consecutive night, he did enter as a pinch-hitter during the high drama of the eighth inning. At the time, the score was tied 2-2, and the Giants had men at first and second with one out. Down in the count to Ohman 1-and-2, Bonds let a couple borderline pitches go by, before lining the 3-2 pitch to Soriano in medium deep leftfield for the second out.

If it is possible for a stadium crowd to be rabidly ambivalent, that is how I would describe those in attendance Tuesday night at Wrigley. Bonds' appearance was greeted with boos and cat calls and, I imagine, many other things that the tv cameras and microphones simply didn't pick up. But watching on TV and seeing all the camera flashes that preceded and followed every pitch of Bonds' at-bat, I also had the feeling that many, if not most, in the crowd were hoping to see some manner of history made right before their eyes.

hGH-fueled or not.

More on Kendall...

I offered a feeble description of Kendall's shortcomings in last night's post, but Rob G. at The Cub Reporter did his usual stellar job of assembling the relevants facts and opinions. If you want myriad reasons to be less than blown away by Monday's trade, read Rob's post at TCR and follow his links.

One other thing--this is the last one, I promise...

Following up on last night's mention of Ben Sheet's finger problem--he does, in fact, have a problem. A four to six-week problem.

AP Photo/Jerry Lai


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