Breaking Down My Favorite Cubs Game Of All Time: Mark Prior Vs. Greg Maddux

*Not including the 2016 World Series

We drafted our top Duos on Dog Walk yesterday and I couldn't help but give shit to Chief when he said Kane/Toews is the best duo in Chicago behind Michael and Scottie.

On paper, sure. But in real life I said it was Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. If only for a brief moment, you could argue they made up the coolest 1-2 punch at any time in baseball history. COOLEST I said. There are significantly better combos but something about the two youngsters throwing 99 and striking out 14 on a nightly basis just gets you going and the juices flowing. 

Admittedly though this shit was 17 years ago. I don't actually remember a lot of box scores. I don't have a bag full of specific moments. It's just one collective experience of them dominating in the heart of my teenage years, so speaking up about them on Dog Walk yesterday sent me off reminiscing, which brings me to this game. 

I sat down the right field line with my Mom. It was 2 of the best pitchers alive at the time. Some said they were passing a torch from one great to the next. Laugh your balls off in hindsight to that. But in reality, watching Prior take down Maddux in a complete game 2-hitter is my greatest Cubs memory unrelated to the 2016 club. Just a few seasons earlier in '98 I was there to see Maddux carve up a 7 inning logfest en route to sweeping my boys. We went back to mediocrity and now things were finally clicking. This was going to be the year. Steve Bartman had yet to exist. Everything was amazing. 

Obviously I don't think you're going to pound through all 9 innings, but if you get a chance to click around, I highly recommend it. Mark Prior in his prime is as good as any pitcher you'll ever watch. 

- 13:05 look at the 1-2 breaking ball Prior throws to Furacal to start the game and you'll realize why his elbow would later explode

- 35:55 Randall Simon won the game in the 1st inning 

- Greg Maddux let 3 guys reach base after the 1st inning and just started CARVING 

- Gary Sheffield hitting 3 and Chipper Jones hitting 4 is a top 10 3-4 combo of the 2000's that no one ever talks about

- 54:18 Kenny Lofton steals 2nd base and I kinda want to argue he should be in the hall of fame. Best leadoff hitter of his generation not named Rickey Henderson

- Vinny Castilla is on the Braves 

- Mark DeRosa doubles and scores the only run for the Braves which is kind of bullshit if he's gonna work for the Cubs now just saying

- I think sports broadcasts were better back then because there's less bullshit. It's literally just a couple camera angles and the boys chopping it up. Even if Joe Morgan sucks, the concept is better. I don't need sideline reports and insert stories about off-the-field interests or any of that bullshit. Keep it simple

- 2:35:50 Aramis Ramirez sends Wrigley to the looney bin and we get to see the Braves pitcher point at a fly ball that he thinks should be caught in the process. It's one of my favorite things in sports. Pitcher points up to let the fielders know it's up and then actually it soars off the wall for a ground rule double and a 3-1 lead. All time moment. 

- 2:48:06 the worst swing in recorded history I'm not joking go to it

- No seriously this is the worst swing anyone has ever seen

-2:52:15 Mark Prior throws his last pitch and probably ruptures several things in his throwing arm. Dusty Baker hugs him and no one thinks to look at a pitch count

- Present Day: I am a broken man thinking about what could have been. 

I love you Mark. 

I love you Kerry.