Cubs Opener: Fans Embrace Kosuke Fukudome, He Returns the Favor

Thomas BarbeeSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2008

To prevent my blood from reaching a full boil thanks to the cardiac arrest-inducing Sox game, I kept checking back in with the Cubs opener.

While the game was delayed 41 minutes due to rain delay, the Cubs did a great job honoring Mr. Cub Ernie Banks, who was long overdue for a statue. 

As far as the game was concerned, what started off as a great pitching duel between Carlos Zambrano and Ben Sheets turned into a rather interesting battle between the Brewers and Cubs respective bullpens.

While Marmol looked sharp once again, further proving his case to be the Cubs closer, Kerry Wood looked a bit antsy as he hit the first batter before giving up the first runs of the game.

Not to be outdone, with a 3-0 lead, Eric Gagne looked to continue his notorious misadventures by giving up a three-run homer to Kosuke Fukudome, who had an outstanding debut.

The shot breathed new life into the Cubs faithful, as even through my modest TV set, I couldn't help but notice the cameras tremor as Fukudome headed home.

Unfortunately for the North Siders, the heroics wouldn't pay off, as Bob Howry would give up the sac fly that would be the eventual game winner.

If Fukudome hadn't won over the Cubs fans before his magical at bat, he certainly has by now. Now if only they could get that closer situation figured out.