Kile, who was scheduled to start this game, was found dead in
his hotel room Saturday, apparently of a blocked coronary
artery. Saturday's game between these long-time rivals was
postponed, but the Cardinals voted unanimously to play this
nationally televised contest.
"This is what we did in showing our respect for Darryl," St.
Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He would have wanted us to
go out there and try to win a ballgame. The circumstances were
difficult, but I don't want to diminish what the Cubs did
because they just beat us."
Referring to the events that followed September 11, Sosa said,
"No question, the ballpark felt very similar. But with all
respect to the September 11 (victims), this was someone we knew
personally. Nobody felt good out there tonight, but we all
tried to play hard and respect his memory."
A moment of silence was held before the game, no pre-recorded or
organ music was played at Wrigley Field and the Cardinals wore
Kile's No. 57 on their sleeves. No. 57 also adorned the marquee
outside Wrigley Field and the message board below the center
"I thought about that when we first went out on the field. I
looked at that mound and just thought of the image of Kile and
how he should have been out there," Gonzalez said. "It was
tough on us but was a lot tougher on the Cardinal players.
Chicago manager Don Baylor agreed.
"The easy part was playing the game," Baylor said. "The tough
part is going to be for them to think about their teammate with
all the down time. They have a day off tomorrow and believe me,
I've been through it before. It will be a long day for them."
Amid the somber setting, Wood (7-5) allowed two runs and five
hits over eight innings with three walks and four strikeouts for
his first win in four starts. He did not allow a run until
Albert Pujols crushed a two-run homer to the back of the
bleachers in left-center field with two out in the top of the
"It was difficult for everyone to play tonight," Wood said. "I
knew Darryl a little bit off the field. Your heart just breaks
when you think about the loss to his family. We did our best to
get through it, but it didn't seem right."
"The entire atmosphere was very somber, almost lifeless," Cubs
catcher Joe Girardi added. "The Cardinal players did their
best, you have to respect that. That's what most of us feel
Darryl would want for them, to go out there and try to win the
ballgame. But that's a huge responsibility for them."
Gonzalez opened the scoring for the Cubs with a leadoff homer in
the bottom of the second and Alou's two-run blast capped a
three-run third off rookie Jason Simontacchi (5-1).
"I can't even really tell you how everyone felt about playing
the game tonight," Alou said. "It meant a lot, especially for
the Cardinals. It meant a lot to us and and it meant a lot to
everyone in baseball. ... We had to play today, but win or lose,
everybody's mind was not in the game today."
His scheduled start pushed back a day, Simontacchi allowed four
runs and seven hits in four innings. Mike Timlin relieved but
ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing a sacrifice fly to Corey
Patterson and another run when Girardi scored on a throwing
error by shortstop Edgar Renteria.