Bowden realizes childhood dream with Cubs

Bowden realizes childhood dream with Cubs

Bowden realizes childhood dream with Cubs
CHICAGO -- For Michael Bowden, pitching at Wrigley Field was something he had only imagined as a kid. On Tuesday, he actually did it.

Bowden, 25, the newest Cubs pitcher, took over in the ninth inning against the Cardinals with the game tied at 2. He retired the first two batters, then gave up a double, walked the next two to load the bases and got Skip Schumaker to pop up and end the inning.

It wasn't pretty, but considering it was Bowden's first game action since April 10, he was happy.

"It was awesome taking the mound," said Bowden, who grew up a Cubs fan and is now with the team after the trade which sent Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox.

"[Pitching at Wrigley] is something I only dreamed of growing up," said Bowden, who was born in suburban Winfield, Ill., and now lives in Oswego. "My adrenaline was going, I was super excited. I went out there and enjoyed it."

He retired the first two batters he faced in efficient fashion.

"I was feeling good and then, obviously, I got a little erratic," he said. "It was the first time in a game in 14 days and I was sloppy, but I threw up a zero and we ended up winning the ballgame and that's all that matters."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum blamed nerves.

"He was probably nervous a little bit going out in front of his hometown for the first time, pitching with a new team," Sveum said. "He got out of it and hopefully that calms him down a little bit, pitching in a big game in a big situation. He got out of a jam."

Now that the first game is over, Bowden can relax.

"I was very anxious to get in there and get the first outing under my belt," he said. "Now I just have to get settled in and go out there and do my job."

Surprisingly, Bowden hasn't been inundated with ticket requests from friends and family in the Chicago area. His wife, mother, father-in-law and sister were at Tuesday's game to see his Cubs debut. That may change once the weather warms up.