10 Spring Games + 10 Innings Pitched= 20 Regular Season K’s?

The above title is an example of bad, irrelevant baseball math.  It is a stat equation that does not exist, nor will it ever make sense.  However, it does serve as an excuse to post this clip of Kerry Wood’s record tying 20th strikeout from the fifth start of his career back in 1998, in honor of his pitching his way to being named the Cubs’ closer after a strong performance this Spring.

I blogged earlier today about the pitching selections and while I have not exactly been behind the idea of Wood as the Cubs’ closer, I’m rooting for him to kill it this season and have a huge year (barring any potential injuries of course).  Here is the clip.  Congratulations Kerry, have a great season full of outstanding performances like this one that will have people talking for a long, long time!

http://i3.photobucket.com:80/flash/player.swf?file=http://vid3.photobucket.com/albums/y73/THUNDERBLADE/1998May6Wood20K.flv

As for more on today’s game: couldn’t be happier about Pie’s performance today, 3-for-3 and scored the winning run after blazing around the basepaths on a triple he hit in the bottom of the ninth.  I don’t recall Hendry talking about needing a right handed hitting outfielder this offseason, all I remember is how we needed a power hitting lefthanded outfielder, aka Fukudome.  But apparently according to him, he’s been saying it for a while now and has purposefully waited until now to find someone who can play all 3 outfield positions, but especially to back up Pie where we don’t really have anyone to sub in if need be.  Sounds good to me and I love the sound of a GM who feels pressure to deliver…I just hope his idea of delivering is not Jay Payton.  I’ll take Sam Fuld over Jay Payton anyday.

Great game today, looking forward to tomorrow!  Go Cubs Go!

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Two Out of Three

All Spring I’ve been pushing for Marmol to be the Cubs’ closer and for Marquis and Dempster to get the remaining rotation spots over Lieber.

Two out of three sounds good to me.

Considering the setup roles are so important, having Marmol and Howry there will be great come the regular season.  And when a lefty is called upon, if Pignatiello is called on to replace Eyre as the lefty coming out of the bullpen, I feel confident there too.  Also, while I believe Marmol should be the guy over Wood, I feel good about having him there as in insurance in case Wood gets hurt…which history shows, there is a great chance that will happen.  Until then though, hard to argue with Wood getting the go-ahead considering he has had a great Spring, still yet to walk a batter.

So here we have it…our rotation and our closer.  I’m so glad we don’t have to worry, or wonder any longer about how Piniella wants to put this team together.  I like the way the team looks and as soon as a couple more bats can get hot, we’ll be good at the plate as well as on the mound.  Speaking of which, I wonder if Marquis’ words after his first Spring start had anything to do with him getting the fifth spot in the rotation as opposed to the third (which went to Dempster).  I’m glad Marquis will be happy with the situation as I didn’t want to see him be the reason he leaves the team by forcing/requesting a trade.  If the club thinks they can improve themselves by dealing him, so be it.  I wonder if maybe the Orioles were holding off on the Roberts trade to see what the Cubs were going to do about their rotation and then wait to see if they could get the odd man out included instead of taking someone like Marshall in a deal.  I think our bullpen will be plenty strong even if Lieber is sent to Baltimore so it will be interesting to see what happens.  (Listening to the game right now and Derosa just blasted a three run shot, his first HR of the Spring…great to see him back, healthy and crushing fastballs over the wall…4-1 Cubs!)

Before wrapping this post up, just want to thank Mark and MLBlogs for showcasing Prose and Ivy today on the MLBlogosphere in the Spheroids section.  You can read it here.  If you’re here as a result, welcome and I hope you have a good time reading my blog.  To everyone else, thanks for coming back and I look forward to hearing from all of you throughout the season!  Feel free to leave comments or chat live about Cubs baseball.

Speaking of which, I’ll be in the chat room for a bit during the game if anyone feels like talking baseball!  Go Cubs Go!
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