Bruised and Battered…

The Cubs rolled into Philly last night, not completely whole and coming off a recent eight game losing streak. A four game series against the Philadelphia Phillies isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for a team as beaten up as the Cubs.

After a rain delay though, the Cubs bullpen stepped up and carried the team on their shoulders with 8 2/3 scoreless relief. The Cubs’ Soto and Colvin went deep with back to back homers or at least appeared as such until they reversed Colvin’s and made it a ground rule double due to ‘fan interference’. Colvin ended up scoring the game winning run in the eleventh on a Phillies error. Cubs win, Cubs win in extras in Philly. Oh happy day.

This team is beaten up physically, mentally, emotionally…morale must be lower than ideal at this point yet they continued to fight and get a win. This is an effort that you have to respect and appreciate. After going down 3-0 to a team like the Phillies early in the game, it would have been easy to roll over and play dead during and after the rain delay. They didn’t though. Youngsters like Soto and Colvin stepped up. On a team where there are many names and faces the casual fan would have to look twice to figure out who they are due to call ups to cover the injured, it was nice to see a couple names we planned on counting on before the season started, actually stepping up and making a difference.

Fans may not recognize some of these young players yet, but they will. They aren’t going to give up on the season just because they are 11.5 games back on June 10th. There is no mercy rule. We continue to play so we might as well get scrappy and fight until we run out of games to try to make up ground. Or at least until they post an ‘E’ in the games back column.

You know this team had expectations to do great things this year. I’m sure they felt, as did many fans, that a number of things would have to fall into place in order for this team to make noise in the Central this year. With all the setbacks we’ve suffered, I’m sure it’s on their mind when they get up in the morning, on the way to the ballpark, during the games, in the locker room afterwards and at home or at the hotel on the road, trying to get a good night’s rest and not focus on the negative. Pushing forward after a demoralising start to the season is not the easiest thing to do and I respect this bunch for continuing to play hard and get back in the thick of things.

Soriano, Baker and Johnson will eventually come back. Wells is here and Cashner is a ways out. Byrd is still a couple months from manning centerfield again. This team is going to need every star and no-name to pull together and get this thing done. Good to see the guys continue to push hard, even against a strong opponent like Philadelphia. Three more games to go in the city of brotherly love. Go Cubs Go! (And because the lyrics seem appropriate, a little Springsteen for you as you go on your way):

I was bruised and battered and I couldnt tell
What I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
I saw my reflection in a window I didn’t know
My own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
Wastin´away
On the streets of philadelphia
 
I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of philadelphia

Aint no angel gonna greet me
Its just you and I my friend
My clothes don’t fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip the skin

The night has fallen, Im lyinawake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of philadelphia