In addition to covering the Cubs on Prose and Ivy, I will now also be writing about baseball in general for BaseballDigest.com.
Our 5-8 and Fukudome helped the Cubs destroy the D’backs out West with a barrage of extra base hits. Great spark in Fukudome leading off the game with a home run and the rest of the game followed suit. Tomorrow night I’ll be at Citi Field for the Mets/Reds game. Looking forward to seeing the NL Central leading Reds up close and personal. Maybe seeing them in person will help answer some questions as to why they are having the kind of season they are because I still haven’t figured out why their 2010 is turning out the way it has been. Anyone have any thoughts as to why in the world we are looking up at of all teams…the Reds??? Almost as bad as being brutally roughed up by the Pirates this year. And that’s bad.
- Carlos Silva with the best start a Cubs pitcher has had since the beginning of time.
- The Braves are one of the hottest teams in baseball.
- The Mets are 22-9 at home.
- Galarraga came one out away from a perfect game and still recorded what would’ve been 28 outs in a perfect world.
- It would’ve been the third perfect game thrown this season.
- The Baltimore Orioles were the first team to fire their manager this season.
- Carlos Silva is 8-0!
- Zambrano starts a record of consecutive Cubs Opening Days, moved to pen, then back to rotation all BEFORE June.
- Schilling has hardly said anything controversial this season.
- Griffey Jr. retires during the season instead of waiting until the off-season.
- Jimenez of the Rockies leads the majors in wins (11) and ERA (0.93)
- Robinson Cano is hitting .363
- The Rays own the best winning percentage in the majors at .649
- The Reds holding strong in the NL Central at 33-25, .5 games behind the Cards and 6.5 games up on the third place Cubs.
- The PIRATES are 12-6 in one-run games. The PIRATES.
- Dontrelle Willis is a D’back. How is he not the Tigers’ own long time dominator he was supposed to be?
- I actually watched about 10 minutes worth of the MLB draft. I guess that’s something.
- Ted Lilly is 1-5. Leading the club at 8-0? Flipping CARLOS SILVA!!!
- The Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup finals. WHAT?!?
- Seriously. That Carlos. Unreal.
You just need to keep your mouth shut in this great game. You can’t mention anything about anything going great because as soon as you do…BOOM, gone.
My last post was about Lou loving his decision to move Z to the bullpen and all the great winning that went on afterwards. Were we on a streak to end all streaks? No. We weren’t even in first place. But the team had found it’s offense for a few games, it had a new fire lit under itself with Z gone to the bullpen and we looked to be headed in the right direction. Then I posted all about how please Lou must be with himself and it was all down hill from there. Now we’ve been swept by the Pirates, lost two games in a row after exchanging blow outs with the Reds and have to suffer a series against a strong NL East team in the Florida Marlins (who as I write this, we are currently losing to 4-2 in the ninth.
We are six games out of first place in the Central, five games behind the wild card leading Giants and have a miserable record of 14-18, looking up at the Cards who sit pretty at 20-12 and are only three and half games above the lowly Astros at the bottom of the division. Castro has even been called up to the bigs and after one huge, record breaking outing of a home run and six RBI in his major league debut, our team seems to have forgotten how to string hits along for offense again and have even found more ways to struggle at home at Wrigley.
Z to the bullpen. Castro up to the bigs. Theriot to second. Flip flop Ramirez and Soriano in the line up. I’ve been watching a lot of NBA playoff basketball lately and just like in those games where every team will have it’s run if given enough time, the same has gone for Lou lately. A hot streak, a cold streak….a cold streak, a very cold streak. Hopefully he finds the right mix and the right words to light a fire under this team soon. If wanting to win, if being paid millions isn’t enough then something else must be wrong. We need Lou to figure it out because Hendry can only call up so many hot hitting prospects to try and make a difference.
I think Keith Hernandez would fall into a coma if he called Cubs games. The Mets are 17-14 and two games out of first place behind the Phillies and even with all of that, here’s a clip of Keith calling a Mets game. Go Cubs Go…let’s turn this thing around QUICKLY!
Since Piniella made the well-spun ‘voluntary/good of the team’ Zambrano move to the bullpen last week, the Cubs’ bats woke up in the third game of the series against the Mets, swept the NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers and are riding a four game winning streak. I was at the game against the Mets at Citi Field when the club finally managed to win a game against the also struggling Mets (who have since also seemed to figure some of their issues out). It felt good to finally sit amongst Cubs fans after a game at Citi with the Cubs on top in the final score, providing the opportunity to sing Go Cubs Go on the way out of the stadium!
Here are some photos from that Cubs victory at Citi Field:
When I showed up to Citi Field it was raining pretty hard. The rest of the day was beautiful and then of course one hour before game time…POURING!
Which gave the baseball fans coming off the subway nothing better to do than hang out under cover and get into a yelling match…Let’s Go Cubbies…Let’s Go Mets…(repeat)
Eventually the cops came and show was over. Mets fan got in, Cubs fan didn’t. After I got inside I was greeted by a giant tarp mocking the fans hoping for a quick start time. The game eventually started at 7:45pm (not bad)
So I waited it out in the upper level, under cover in a seat that wasn’t mine (self photography sometimes comes out blurry, what can I say)
And after sneaking by a security guard, I eventually enjoyed watching the game from the FIELD LEVEL (another seat that wasn’t mine) and had a great view to see the Cubs blow out the Mets! Good times had by almost all..just not the Mets fans.
And now back to our regularly scheduled blog about how please Lou must be with himself regarding all the quality decisions he’s made recently:
Ted Lilly returned from the DL to the starting rotation prompting the Z move and the team went on a tear against the BrewCrew. The Cubs team we all had the opportunity to watch decimate Milwaukee over the weekend very well may be the result of Lou’s decision to mix things up a bit. To shake up the entire clubhouse by making ONE major decision. Take your opening day ace and put him in the bullpen. Strengthen the bullpen, make room for what was arguably last year’s ace in the starting rotation, keep Silva’s dynamic 2010 rolling and meanwhile, mix young talent in with vets to light a fire under the overpaid ‘stars’ and push the whole ‘let’s just have fun’ mentality on the team in a pep talk that seems to have had an impact for about a week already! I don’t think any rational Cubs fan actually thought the season was over a week ago, but MAN…we certainly didn’t look good, that’s for sure!
Soriano seems to have found his swing and his legs. Ramirez seems to have decided the best thing for him is to not swing at all, leading to last night’s game winning walk-off walk. Derrek Lee is still blasting the ball so hard only mother nature can keep him in the park. Marlon Byrd shows that even husky centerfielders who look like they would be better fitted to lead block for the Bears offense can man the outfield and produce at the plate, with new lineups even featuring his hot bat in the clean up spot! Marmol has been placing his pitches extremely well, shaping up to be one of the game’s great closers and proving that the job should have been his two years ago (when I said it should have)! All the while, it seems like the right guy are getting playing time despite the way their paycheck reads and the appropriate selections are being made when deciding who to send down to the farm teams.
Lou Piniella has had a hand in all of it. The pep talks, the decisions, the private meetings, the line ups. He’s pulling the strings and manning the man behind the curtain position extremely well right now and I hope he continues to do so. He has a reputation of one of the great managerial minds in baseball, even if every now and then he throws a three year old style tantrum and should lay off the ballpark snacks more than he usually does. Does his belly look like a profile causing some children to wonder if that guy is the manager or the mascot? Perhaps. Is he perfect? NO! But is he doing a great job right now? Yes. Do I think his moves are enough to win us the most pathetic prize in professional sports: the BP Crosstown Cup? Sure. Do I think he’s giving us a shot at the big prize of the World Series trophy if he keeps this kind of performance up? Absolutely.
Tune into a Cubs game and find them up five or six runs half way through the game with the starter reeling away at opposing batters and our late inning duo of Zambrano and Marmol waiting to squash any thoughts of late game rallies and zoom in real close to Lou Piniella’s head. Is he still thinking strategies to win the game he’s in with the big picture on his mind? I’m sure he is. Is he probably feeling pretty good about the way these decisions he’s made of late have been turning out? More than likely, if we could see inside his head, it may look a little something like this:
Keep it up guys and keep it up Lou! Gotta give you credit while we pile up the W’s because you know how the fingers are pointed at you when the other flag gets hung up as well! Go Cubs Go!
So game 2 at Citi Field tonight went JUST about as well as game 1. Arguably, you could say the Cubs performed even worse tonight than they did last night. Less hits, less runs and on the plus side, less errors. All of it amounted to a decent start by our ace Zambrano (as usual the starter suffers) wasted by an inept offense incapable of stringing hits together to produce runs. And let me tell you something, tonight was not Soriano’s fault so let’s give him a pass on this one.
Always a blast to see the Cubs play in my hometown of New York City. We only get four games at Citi Field this year with Chicago only making one trip to NY in 2010. Monday night was the first game of this week’s four game series at Citi and man…it’s great to see the Cubs in person, but it would be a lot more fun if you can see them get the win.
und trying to find this guy: