Don’t Get Cocky

I am not sure if you can blame the latest cold streak on overconfidence, but there must be a good explanation for the freefall since the Cubs first received a taste of 1st place. If you were ever sweating the wannabes known as the Brew Crew (or as I affectionately refer to them: the Cheese Curds) you have hopefully come to your senses now. Do you honestly and sincerely harbor any rational thoughts that there is any team standing in the way of the Chicago Cubs, besides themselves? You know better….

Untapped Potential

I was thrown a hard slider when I heard the news about Corey….er….Eric Patterson’s call-up. Excuse me for mistaking him for his brother, but the likeness is a bit uncanny. I applaud this move, and had even been predicting an Eric Patterson sighting in our 2008 lineup, but at 2B, not in the OF. If you think about it, though, what a great situation this could be in the outfield the next 5-6 years: Alfonso Soriano in RF, Felix Pie in CF, and Eric Patterson in LF? Wow….that is a quality mix of speed and power, and given that we have Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee for a couple more years at least, I wouldn’t worry if Pie and Patterson don’t knock out a lot of homeruns. With the amount of ground those three could cover, our pitchers should flourish.

Coming back to the present day….either Felix Pie isn’t ready, or someone has a man-crush on Jacque Jones, because I don’t see Pie getting back a starting job, barring injury, this year. More than likely, management is leary of having 2 rookies in the OF at the same time, considering they are already giving decent time to Mike Fontenot, and to Ryan Theriot, who have never played a full season in the majors either.

Theriot seems to have proven himself, in my opinion, so it is a bit confusing why we kept Ronny Cedeno, when he likely had some decent value at the trading deadline, given how hot he had been in AAA. What is the plan with Cedeno now? If he will just be a backup infielder, I am fine with that….but what I want to avoid is a rotating lineup. Once we got away from rotating all the players in the lineup, that is when the Cubs starting getting consistent.

You Were Expecting….What?

Marquis has been a bit shaky. He reminds me of Jon Garland before Garland had his breakout year in 2005. Up to that point, Garland was always a .500 pitcher with great stuff, that seemed to just cruise along in games and then seemingly have a mental meltdown out of nowhere and give up 4-5 runs. Marquis has been a heart attack waiting to happen everytime you watch him….much like Dempster in non-save situations.

Speaking of Dempster, I see the writing on the wall, and I hope Sweet Lou Piniella has the courage to do the right thing and start putting Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol out there in the 8th and 9th innings. Honestly, they are the most talented relievers we have….don’t get all Dusty Baker on me, and stick with guys out of loyalty….not when the Cubs have a legitimate chance at a division title!

Scott Eyre has found his grip on the baseball once again, which I predicted would eventually occur. The bullpen is solid, as far as bullpens go….but Piniella just has to be smart about when he uses his bullpen arms, and in which order. Stop with the overkill on lefty-lefty match-ups for the sake of lefty-lefty match-ups! If Marmol is more likely to get a left-handed batter out than Scott Eyre, then just let Marmol pitch to the guy!

Final Thoughts

The real season has begun in earnest….I have to cut this short to get ready for the game. The Brewers lost, having given up 30 runs in two games….nice pitching staff they got there….silly Cheese Curds. Let’s hope Soriano heals well, and is productive for the playoff run, let’s hope Patterson can get some confidence and show the patience his brother never had, let’s hope Kerry Wood’s arm stays attached to his body, and let’s go Cubs!

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon