I told you this was going to happen. I was down in the dumps in the middle of last week and very mad at myself for being tricked. Then, in complete jest, I said that if we won three in a row I would be talking about October. Well three wins in a row baby, OCTOBER it is!! Ok, sorry for that, back to reality. Though three in a row was huge for this team, it is just one baby step in what will need to be a very long series of adult steps in order to get into playoff contention. However, I did like what I saw, and I liked it a lot. (Sometimes I really wish you could hear what I am writing because it is a lot funnier, so just imagine.)
Friday night, oh wow, Friday night. I am not sure if it was the bright lights, or the week off or what, but Mr. Dempster was up to his old tricks again and I was having none of it. Walk….hit….choking….walk….walk….puking.
“Another walk! Wait, he called him out? SWEET!!”
Man, that was a generous call, though the walk before should have been a strike out. Like many a wise men have said, it all evens out in the end. Then a line drive, an unsuccessful dive and a glorious ground ball, and somehow, someway, the Cubs won on Friday. Dempster needed that, and I think that Aramis proved he cares. Neil mentioned multiple times that Aramis was getting very frustrated at the poor pitching in the ninth and at one point looked like he wanted to actually throw his glove. Nonetheless, the Cubs came out on top and went into the weekend.
Saturday could have been another ugly game if it wasn’t for the big bat of Barrett. This man has been coming through in the clutch and as I said in March, he will be an All-Star. (I just want everyone to know how smart I am) I just hope we stay in the race, if not; his name will be bandied about during the trade talks. Z pitched great again and we won. I had given in before the game even started on Sunday. I know what happens when we start rookies, so at least we would split the series and go .500 on the road trip. Then, Carlos Marmol walked to the mound. Now, it was only one start and I have seen this before (aka – Jeff Pico, Frank Castillo, Mike Harkey, Jim Bullinger, Juan Cruz, need I go on?), but if he can do that two out of three times, we might just be okay. A great start, a series of two run homers and the Cubs had taken the series and finished a ten game road trip above .500.
So what does that tell you? I will tell you what it tells you, not much, not much at all. All we know is that June will most likely be a better month than May. From there on, who knows? How often will GlooRoo be forced to start? When will D-Lee return? Can Z keep it up? Will Maddux lose strength? Outside of the AL West, there is not a better division for this team to be in at this point, so it ain’t over yet.
We have 14 games coming up with the Astros and the Brewers and a chance to gain a lot of ground on them. Pujols is out for at least three or so more weeks and the Reds pitching staff’s deal with the devil is starting to wear thin. None of the four teams in front of us scare me. They are not very solid, the pitching is mostly weak and the lineups are very comparable. This thing is sooo not over yet.
See, there I go again, three games in a row and I am positioning for playoff tickets. Three wins in a row, and I am trying to figure what it will take to get Benson from the Orioles, that is a nice package deal as well. Three wins in a row, and I am estimating the impact that Derrek Lee will have in a few weeks. Three wins in a row, and I am dreading the Barrett suspension. (by the way, what happened to this, has an appeal ever lingered this long?) Three wins in a row, and I just calculated how Maddux will have 11 wins at the All-Star break.
Jason made a great point in his most recent article. I used to root for stats like no other, but I do not care anymore. I do not care if Pierre swipes 80 bases. I do not care if Aramis hit 40 homers or JJ hits .300. All I care about is the series, the World Series. Three wins on the road and I am knee deep in Cubbie Kool-Aid and loving every minute of it.
I have now put the glass down, I emptied what was left in my pitcher and I am focusing on the facts. The Cubs have a make-shift rotation, a huge hole in the lineup and a manager who loves Neifi, two games does not a season make. The truth is that it is going to take a lot for this to happen. Murton/Nevin will have to hit .300 with some pop, RC Cola and JJ will both have to keep it up, Marshall and Marmol have to act like veterans, Aramis will need to find himself, D-Lee will have to come back healthy and Prior needs at least 10 wins in three and a half months. This is still an uphill battle with and may again produce an unfortunate outcome. I am the ultimate optimist and enduring apologist when it comes to this team, but it will not be easy and it is not likely. However, three wins in a row, and I have a cupboard stocked with little blue packets of my favorite drink. GO CUBBIES!!!
Thanks for reading, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and until next time….
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!