View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2004



Down the Stretch They Come

Written by , Posted in General

Six games left. It all comes down to this. How bad do you want it? The Cubs have this week to make up for a whole season of disappointment. One week to overcome all the injuries suffered and rise to the place many expected them to be at the beginning of the season. One week to make our city and their fans proud. It’s a great amount of pressure on a team that hasn’t won a World Series in going on 100 years. Mike Downy seems to think the Cubs appear ready. I hope he’s right.

I watched the game last night while talking to Andy. It was good to see Todd Walker do well last night. I am disappointed at the lack of praise he has received this season. This is a guy that came here from an equally “World Series Ready” team to play for less money. He has stepped up when asked and has not complained about sitting behind an aging Mark Grudzielanek all year. Now, with Mark hurting, it’s time for Todd to step out and solidify his spot in the starting lineup for the playoffs. It will take a lot of great play, due to Dusty’s loyalty to Grudz, but it can be done.

It’s time to start thinking about the playoff roster. So, I will give you my playoff roster if I was at the helm of this ball club.

1. Kerry Wood
2. Carlos Zambrano
3. Greg Maddux
4. Mark Prior

I put Wood as my Ace for 2 reasons. First, he is still the vocal leader of this staff. The team looks at it as his staff and so he should get that respect. Also, he was cash money in Atlanta last year in the NLDS, so why not give him that opportunity again. Last year, on the road in the NLDS, Kerry was 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA. Because of that, he gets the nod in game one. Additionally, that allows Maddux to pitch at home, where his stats are far better over the past three years (Click Here for the Stats). Prior gets the fourth spot for the simple fact that he’s Mark Prior and his stuff is far better than Matt Clement’s. He is our franchise, Clement isn’t so give the spot to Prior.

Glendon Rusch – L
Kent Merker – L
Mike Remlinger – L
Matt Clement – R
Ryan Dempster – R
La troy Hawkins – R
Kyle Farnsworthless – R

This has got to be a strength for this team if we are going to go anywhere. Our pitching has been far from what was expected this year, so if the pen can be lights out, it would take tremendous pressure off of the rotation and allow Dusty more flexibility with when to pull a pitcher. I did add Farnsworth to my playoff roster for the simple fact that his pure stuff is too good to ignore. He is worth the gamble if he can payoff. If not, we have some other guys who could step up.

CF – Corey Patterson
2b – Todd Walker
1b – Derrek Lee
3b – Aramis Ramirez
SS – Nomar Garciaparra
LF – Moises Alou
RF – Sammy Sosa
C – Michael Barrett
P – pitcher spot

Bench – N. Perez, B. Grieve, P. Bako, T. Goodwin, M. Grudzielanek, J. Macias

That’s how I would do it. We’ll just have to wait and see what Dusty decides. Regardless, it’s time to get down to business. 6 days left, make them count. To quote the Black Eyed Peas, “Let’s get it started”

Update (8:45am) –Wrigley Ravings agree’s with me about Todd Walker