Bloodbath On Addison!
So, lately I can’t help but notice a certain crankiness running throughout View From the Bleachers. Actually, it’s not just lately, it’s been pretty much all season, but it’s been getting on my nerves lately. I mean, sure it’s fun to bust on the Cubs lack of fundamentals and nonexistent plate discipline. And don’t get me started on Joe Maddon. I mean, the pajama parties; the stupid batting orders; the even stupider defensive alignments. That shit’s GOLD!
But here’s the thing. It’s the middle of August and the Cubs are in first place. Furthermore, the town where I live was besieged by hundreds of Neo-Nazi, white supremacist a-holes this past Saturday. They killed a woman and a co-worker of my wife’s is in the hospital.
I tell you this, not to scold you, and certainly not to try to garner sympathy. It’s just that the events of the past week have convinced me that maybe it’s not the end of the freaking world if the Cubs don’t win it all this year.
Moving on, but before we get to the game, just as an aside: why doesn’t Billy Hamilton get his teeth fixed? Randy Moss got braces when he made it to the big time. Why doesn’t Hamilton? I ponder these things sometimes.
Seriously. If you were 26, had teeth like that and were making $2.63 million this year, wouldn’t you get some orthodontic work done? I would. I never needed braces. But I never made $2 million+ a year either. But I digress. On to the game.
The wind was blowing out hard to dead center field this afternoon. (That’s eerie foreshadowing, a la, It was a dark and stormy night—FYI) Even so, Jon Lester cruised through the first inning 1-2-3. The second inning, however, was a different story. But I have to say, this was one of the worst hard luck innings I’ve ever witnessed. A whole bunch of weak contact resulted in flare single, flare single, grounder up the middle, flare single and the Reds had two in and two on. Then in what I would say was the pivotal at-bat of the game, with two out, and after having Hamilton 2-2, Lester walked him to load the bases. Then Jose Peraza blooped yet another single into center, and after a weird misplay by Jon Jay the Reds had 2 more in and men at the corners. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought Lester had a sort of WTF look of resigned acceptance of his fate about him as Joey Votto came to the plate. After a Little League quality steal of second by Peraza, Votto made the first solid contact of the day and rode the jet stream into the left field bleachers to make it 7-0 Reds.
At this point J.D. semi-prophetically stated “You’ll need 15 to win today.” Almost J.D., almost.
After an error by Kris Bryant, Eugenio Suarez drove a double to the wall in left to bring in another run making it 8-0 and chasing Lester from the game. Sort of. He signaled to the dugout for a trainer, but when Maddon and the trainer came out, I think Jon said something along the lines of, “Joe, I’m dying out here dude! What are you, Dusty Baker? Throw me a freaking bone and get me out of here!”
Lester was diagnosed with “left lat tightness.” Len said, “Lat? That’s, uh…” J.D. came to his rescue with “latissimus dorsi.” An emboldened Len charged forth with, “behind your shoulder, right?”
No Len, not exactly.
J.D proceeded to look up some anatomy graphics on his computer (the camera was on them at this point for some reason) and explained, in medical terms where and what the lat is, pointing around his own back as he spoke. All the while Len looked like he wanted to stab J.D. in the neck with a pen, but he capped off the discussion with, “Good stuff.”
Yes, Len. It doesn’t get any better than that.
After that Happ, Bryant, Avila, Happ, Baez and Schwarber all homered and the Cubs tied it 9-9 in the 5th. But the bullpen couldn’t keep the Reds down and it only took the Reds 11 to win, but they added a couple more in there just for good measure.
So what are we to take away from this game? I don’t know. We didn’t really learn anything we didn’t already know. The Cubs swing for the fences a lot and sometimes they connect. Their defense isn’t so great. Their pitching isn’t that great a lot of the time. They give up runs, and sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don’t. This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes, it rains.