The last two games the Cubs “played” have resulted in two losses and a run differential of -18. Both the offense and the pitching staff have struggled. Not too many good things happened (besides Hollandsworth upping his slugging percentage to 1.000).

The six game winning streak the Cubs rattled off just prior to–wait a minute, let me rephrase that–just before these last two games lulled me into a place where naked ladies floated by on pillowy clouds and cars never broke down. Suddenly, the naked ladies turned into harpies, the clouds turned dark and stormy, and all the cars were Edsels.

This morning I recognized the melancholia with which I was stricken; it was the feeling a puppy must have when a kindly new owner, pockets bulging with Snausages, takes it home from the pound, only to be stolen from its backyard the next day and sold to Mike Tyson. Hopes risen, hopes dashed. It was the same feeling I had last year after the Marlins series, and in 1998 after Trachsel’s departure in his best start in memory against the Braves in the playoffs. It was the feeling of hopelessness.

The circumstances were different this time, though; this kind of shoulder-sloper shouldn’t hit until the playoffs, right? If this is what being a Red Sox fan is like, I’ll take the Cubs.

Tonight, even if the Cubs lose 6-3, I expect I’ll go back to the feeling of cautious optimism I had entering the season. The Johnson/Webb games have ripped away my giddy euphoria, my hubris, and and replaced it with a grim realism not unlike a hangover. Hangovers go away with time, and so will my irrational fear that my unbridled JOY in watching the Cubs will be punished tenfold.

No stats on these last two games. They were played in Arizona; I’m going to pretend they were poorly scheduled spring training games and stare at this awful picture of Tuffy Rhodes.

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