I hate the west coast trip more than anything in baseball. It has only gotten worse since moving to the east coast. Now, games begin at 10pm. Luckily, tonight’s game was on ESPN and started at 8. So, due to the early start, I am awake enough to put a few coherent thoughts on the site. Here are the thinkings from last night’s win.
- One of the most important things for the Cubs to focus on is jumping out in front early. Too many times this year, they have let the opposing pitcher settle into a groove and that has caused nothing but trouble for the offense. In game 1 of this series, the Cubs decided that this would be a good thing to do and jumped out to a 4 – 0 lead early. In 2003, the Cubs were always jumping out in the first three innings and were scoring a lot of runs as a result. Jumping out first goes a long way toward settling in and finding a groove.
- Corey Patterson has been hitting in the 7th spot, and I like this place for him FOR NOW. I would eventually like to see him in a place that allows him to get on base and steal a little more. The 7th spot seems like a place where he is going to need to try to run every time he reaches first. With the 8 and 9 spot following him, there is nothing to lose by trying to get in scoring position. Tonight, he stole 2nd after reaching early in the game, and that was a great thing to see.
- It’s been great to see Maddux pitch 6+ innings consistently. I know a lot of people were worried that he didn’t have it in him at this point in his career, but he’s proved otherwise. I just wish he could impart some of that pitch count knowledge to some of the other starters on the staff. I haven’t really seen them improve since Maddux arrived. That either means Maddux is not much of a teacher and wants to keep his knowledge to himself, which would mean his professor nickname should be stripped from him. Or, it means the kids are not listening to the old man. I tend to think it’s the latter.
- I am thrilled to see Dempster nailing down saves with relative ease and Ram heating up. Both of these facts are a welcome relief.
- Tonight I was able to listen to Vin Scully, one of the last remaining legendary broadcasters in the business. I haven’t listened to him much, but I came away rather unimpressed. He’s not as sharp as I have heard in the past. Also, one rather odd thing I noticed was that he has no color guy with him in the booth. Perhaps this is why I came away from the game bored. I’m not sure why Scully was alone in the booth, but that is something I am not in favor of. A guy needs that support, no matter how good you are. It just makes for a more enjoyable broadcast to have two people interacting together.