I’m starting to like this 2006 team; gone apparently are the boring days of station to station/wait for the homerun baseball. This Cubs team is showing enthusiasm both on the field and in the dugout. Some post-game thoughts after the Cubs’ 6-2 victory over nearby rival Milwaukee:
1. I liked how Maddux pitched his way out of jams, particularly the one that started the game. This is the difference between the 2006 version and the efforts that this future Hall of Famer has given us in 2004 and 2005;
2. Too much aggressiveness isn’t a bad thing – The Cubs had two baserunners picked off on a steal attempt and an apparent broken hit and run. While it’s disappointing to lose a baserunner I wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed by these efforts. The Cubs willingness to gamble and steal runs is something that major league managers would be wise to look out for;
3. I really enjoyed watching Juan Pierre do what he does best – his ability to lay down bunts and get on any way he can bodes well for the Cubs’ chances in 2006. It was also nice to see Jacque Jones get three hits including a homerun – Wrigley will warm to Jones if he gets fired up and produces, and
4. Rickie Weeks swings a tree. If he doesn’t get smart and start wielding a smaller bat Cubs pitchers would be wise to start jamming him on the fists, he’ll never get around on inside pitching from a guy with a plus fastball.
Next up is Rusch vs. Doug Davis – two pitchers with comparable results this year. Don’t let Davis’ 7.66 ERA fool you though, he’s a better pitcher than his record indicates. Tommy will be doing the post-game tomorrow and I will post the Sunday night wrap-up around 8:30 after I watch the recorded game. Let’s go Cubbies!