(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
What’s It Going to Take? – Dempster is now 6-2 with an ERA of in the mid 2’s. In the month of May, he’s 2-2 with a 1.89 ERA. So I ask you. What’s it going to take for you as a Ryan Dempster skeptic to get on the bandwagon. I’m not saying that you’re wrong for being skeptical of his success based on the past results for him as a starter for the Reds. All I want to know is what will he need to show you to ease your fears and win you over to his side. For me, I’m not there yet, but I’m close. If I can see another quality start or so in a row out of him, I think I may convert to Dempsterism. I may need to worship at the alter and pledge my allegiance to his skills. What about you? What do you need? Does today’s seven inning, one run job do the trick for you?
Regardless of where you stand on if he’s legit or not, the fact remains that what he’s done to this point has been way more than I would have ever anticipated from him, and I don’t think I’m alone on that. Is it out of the question for him to win 18 games? Is it out of the question for him to make the All Star game with Zambrano? Man, this stuff has me excited.
Aramis Ramirez is my MVP – If the season ended right now, Ramirez has my vote for the team MVP. I can’t even begin to recount all the times he’s come up huge for this team in the clutch. Today was yet another example. Even though his home run didn’t “win the game”, I really feel like it did a lot to help the Cubs win the game. Insurance runs, especially those that come on home runs, go a long way toward deflating the trailing team. It knocks the wind out of their sails and the Cubs couldn’t afford to go into the ninth with the Dodgers having any wind. They nearly tied the game in the 8th, so you have to assume that they would have had a chance to tie it in the 9th. They had the momentum on there side until Ramirez hit his home run to put it out of reach. In addition, his home run probably did a little ease the worries of some fans as Wood trotted in to close it out. There are Wood haters out there that panic each and every time he comes in. Ramirez helped them out as well today.
In addition to the play at the plate, I mentioned about a week ago that I felt like Ramirez had been throwing the ball better to first. Little did I know that today marks the 32nd straight game without an error for him. He started out a little rough in the first few weeks of the year and has since righted the ship and appears to be ready to once again make a run at a gold glove award. I felt like he had a legit case for winning last season, but lost out to David Wright, who had double the amount of errors. This year Wright has already got 9 errors. I think it’s Aramis’s time.
What’s a Losing Streak? – With today’s win, we kept from losing our third straight. Did you know that the Cubs are the only team in the Majors that have still not lost three games in a row all year? If you’re going to be a quality team, you consistently stay away from long losing streaks. We’ve done just that. We’ve had chances to lose three in a row, but each time we’ve taken care of business and rallied to get the win. On the flip side, last year’s squad had a nice four game streak by the 13th of April, and another three game slide later in the month.
Let’s not get excited over this. – Len and Bob were discussing Joe Torre and his playoff success. They made a big deal about the fact that Torre had the most playoff wins in MLB history. What they failed to mention, and most fail to mention when discussing playoff records, is that they’re useless, unless you look as rate stats. By explaining the playoff rounds, most counting stats have been rendered useless and outdated, including wins. It’s not fair to make such a big deal that someone has X number of this or that in the playoffs when they’ve had a ton more chances than some of the older players and managers had in the past. It used to be that the playoffs consisted only of the World Series for cryin’ out loud. How can we compare those?
I can feel a change – Here are the first five lines to the song by the Boomers:
I feel a change coming
I feel it in my bones
I feel a change coming and I’m not alone
I can feel it in the air I breathe
I see it on my TV
What does this have to do with the Cubs? It has to do with Jim Edmonds. He’s now hitting .150 on the year with an on base % under .200. He’s not hit well for the Cubs, which isn’t too big a deal because of the small amount we risked on him. He got the start today, and I’m being honest when I say that I forgot he was in the game at one point. He really hasn’t made much of an impact since being here, aside from the tremendous catch in Houston. With Reed Johnson making most say “eh”, is it time to dip into the farm for…..not Felix Pie, but ….wait for it…..Andres Torres? Who? Andres Torres is a 30 year only CF in Iowa. With Pie down in Iowa, Torres has seen his playing time cut, despite the fact that he’s hit over. 300 with an OPS over .900. Why not release Edmonds, add Torres to the 40 man roster and recall him, and let Pie continue to figure things out in Iowa. The next time Pie comes up, he needs to stay up for good and play every day. To have that happen, we need to be absolutely certain we can give him that chance. With him struggling even in Iowa, now is not that time. Why not give Torres a chance to make a name for himself? He’s 30, so it’s not like it’s going to ruin his development. Give the guy a chance, which is something he hasn’t had since 2005 with Texas.