A time to forgive? - Jason Marquis is doing well of late, but at this point, does anyone really care? Be honest with yourself. If you’re a Marquis hater, and you know who you are, the truth is that he could have 10 straight starts in which he’s masterful and you’re still going to trust him the same amount. You’re still going to want him off the team as soon as possible. Right? I think that’s the way Cub fans have gotten with him. I went on record and called for his head, only to regret that statement as he’s gone out and been great lately. Take a look at his splits:
Perhaps it’s time for us to bite the bullet and forgive Jason for all the talk we’ve done about wanting him off the team. I understand that he’s notoriously been an above average pitcher in the first half of the season, but as a player ages, he’s got to begin to figure things out, right? Couldn’t this year be that year that he finally figures out how to be successful throughout the entire year? I believe he can.
Bizzaro Cubs – Sports Illustrated ran a really cool cover that talked about how bizarre this baseball season has been. On the cover was a comic book type representation of the Rays as they’ve exceeded many people’s expectations this year. What has been lost in the shuffle for us is how much of a bizzaro year it’s been in terms of Cubs norms. Here are some examples.
Kerry Wood is healthy and has been for the entire year. There has been no worries or mysteries about his health. For the first time since he dominated in 2003, Kid K is alive and well. I guess that means I can finally not feel embarrassed when I say that he’s my favorite Cub.
The Cubs are walking like it’s going out of style. We lead all of baseball in on base percentage and it feels great to watch the entire lineup taking pitches and making the starters work deep into counts. Need an example that sums it all up? Aramis Ramirez was 10 walks away from his career high in a season coming into Sunday’s action. That’s insane.
We have a Japanese player for the first time in team history.
We have the best record in all of baseball.
We have a catcher that is hitting the ball with authority and will probably start the all star game.
Lou has his leadoff man? - If you didn’t catch the Daily Herald on Sunday morning, Lou had an interesting quote about the leadoff spot in Soriano’s absence. “I would think Johnson would be our leadoff hitter when he’s in there, and then we can work our lineup from there.” I can’t decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I think Reed could do the job and fits the mold. He runs well, does all he can to get on base (including sacrificing his body), and is a decent contact guy. On the other hand, I think there are possibly better guys for the job. For example, Kosuke Fukudome could get the job done and we could probably afford to move him up now that Geo has emerged as a middle of the order hitter. I’m not going to rant and rave about the decision. I just hope it works. How great would it be for the Cubs to get even hotter than they already are with Reed in that spot, which forces Lou to decide whether he should take him out of that spot when Soriano returns from the DL.
This Day in Cub History - 1964 – In a six player deal, the Cubs trade Lou Brock (will stay with team for fifteen years amassing 3,023 career hits) to Cardinals for Ernie Brogilo (will last two and half seasons with 7-19 record for Chicago).
Scott Eyre was perfect? – I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before today, but coming into the game, Stevie Eyre was perfect in terms of runs allowed. That’s a major difference from the player we saw last year that people wrote off and left for dead. After all, Lou couldn’t even remember his name, calling him Stevie for the greater part of the year.
Stars of the Game
First Star – Ted Lilly (.318)
Second Star – Derrek Lee (.138)
Third Star – Reed Johnson (.052)
Turd of the Game – Vernon Wells (-.120)