Thank you, lizzie, for the kind introduction.
This is my weekly recap of a Cubs game, specifically the Monday night game against the San Diego Padres, but before we get into that I have to say a few words about yesterday’s game against the Cardinals.
The first lesson which yesterday’s game demonstrated is that it is better to be ahead 9-2, than to be trailing 9-2.
Secondly, I heard analysts bemoaning the fact that the Cubs “almost lost” the game in the ninth inning, that the Cardinals “almost came back” late in the game. Here’s my point: “Almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades (and, I’m told, in thermonuclear devices).
Thirdly, have you noticed that the Cubs seem to beat the Cardinals, while, counterintuitively, they lose to the Pirates? I guess it all sort of evens out.
Lastly, regarding DLee’s sore lower back. Setting aside, for the moment, any personal feelings about Mr. Lee’s performance (at times) during the past two seasons, let me say that I’ve lived with back issues, and I wouldn’t wish backaches on anyone. Get well soon big guy.
Now, let’s recap the Monday night game against the San Diego Padres. For purposes of this recap I’m going to assume the persona of “Mr. Expert On Everything” (my alter ego).
I have to tell you that watching this game was better than putting a sharp stick in my eye, but not much better.
The Cubs started off pretty good, but eventually they reverted to their default setting which resembles a slow spiral descent into hell.
On the offensive side, the first two Cubs batters got hits, resulting in runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Somehow they managed to score no runs while leaving the bases loaded. Amazing!
Tom Gorzelanny pitched a true quality start. He had a no hitter through three innings, and a shutout through four innings. Justin Berg was warming up in the 6th, because it was obvious that Mr. Gorzelanny was out of gas.
But Gorz got out of the 6th inning without too much damage. After 6 innings he had given up 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks & 2 strikeouts. Like I said, a “quality start”.
My jaw dropped when, inexplicably, Gorzelanny came out to pitch the 7th. I actually made a note at that time: “This will not end well!”.
Before we move ahead to the later innings, let me say that Darwin Barney made a really nice relay throw to home plate in the top of the fifth. At the same time, I feel compelled to point out that Alfonso Soriano was his usual self in the field and on the bases tonight.
Earlier today I was reading some football analysis by Peter King, who quoted a coach saying: “They don’t play better just because you pay ‘em more money.” Case in point, Alfonso Soriano.
In the eighth inning Alfonso drove a ball against the wall in right center, for what I thought was a sure triple. But, with his superior base running skills, Mr. Soriano turned a sure triple into a stand up double.
I don’t want to describe the 7th, 8th & 9th innings in great detail, because we all know the drill. The Cubs bullpen is a work in progress, and there you have it. I will say that LHP James Russell struck out the side in the top of the 9th. (Unfortunately, the Padres managed to score 2 runs on a single, a walk and a triple in between the 3 Ks.)
I want to congratulate Padres shortstop Miguel Tejada on a stellar performance this evening. Four hits in five plate appearances, with a double and three singles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
And I especially dig Darwin Barney’s exaggerated gum chewing when he’s at the plate.