Slowly, this Cubs team is starting to look like a project in motion, rather than a wreckage left by a past regime.
No, they won’t go anywhere this year and they may not next year, but sure enough they are starting to take a game here and there where they normally (for the past few seasons at least) would not. They were moving right along at a decent clip before the Dark Knight of Gotham, Matt Harvey, came along and slowed their mojo. By the way, lets talk about Matt Harvey for a minute, the guy is a stud! He is 5-0 on a team that is 17-25 and recovering from being madoffed. He is 2-0 in the last three games he pitched with six runs of total support. Yes stat-heads, I just used wins as a determining factor. I’ll even break it down in simpler terms…the guy is winning games on a crap team. When I see that, I just figure the rest of the statistical minutiae fall in line….don’t worry , I checked and it does.
Where was I, oh yah, the Cubs look to be entering the race finally. A friend recently said they looked as though they are finally approaching the first quarter pole. I say whoa! Lets take a few steps back, how about they just saddled the horse? (A salute to Mike Quade if you will?) At least it seems they know they are entered in a race. It may be one that finishes sometime in 2017, but lets be thankful for the little things in these little times.
Meanwhile, the glaring issue of the bullpen rears it’s ugly head and throws away a nice start by Matt Garza. Freakin’ bullpens, they are about as sexy as the offensive line in football, but damn it if they are not as important. The funny thing is they are made up of guys who failed everywhere else on the diamond. These guys seem to come from everywhere. How often do you hear, “well, John was a shortstop when he was drafted but now he’s a long reliever.” You don’t really start out as a reliever, you end up there, yet the importance is massively understated. How many teams in baseball right now would be great if they only had a bullpen?
Anyhow, on with the news…..
- The week started off with Don Mattingly’s job in jeopardy. Now it seems like all is well? Look, I grew up on Don Mattingly. His 1984 Topps rookie card was the first modern card to balloon to stratospheric values within the same year as its release. It put baseball card collecting on the map. However, when there is a lot of money on the line the first guy to go is the manager, even if it is the great Donnie Ballgame! (side note – pretty sure his rookie card is worth less now than it was 25 years ago)
- Ryan Vogelsong broke his hand swinging at an inside fastball. DH in the NL anyone?
- Miguel Cabrera hit three homers in one game and the Tigers still lost.
- Baseball Prospectus did a piece on the 10 players in baseball history “they wish had stayed healthy”. It’s worth a read, and yes, Mark Prior is number seven.
- So, basically Theo told Ian Stewart that Vitters is the future at third base for the Cubs? Should we call it the cold corner for a little while?
Tweet of the week:
Somewhere Michael Bowden is shaking his head
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 22, 2013 (during the bottom of the sixth inning in last night’s game)