Weekend Recap: 5 Games Up!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend Recap: 5 Games Up!

. Monday, August 4, 2008

Not being familiar with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the people in the expensive seats thought that a vagrant had stumbled into the Friendly Confines for the first pitch. They then proceeded to flee to their BMWs.

This weekend had the potential to be scary, and also rudely disappointing. But, as Cubs fans know, there's only ever a razor's edge between exhilaration and heartbreak. Thanks to one plucky strip club DJ's pinch hit homer, we're on the right side of the fence this morning. Thanks to some timely losses by the the Brewers and Cards, we're now 5 games up on the team whose fans shop primarily at Big Dog and 6 up on the team whose fans include Larussa HJ-giver Buzz Bissinger. So all is right for the moment.

"Psst ... can I come play for you guys?"

Friday's game was the embarrassment that put the entire weekend in doubt. Following four straight days of eating the spots section so our domination of the Brewers could be part of me, Jason Marquis turned in a very Marquish (Marquisian, Marquette?) but solid performance on a day when the entire offense decided not to show up. The final ugly result was a 3-0 loss. Marquis has a W-L count that now stands at 6-7, and I would again like to remind our readers that this is the guy who demanded a spot in the rotation during spring training, saying "I can take my services elsewhere." Ha hahahahaha. Still funny, that. He just better drop to his knees and thank whatever deity he prayed to that decided to smite Rich Hill.

Malibu Mike, acting very un-Dude

Friday's loss bled into Saturday's anxiety, as I knew that our old friend Theodore Roosevelt Lilly would be on the mound. As much as I respect the record he's put up and I want him to be a solid starter, his struggles occasionally cause me to soil myself in rage. It's okay to soil oneself - so long as it is in rage.

I'm uncomfortable with two things: (1) Lilly's 4.35 ERA (2) The crotch shot aspect of this picture

But no, readers, there would be no soiling myself Saturday. After giving up an early run, Lilly gave up no more runs over a solid, if not great, 6.1 innings. The team held on for a 5-1 win. It was good enough, even with Soriano, Theriot, D.Lee, and Aramis Ramirez (Nickname suspended pending vote) combining for only 2 hits. The offensive heroes were Geo Soto and Ronny Cedeno. Soto got one of his RBI on a hit, the other on a groundout. Cedeno managed one RBI on a hit, the other on a double play. It wasn't the prettiest game, but Carlos Marmol looked good closing out the game, striking out two but walking one.

Soriano is an excellent fielder, in the same way that Rain Man was an excellent driver.

Sunday's game meant either success or failure for this particular home series. Zambrano was on the mound, but was yanked after 5 innings with the team up 5-2. Listening to the post-game call in on WGN, I found that this move caused the fans to go absolutely apeshit. At first, all was well, with frat-boy crush object Jeff SZJIAJZMARIDAJA (I'm NOT looking that up) pitching 2.1 solid innings of 1 hit ball with a solid 40-20 strike/ball count. But then, holy crap, here comes Neal "Noodle Arm" Cotts. Cotts, despite giving up 2 hits and 2 runs in 1/3 of an inning, got the hold on the box score. After him, Chad Gaudin gave up the tying home run in 1/3 of an inning, allowing himself to get the W (his record is now 3-1).

This is why I don't trust pitching statistics. Neal Cotts and Chad Gaudin shouldn't be rewarded for this type of behavior. Nothing personal against Gaudin, who I think is a solid reliever, but garbage stats like this don't help measure his worth. And isn't that all that stats are really there for? Why should serving up a fat hanging curveball over the plate earn a pitcher a W? Oh, and when I said, "nothing personal against Gaudin," I see it may have implied a personal grudge against Cottsy. Good.

Reed Johnson dedicates his game-winner to the memory of the mustache we all knew and loved

Then came the bottom of the 8th. With a 5-2 lead blown and the team (and certainly this blogger) really damn demoralized, these Boys in Blue needed a hero. With two outs and non-stealing threat Geo Soto on first, pinch hitter and personal facial hair hero Reed Johnson crushed a 0-2 pitch out of the park. Even he knew it was gone, as he threw his arm up montage style as soon as the ball left the bat. And boom, suddenly it's 7-5, and we remember that these are the Pirates. Not content to let our strip club DJ and his goatee have all the fun, Soriano sent one out in the next at-bat, winning some lucky WGN listener $1,000. 8-5, Cubs. And of course, Pat and Ron reminded him that had this happened an inning before, it would have been $10K. And we all laughed.

Soto plays the mirror game with Johnson, convincing him that he had turned into a stout Puerto Rican man, a-la "Freaky Friday"

Marmol again looked solid closing the game and earning a save with two pop outs and a strikeout of the pinch hitter. And so, surrounded by boxes, I was able to proudly display the new W flag that my dear mother had given me as a housewarming present. One question: how does one remove creases from a flag? This is an area of Cubs fan logistics with which I am entirely unfamiliar.


Pete said...

Reed Johnson came through with a clutch hit off the bench to save the series. Don't you think he should start more often? I'd like to exchange links with you. Already listed your link in my post. Let me know if you can do the same for me.

Bree said...

I love that the Pirates put in their lefty pitcher to face Daryle Ward, only to have him warm up and actually pitch to Reed Johnson. I laughed.

Anyway... you can use an iron to get the wrinkles out of your new flag (assuming you have an iron). Make sure there's water in it. Put it on a steam setting. If the flag is polyester, make sure you don't touch the hot iron directly to it. It could melt or warp it. Instead, hang the flag up and steam out the wrinkles. Most irons have a steam button that you can press. I just did this with new curtains.

Tune in next week for a delicious broccoli casserole recipe.

John said...

Pete, what's your URL? Your name doesn't have that cool blue hyperlink trait. About Reed, I think they're careful to platoon him with Edmonds because Reed has a history of health issues. It's what got him bounced from Toronto. Also, when he was an everyday player a few months back, he started hot (over .300) and then sort of slumped for awhile. I think he's better off the bench or in relief of Fuku, Edmonds, or Soriano.

Oh, and also, thanks for the good housekeeping tip. I do indeed own an iron - as of last night, in fact.

Steve said...

Pete - what is your site?