Oh sure, now you're throwing heat.
It's no secret that most Cubs bloggers - at least, the ones that I talk to or Facebook near - have sort of mentally checked out of this season. Sure, we still watch and keep up with team news, but there's not that sense of urgency that only contention can bring. I mean shit, it's September and all. Yet the lack of attention may have bitten some of the casual fans right in the ass yesterday, because we swept the hated Cards in St. Louis (French for "shit-ass meth town") for the first time since 1988. I was four years old then, and probably not in a position to appreciate it. The winning pitchers that series were Sutcliffe, Maddux, and Jeff Pico. That's right, THE Jeff Pico. This time? Samardzija, Wells, and Zambrano. Enjoyable.
Here, without further ado, are the 10 Things Missed By Giving Up on This Horrible, Horrible Team.
1. Zambrano is apparently back in business, now that no one's watching. He hasn't given up more than 2 earned runs in any of his starts since the return from his freakout-based suspension. In completing the sweep, Z went a solid six, giving up four hits and two runs, and mercifully not screaming at anyone.
2. Mike Quade is 14-7 as a manager. If this keeps up, expect a chorus of dumbasses calling for him to be named full-time manager, with the expectation that he'll win twice as many games as he loses. No, the managerial candidate for us is Sexy Matt Sinatro. Va-VOOM!
3. St. Louis? Now 8 games back in the division, with 18 to go. It's nice to step on their necks in such a fashion. Though if anyone could give up that lead, other than the Mets, it'll be Dusty Baker. Stay tuned.
4. I don't really want to say this, because I think I'll jinx something, but Kosuke Fukudome is hitting .274 this late in the season. But shhhhhh. We'll keep it a secret.
5. Remember how Aramis Ramirez was going through the most horrible slump we could ever imagine? Well, he's only raised his average to .245 - honestly, how high could that number go? - but he's got the team lead in homers (23) and RBI (75). I'm not sure if I'm proud of my favorite player or depressed at the state of the team.
5 More, and Possible Nudity*, After the Jump
(Note: No Nudity, still one great picture coming up though)
Awesome, awesome, awesome. This is the mental picture I have of the Cardinals, their fans, and Tony LaRussa's liver at all times.
6. Blake DeWitt will heretofore be known as Jeff Baker 2.0. Good thing we gave up a pitcher and cash for his ass. He makes me hate myself for wishing that Darwin Barney will be in the lineup. That thrown-in pitching prospect had better be damn good.
7. Our bullpen, outside of Marshall and Marmol, is entirely composed of sucky pitchers. It's not even subjective - quantitative stats tell me that there's not a one of those sad bastards with an ERA under 5. For fuck's sake.
8. Samardzija pitched a decent game for once on Monday. 5.2 innings of no-run work against the Cardinals which single-handedly lowered his legendarily sucky ERA by 11.90. He's not at a more Thomas Diamond-ian 7.00. This will now convince all the ND alums in the area that he'll be pitching in next year's All Star Game. Or it would, if they were still paying attention to baseball.
9. So how is our boy Ted Lilly doing in Los Angeles? About like you'd expect - equal measures of dominant (complete game shutout against the Rockies) and frustrating (7 ER in 4 innings 10 days later against the same Colorado team). Of course, he's 5-2 out there, so while the Dodgers are fourth in their division, 10 games back, and under .500, they still managed to provide a better support system than the Cubs.
10. Only six more games left at the Friendly Confines before we close down shop for the year. Let's all try to get to at least one more game and shed a tear for the Mastercard Presale that's mere months away.