Cubs 9 - Astros 5: The Zambrano Rollercoaster

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cubs 9 - Astros 5: The Zambrano Rollercoaster

. Thursday, April 14, 2011

Say you're watching a baseball game - any game, really - and the pitcher who has staked you to a solid 5-0 lead through 5 innings hits one out of the park. Good, stuff, right? Apparently not. The correct answer would be "I predict imminent near-disaster."

Indeed, our volatile ... um, ace? ... took in this moment of personal triumph and immediately gave the Astros 5 runs in the bottom of the very same inning, with Mike Quade strangely looking on, thinking "someone should do something about this!" By the time he dragged his ass to the mound, Z was already off of it and we were looking down the barrel of a 1-run game. I blame Zambrano for completely losing focus and falling on his ass well shy of 100 pitches. I blame Quade for forgetting that he was the manager and his pitcher was sucking wind like a fat guy in a fourth floor walkup.

Happier ruminations after the jump

Now that we've gotten that vitriol out of the way, let's look at the good. Instead of imploding - much like ... most of 2010 - the Cubs managed to rally and put a solid three insurance runs on the board in the top of the 9th. Clutch business, that. And Starlin Castro (how awesome is he?) and Darwin Barney look considerably better than any 1-2 match in recent memory. I've softened somewhat on DarBar, who I recently referred to as an example of how shitty our minor league system was. I reserve the right to sour on him in the future, as his play dictates, but for now it's mea culpas and ice cream. Castro also had some clutch defensive plays, though I continue to fear him Shawon Duston-ing the ball into the dugout. But if he keeps leading the majors in hits, he can even do that once in awhile.

The bullpen, which prompted another Shiner Bock after Z's exit, ended up performing exceptionally. Marcos Mateo has burned us in the past, but was able to put out that fire in the 6th fairly quickly by inducing a flyout to foul territory. Marshall looked sharp as ever, and already has 5 (!!) holds on the season. K-Woo earned a solid hold in his first appearance since handing Sunday's game to Milwaukee, and also looked like he lost some weight. Of course, that could have been the beer goggles.

Today is a day without baseball, which is a sad circumstance indeed. There's also no hockey, which could be either a good or a bad thing in light of last evening's Blackhawks flop. Any suggestions on suitable sports entertainment for the evening? I'm thinking boxing on XBox, along with Sun Drop, whiskey, and some deep dish.