Category: Dailies

Cubs Sweep The Buccos

IMG_1751.JPGWhat a glorious day!  What a glorious weekend.  Crawly Senior and I had the pleasure of wattching the Cubs pound Pittsburgh 13-3 on Sunday, completing their second straight sweep of the Buccos.  Not only that, but St. Louis got crushed and Eric Gagne blew a save for Milwaukee, putting the Cubs in first place!!!  Hey Hey!!  The Cubs offense is just clicking on all cylanders, as the Cubs hit 29 runs in the weekend series with the Pirates.  The starting pitching is still not where it needs to be, but I am sure enjoying this April a ton more than I did last season.  Listening to sports talk radio, I heard people wondering if this team is real or not, claiming that they are just beating teams with losing records.  Look, the Cubs didn’t make their schedule and not only that, they are winning the games they are supposed to, something that hasn’t happened over the last few years.  All I am saying is that I am happy that the Cubs are in first place. 

There are many things that excite me about this team.  I love the 1-2 punch of Reed Johnson and Ryan Theriot.  In the bottom of the fourth inning in Sunday’s game, Johnson was hit by a
Lee Homers 4-19.jpgpitch.  Theriot was up next, showed bunt, but the pitcher threw two pitches out of the strike zone.  With a 2-0 count, Johnson was running, Threriot hit the ball to the right side of the infield, and Johnson scored from first with Theriot advancing to second when Nady’s throw to home plate was late.  The Cubs are also a more patient team and that is allowing them to score more runs.  Do you realize the Cubs are second in MLB in runs scored, third in hits, fourth in total bases, have the fifth highest in average, second in on base percentage, and second in on base plug slugging percentage?   How about the Cubs being fourth in the amount of walks drawn?  Still feel like that clogs the bases Dusty?  The Cubs are also seventh in stolen bases.  Lou Pinella and hitting coach Gerald Perry have turn this team from a bunch of hackers into a disciplined hitting team.   

Do I think all is well in the world of the Cubs?  No.  Are starters are struggling to get past the fifth. Are bullpen is again giving up too many walks.  Questions remain on where to bat Soriano when he comes back from his injury.  Will our left handed starters begin pitching
Wood closes 4-10.jpgbetter?  Is Kerry Wood going to stay healthy?  These are all areas of concern for the Cubs,
but at the end of the day, there is only one stat in baseball that matters most: Wins, and right now,  the Cubs keep racking them up.  Now, the real test comes for the Cubs.  Starting Monday, the Cubs have a two game series with the Mets, then fly to Colorado for another two game series.  They travel to Washington for three (that one shouldn’t be difficult), then they play three with Milwaukee at home, travel to St Louis for three, Cincy for three, and then come back to Wrigley to fave the hottest team in baseball in the Diamondbacks and one of the toughest pitching staffs in San Diego, who will play in a four game series.  The Cubs then have three more games at Wrigley, than go to Houston and Pittsburgh.  When the dust clears on May 22, I believe this will really tell if the Cubs are for real or not.  If they can stay close to the top of the division after this schedule, I like our chances. 

Us Against The World

So, apparently Cubs fans are the most hated, obnoxious, and racist fans in baseball.  All week, Cubs fans have heard how horrible they are from all sides.From old man  Marty Brennaman’s crabby rant, to ironically the most hated and obnoxious columnist in Chicago, to jealous Brewer’s bloggers ,  people have been taking shots at us from all sides.  That’s fine that we’re the target of all their jealousy and rage.  Real Cubs fans know that there are no better fans in baseball.  Are there idiot Cubs fans?  Absolutely.  Are there obnoxious Cubs fans?  Of course.  Are there racist Cubs fans?  Unfortunately.  Just like their are idiotic, obnoxious, racist fans in every ballpark in every city in the United States.  Are there no drunk stupid fans in Milwaukee? OOOOhh, of course not. Everybody goes to Brewers games in suit and ties and keeps score.  In fact, they don’t even sell beer at Miller Park.  And there is absolutely nooooooo racist fans in Cincinnati.  Everyone knows that Cincinnati is the most tolerant city in the US.  So to all those haters out there, keep hatin’. Cubs fans piss people off because we will go anywhere to cheer our team on, including other teams’ ballparks.  Then we really get them mad when our cheers are louder than the cheers from the home team.  They hate us because we have fun, we love our ballpark, and we love our team.  Do we do
IMG_1270.JPGstupid thing?  Yeah.  Are we going to do stupid things in the future?  For certain. But we’re going to keep doing what we’ve always done; root, root, root for the Cubbies!   And most importantly, we will follow this team anywhere in the world, and if you don’t like it, learn to deal with it.

We are everywhere!!

Go Cubs! 

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Cubs are Back to their Winning Ways

W Flag.jpgAfter the Cubs suffered a bit of a let down on Thursday, they came right back to beat Ian Snell and the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.  Rich Hill got the first win for a lefty starter this season and the Cubs were able to do just enough to get past Ian Snell.  Hill, who confidence was in the dumps, was able to give the Cubs five innings, giving up one run on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts. 

“It was a start in the right direction for him,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “Like I told him, he needs to build on this now. He went out there and threw the ball. There were a couple rough spots, but it was a vast improvement. He threw the ball well today and let it go.”


Hill 4-18.jpgIt was another stomach turner for the Cubs. Hill walked the first batter he faced, Nate McLouth, on four straight pitches.  Luckily he was able to calm down.  The offense also struggled in the beginning of the game.  The Cubs had runners in scoring postition in the first, second, and third innings and failed to score a run. The worst of these blown opportunities was in the bottom of the third.  The Cubs were down 1-0 and had one out in the third when Ryan Theriot hit a triple.  With D-Lee and A-Ram coming to the plate, it looked like the Cubs would be able to tie it, but Lee grounded out to the pitcher and Aramis flied out to right.  It looked like it was going to be one of those days.  But Fukudome led off the fourth inning with a triple.  Mark DeRosa singled, tying the game, and then Geovany Soto hit a double, putting runners at second and third with no outs.  Boy, when Soto is out of the lineup, it really hurts the Cubs.  Reed Johnson hit an infield single, scoring DeRosa and giving the Cubs the lead.  For the second day in a row, there was a mix up with the signals, and Rich Hill grounded  into a fielders choice instead of bunting, but Eric Patterson hit a ground ball to short, allowing Soto to score and give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.  That insurance run would be the difference in the game.

After Hill was pulled in the fifth, it was up to the bullpen to preserrve the win.  Jon Lieber and Sean Marshall combined to work the sixth inning, giving up no runs.  Then Carlos Marmol
Wood closes 4-18.jpgcame out to pitch the sixth and struck out the side.  Then, Lou had him go back out in the eighth, and Marmol ran into some trouble. McLouth led off the inning with a solo home run, making it a one run game.  He got the next two batters, Luis Rivas and Freddy Sanchez out, but then walked Jason Bay and gave up a single to Xavier Nady.  With the winning run at second and two outs, Marmol got Adam LaRoche to strike out swinging.  Kerry Wood came out and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to get a new winning streak started.  Let’ see if the Cubs can beat Tom Gorzelanny for the second time this season.  The Cubs will be sending Jason Marquis to the mound.

Lou News

Two bits of Lou news that I thought was worth noting.  First off, Lou will have Reed Johnson bat lead off.  Good to see Lou is reading Crawly’s Cub Kingdom!!  With Fontenot, Theriot, and Patterson not doing much at lead off, it will be nice to see if Johnson can set the table for the big boys. Johnson has six hits the last two games and is hitting .375 for the season.

Lou also stepped to the plate for Cubs fans after senile old fart Marty Brennaman ripped Cubs fans for being “the most obnoxious fans” for throwing a bunch of balls on the field after Dunn hit a homer the other day.   Pinella told reporters

“Marty’s a Cincinnati guy, obviously he’s rooting for the Reds.  But I don’t think our fans are obnoxious. They get into the ballgame, they enjoy coming out to a ballgame and that’s why they draw here the way they do. It’s a fun environment and they get into it.

“As far as winning the division — hey, I like Marty Brennaman, I really do, I was over there for three years — but he has nothing to do with the Cubs winning or losing, I can tell you that,” Piniella said.

Brennaman.jpgPut that in your Depends and smoke it old man.  Mark DeRosa also weighed in on Brennaman’s comments, and either knowingly or unknowingly hit the nail on the head.

“I don’t want to get into a war of words with him,” Chicago’s Mark DeRosa said. “I respect how he handles his profession, but I didn’t agree with what he said. I think he could’ve used different wording.

“They’re very passionate people and passionate fans,” DeRosa said. “You’re torn in situations like that [when they threw balls back] — you get a chuckle out of it, and at the same time, it wastes 10 minutes of your life. I don’t think he needed to go that far with the comments. Obviously, he has some deep-seated hatred for Chicago.”

There are probably tons of reasons that Brennaman has deep seated hatred towards Chicago.  He probably is still bitter his son Thom (nice spelling Marty) was not being moved quicker up the ladder at WGN and that Harry Caray was pushing to get his grandon Chip into the booth.  Marty was always jealous of Harry and his popularity. 

Let’s go for two in a row tomorrow.

Go Cubs! 

Missed Chance

L_flag.gifUggh Just when the Cubs were looking great, they take a step back.  Look, I know its hard to sweep any major league team, and I know that you can’t win’em all.  It’s just the way we lost this game that was irritating.  It was just a bunch of bad baseball, and Ted Lilly is not making Cubs fans any less nervous.  After being a hero the other night, Mike Fontenot also stunk it up.  Even the coaching was a mess.  All in all, a pretty crummy day.

All though the box score show that Lilly had a bad game, six hits, five runs, and three walks in six innings, he at least looked better than he did in last Saturday’s loss to the Phillies.  The walks really hurt him and Joey Votto really hurt him.  Like last Saturday, Lilly was cruising
Lilly 4-17.jpgthrough the first three innings, giving up only one walk and one hit.  And like last Saturday, the fourth inning killed him.  He got Griffey to strikeout to lead off the inning, but then walked Adam Dunn, gave up a single to Jeff Keppinger, and then walked Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases.  Votto than doubled, clearing the bases.  With the Cubs still in the game down only 3-1, Lilly got Keppinger to ground out to lead off the sixth.  Encarnacion doubled, and than Votto hit a home run to give the Red a 5-1 lead.  The scary thing is that it doesn’t seem like Lilly has his velocity where it needs to be.  He’s not going to get to many major league hitters out with an 86 mile per hour fastball out.

It’s baffling,” he said. “My confidence is still there, for the most part. Obviously I’m not as confident as if I were 4-0, but I still feel good about what I’m capable of doing. I’m just losing patience as far as wanting to give us a solid outing and a chance to win. I certainly owe that to my teammates.”

Not like the offense was much better.  After getting so many clutch hits the last few days, the Cubs fell short on Thursday.  The Cubs went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Fontenot, Fukudome, and Henry Blanco all struggled today and left way too many men on
Aramis 4-17.jpgbase.  Fontenot went 0-5, leaving seven men on base.  Fukudome went 0-4, leaving 4 men on base.  Blanco was 1-4, leaving seven men on base.  Theriot and Lee were’nt much better, both going 1-5.  It was the first time the Cubs saw Reds pitcher Edison Volquez, but they also didn’t hit the Reds’ bullpen either.  There were tons of missed opportunities to blow the game open and shift momentum.  The Cubs had the bases loaded and only one out in the bottom of the second, when Henry Blanco struck out.  Lilly was up next and drew a walk, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.  Fontenot grounded out to end the inning.  In the third inning, Theriot singled to lead off the inning, but that vanished when Volquez struck out Lee and Theriot was caught stealing.  In the fourth inning, DeRosa walked and Reed Johnson singled, putting runner at first and second with no outs. For some reason, Henry Blanco, batting in front of the pitcher Lilly, struck out attempting to bunt.

I don’t know what happened there,” Piniella said. “We never had the bunt sign on the whole at-bat. I thought Henry might be trying to leg out a bunt single or something. I don’t know exactly what happened. Obviously it was just a mix-up in signs.”

“We miscommunicated on the first pitch,”Third base coach Mike Quade said. “Because of our series of signs, that messed up the rest of the entire at-bat. Whether the bunt was on, the bunt wasn’t on. Whether we were playing hit-and-run, we weren’t playing hit-and-run. Henry is one of the most reliable guys on this club. He doesn’t miss signs. He gets everything. He has executed the hit-and-run, the squeeze, all of that.”

With the Cubs only down 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Fukudome grounded out.  DeRosa singled and Johnson doubled, putting runners at second and third with one out. Blanco reached on an infield single, making it 5-3, but Johnson couldn’t advance to third.  With runners still at first and second and only one out, pinch hitter Daryl Ward flied out and Fontenot grounded out to end the threat. 

Then, in the top of the seventh, the defense fell apart. Jon Lieber came in and Norris Hopper to ground out to Theriot, but Ryan booted the ball and Hopper reached on the error.  Then, Ryan Freel bunted to move Hopper to second, but with Lieber and Lee playing the bunt, Fontenot forgot to cover first and everyone was safe.  With the wind blowing to right center, Ken Griffey Jr hit home run number 596, making it 8-2 and ending any chances for the sweep.

Fontenot has been struggling since being moved to the leadoff spot after Soriano’s injury, going 2-for-15.  I wonder if it wouldn’t be better if Reed Johnson hit lead off and Theriot or Fukudome hitting second.  I guess there is no need to panic since it was only one game.  What is making me panic is that Rich Hill will be making the next start for the Cubs as they open the next series against the Pirates and Ian Snell, who is having a terriffic season so far. You know the Pirates want to kick some Cubbie butt after we swept them at home.  We missed Snell last time too. 

Brennaman Blows

Brennaman.jpgMarty Brennaman went off on Cubs fans after the ball throwing incident Wednesday night.  After Adam Dunn hit a homer, people started throwing balls onto the field.  I wasn’t happy that Cubs fans did it, but Brennaman took it a step too far.   Brennaman said ;

“This is the kind of thing that makes you want to see this Cubs team lose.  Among all baseball fans….far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league are those that follow this team right here.

That is so typical of Chicago Cubs fans (throwing the balls onto the field)

You simply root against them.  I’ve said all winter, they talk about this team winning the division and my comment is they won’t win because at the end of the day, they are still the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up.”

Screw you Brennaman and the high horse you rode in on.  You are now considered an enemy of Cubs fans everywhere.  I agree with you that it was stupid of those fans to throw the balls on the field, but you had no right to blast all Cubs fans.  This is not over old man. I look forward to the next Cubs Reds game I go to so I can heckle you in the booth.  Your cranky old *** is not welcomed at Wrigley anymore and remember, Cubs fans have a long memory.  Maybe if the Reds knew how to draw fans, you might realize that there are always a few bad apples in the bunch . Cubs fans in general, are smart, caring, and loyal fans.You sound just as idiotic as your smug, idiotic buddy Joe Morgan.  This isn’t over Brennaman, not by a long shot.

Go Cubs!

 

Old Fashioned Pounding

 
W Flag.jpgWow, I was not expecting that!  One day after beating Cub killer Aaron Harang and losing left fielder Alfonso Soriano for two weeks, I was worried that there would be a little let down.  But no way was there a let down as the Cubs put a beat down on the Reds.  It was fun to finally watch a game that doesn’t make you pull out your hair and give you heartburn. 

It all started in the bottom of the first after Mike Fontenot grounded out to first to start out the game. After that first out, the next five Cubs all got on base.  Theriot doubled, Lee hit a single, and Aramis drew a walk.  With the base loaded and one out, Fukudome worked it to a 3-2 count and hit a ball down the third base line that was just foul and shattered his bat.  So what does he do next?  He hits a double down the first base line to clear the bases.  Bob Brenly put it best when he said  “How do you defend against that guy?”  Good question Bob.  DeRosa hit a double, scoring Fukudome and the Cubs had a 4-0 lead.

After getting Brandon Phillips to strike out in the top of the second, Zambrano walked Adam

Z pitches 4-16.jpgDunn.  Then Edwin Encarnacion hit a single to put runners at first and second.  The next batter, Joey Votto, hit what looked like an easy pop fly, but DeRosa, who started out the game playing left field, saw the wind take the ball over his head and bounce into the bleachers for a ground rule double.  The score was now 4-1 with runners at second and third and only one out.  All eyes were on Zambrano, to see if he would melt down, but the Cubs luckily got a little lucky.  Javier Valentin grounded out to Zambrano, who caught Encarnacion in a run down off third for the second out.  Then Josh Fogg looked like he had a basehit up the middle, but the ball hit the mound, popped up, and landed in Theriot’s glove.  Theriot tossed it to Lee and the threat was over.  Zambrano had smooth sailing from there. 

Lee homers 4-16.jpgDerek Lee started off the third with a homer to center.  That was Lee’s sixth homer of the season.  That equals his home run total for the entire first half of last season.  I just find that amazing.  After that, the next three batters reached base, Aramis walking, Fukudome hitting a single, and DeRosa walking, before Geovany Soto hit a two run double.  That was it for Fogg, gone without retiring a batter in the third.  With DeRosa at third and Soto at second, Reed Johnson hit a sac fly.  Then Zambrano helped his own cause by hitting an rbi single to score Soto.  Fontenot eventualy scored on a nice play and by the end of the inning, the Cubs were up 10-1.

At that point, iit was no longer a game, just a party at Wrigley.  Zambrano gave up two runs on eight hits over seven innings for the win. He also had three hits, including a double and an RBI, and had hits from both sides of the plate.  Reds starter Josh Fogg was charged with nine earned runs and seven hits over just two-plus innings.  Major a-hole Kent Merker, the guy who got in some altercations with Steve Stone, gave up a double to Z, threw a wild pitch, and gave up a run on a Fontenot single. Wednesday’s loss was the fifth in a row for Cincy, and the Cubs are 7-3 in their last ten games.  After St. Louis beat Milwaukee again, the Cubs are now in sole possession of second place in the NL Central. 

Slight Negative

balls on field.jpgAdam Dunn finally snapped out of his slump, hitting a monster home run onto Sheffield.  As usual, someone threw the ball back onto the field, and then 20 more balls littered the field.  I have talked about some of the negative behavior I have witnessed at Wrigley over the last few years.  I don’t know why people do stuff like this.  Don’t say alcohol.  I have been drunk at thousands of Cubs games and have never thrown anything onto the field of play.  It just makes Cubs fans look bad.  After hearing how stupid the Phillies fans sounded booing their home team constantly last weekend, I would hope that Cubs fans would learn a thing or two.  I really wish these people who are acting like idiots would go do it  somewhere else. 

Keep it Rolling

Winning these first two games were huge for the Cubs.  Now Ted Lilly, who has struggled this season, has no pressure to win this game. If he pitches well, great.  If not, we still won the series.  He can focus on improving his game and contributing to the team.  How nice would it be to sweep Dusty and his Reds out of town.

Go Cubs! 

Welcome Back Dusty

W Flag.jpgThe Cubs bats greeted Dusty Baker and his slumping Reds by breaking out their whooping sticks.  Even before the first pitch, Cubs fans were nervous.  Aaron Harang, who always pitches well against the Cubs, was on the mound and we had our number 3 starter, Ryan Dempster going.  Then, in the first inning, Alfonso Soriano does his little hop to catch a fly ball and injures his calf.  He had to have Ryan Theriot on the field.  Soriano never gets injured his whole career, then he comes to the Cubs and has three leg injuries in less than a year and a half.  136 million dollars down the toilet. Mike Fontenot came in to lead off the game and Mark DeRosa moved from second to left. 

 Things got worst in the top of the second when Dempster walked the first two guys he
DeRosa hr 4-15.jpgfaced.  With no outs and runners at first and second, Edwin Encarnacion hit a ball to left to drive in Brandon Phillips.  With runners still at first and second, Dempster got Joy Votto to strike out, Paul Bako to fly out, and Harang to ground out.  The Cubs were able to strike back in the bottom of the second when Fukudome led off the inning with a single.  Mark DeRosa, who always kills the Reds, crushed a home run to left center to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.  The good times didn’t last though, as Jeff Keppinger singled and Ken Griffey Jr hit his 595th home run, putting the Reds back ahead 4-3.  Luckily, Dempster was able to stay out of trouble for a while.

In the bottom of the fifth, Dempster hit a fly ball to center for the first out.  Mike Fontenot then hit a double and his canjun twin, Ryan Theriot, walked.  Wow, how nice is it to have table setters.  Ask Derek Lee, as he crushed a hanging slider to give the Cubs a 6-4 lead.  After the home run, Theriot and Fontenot, all 5’10 of them, waited for Derek Lee at home plate.  Lee looked like Willy Wonka and Theriot and Fontenot looked like oompa loompas.  The great thing is that this is Lee’s fifth home run.  Lee didn’t have five home runs until June 1st last year.  He already has that in two weeks.  The combination of Lee, Theriot and Fontenot also was key in the top of the seventh, this time for their defense. 

In the top of the seventh, Dempster was starting to run out of gas. Bako started out the inning with a single, then pinch hitter Scott Hatteberg drew a walk, putting runners at first and second with no outs. That was all for Dempster, who managed to scatter five hits and walked five over six-plus innings, striking out three. Out of the bullpen came Carlos Marmol to
Lee fontenot theriot 4-15.jpgface former Cub Corey Patterson.  With runners at first and second, Pattesron bunted hard back to Marmol, who made an ill advised throw to second.  Everyone was safe and the base were loaded with nobody out, going into the heart of the Reds order.  The next batter, Jeff Keppinger, hit a ball that should have gone to centerfield to tie the game, but Mighty Mike Fontenot made an amazing diving stab, and flipped the ball from his glove to Theriot.  They only got one out, and the Reds scored on the fielder’s choice to make it 5-4, but that play changed the momentum of the inning.  Marmol got the next batter, Griffey Jr, to ground into a 3-6-3 double play, Lee to Theriot, back to Lee.  It was amazing and the crowd went nuts. The Cubs never looked back, with Ramirez, DeRosa, and Theriot all driving in runs.  Theriot hit a two run homer.  Michael Wuertz struggled again out of the pen, but Wood closed it out for a 9-5 win.

Look, I’m not stupid.  Even though Soriano is struggling, the Cubs are still a better team when he’s healthy, but his injury may show the importance of DeRosa and the need to upgrade at second base.  DeRosa filled in nicely for Soriano, and played left field well.  He is perfect to have when someone gets injured or needs a day off.  With Fontenot at second, the Cubs were a much better defensive team.  If DeRosa was at second in the top of the seventh, he doesn’t come close to that ball Keppinger hits, two runs score, and there would still be no outs.  You need to be tight defensively up the middle, and that’s what Fontenot brings.  He also has a great swing and would be a nice number two hitter.  Now Fontenot started out hot when Aramis went down last season and DeRosa moved to thrid.  He then cooled off.  No one know how long Soriano is out, but it will be interesting to see if Fontenot can cut it offensively in the big leagues.  He is also another left handed bat.

Tonight also proves why Marmol should not be the closer.  Lou loves to use Marmol when the game is on the line.  He was the best when it came to stranding inherited runners last season, and he is keeping runners from scoing this season.  Without Marmol, it doesn’t matter who your closer is because you won’t have the lead in many games.  Marmol puts out a lot of fires for Lou and there is no one else who could fill that role.

Beside Wuertz’s poor outing, the other negative of this game was Felix Pie.  He was bad.  Read bad.  Not even close.  On a day when every single batter got a hit, including pinch hitter Reed Johnson and Ryan Dempster, Pie was 0-4.  Not only that, it was an ugly 0-4, with three strike outs and four men left on base.  I wonder if Corey Patterson looked into the hometeam dugout and saw himself when he was a young ballplayer.  I hope they can fix Felix’ swing, or Pie may end up like Patterson, a journeyman centerfielder.

Hopefully the Cubs can take the second game of the series.  On paper, it looks like we have the advantage,with Zambrano going against Josh Fogg.  Fogg has never impressed me, so let’s see how the Cubs’ lineup looks tomorrow.  Let’s hope the bats keep cooking and the Cubs keep winning.

Go Cubs! 

Dusty Hoopla

Big deal.  Dusty Baker is coming back to Chicago.  Do I hate the guy? No.  Do I think he was an overrated manager who blew a chance of the lifetime to get to the wrold series?  Yes.  Do I hold him responsible for Steve Stone leaving the Cubs?.  Yes.  Do I still think he held back the development of younger players like Ryan Theriot by playing guys like Neifi Perez?  Yes.  Do I think that he played the race card when things didn’t go his way? Yes.  Do I believe that he made excuses for himself and his players and never held himself or anyone on the team accountable? Yes

Ok, I changed my mind.  I do hate Dusty Baker.  And now, Dusty and his new team, the Reds, are coming into town.  Baseball if a funny game.  The Reds took 2 out of 3 from the Brewers, in Milwaukee.  Then, the Reds lose three in a row to Pittsburgh, who the Cubs swept the series before.  Will the Reds be extra amped up to win one for their new skipper, especially with the negative reception Dusy will get?  The Reds finally have a solid pitching staff, but now their bats have gone cold.  Over the three game series in Pittsburgh, the Reds were 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position and stranded 32 runners on base. They did not hit any home runs.

The Cubs have their own problems, especially with starting pitching.  Carlos Zambrano struggled in his last start, and our two lefties look awful.  Ryan Dempser, who surprisingly has been the best of the Cubs pitchers so far, will take on Aaron Harang, the Reds ace, in game one of the series.  Big Z will see if he can bounce back against struggling Reds’ starter Josh Fogg.  In the last game of the series, Ted Lilly will look to solve his 08 woes against Edinson Volquez, one of the two dynamic young pitchers the Reds have starting.  The other, Johnny Cueto, won’t be ptiching in the series.  

The scary thing is that both Lou and Dusty are saying the same things.  Both want to go with faster lineups to manufacture runs.  After having most of the weekend off, Felx Pie will  be back in the lineup.  Ronnie Cendeno may get the start at second, but Mark DeRosa has an excellent career average against the Reds.  Speaking of excellant career averages, the Reds hope that Adam Dunn will again kill the Cubs.  Dunn has been struggling this season,  going 6-for-36 with five RBIs overall this season with 10 strikeouts and only one home run.  Dunn’s 20 homers, 43 runs and 43 walks at Wrigley Field since 2001 are the most by a Cubs opponent. Personally, I’d be happy if he keeps slumping.

The Brewers face off against the Cardinals, which means this is a great opportunity to gain some ground in the division.  The Cubs need to get the bats going, and the pitchers need to avoid walks.  Hopefully we can start playing better in all aspects of the game

Go Cubs!