Well, 0-2 isn’t what Lou had in mind when the season started. Not only did we lose game 2 but we embarassed ourselves. I am never one to boo the Cubs, but really, they should give the fans who were at the game today there money back. How bad was today? The MVP of the game was Jason “Frickin” Kendall reaching base five straight times and driving in two. Are you kidding me? How bad was today? The Brewers had 14 hits with six different players driving in runs? How bad was today? How about the two errors the Cubs had, one by Ramirez the other by Soto? How bad was the game? Everyone of our pitchers were crushed. Ted Lilly gave up four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, including the first pitch he threw, a homer to Ricky Weeks.
“He didn’t have a good fastball, he really didn’t,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “That pitch was missing. It wasn’t his best stuff. Milwaukee’s a good hitting team.”
Out of the bullpen, Kevin Hart gave up gave up one hit and two walks and one run (not including an inherited run he let score in 1.1 innings. Michael Wuertz didn’t give up any runs, but gave up three hits. Carmen Pignatiello gave up one run on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. Then Howry came in again today and gave up two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. How bad was the game? Jason Kendall has a stolen base, then reached third when Geovany Soto threw the ball in ceterfield.
“We didn’t play well today,” Pinella said. “We gave them three or four runs when we didn’t execute. We overthrew the cutoff man from center field; first-base ground ball, the throw wasn’t good, and the pitcher missed the bag. We threw a ball into center field. When you’re not scoring too many runs, you can’t do those things.”
How bad was the game? Aramis Ramriez got caught trying to steal during a hit in run in which Fukudome struck out. If you recall from last season, Kendall has the worst throwing arm in baseball. How bad was the game? It only took two games this season for Lou to start changing things. Lou announced that Soriano would be put back in the leadoff spot again. Soriano was 0-4 with one strike out and left 4 men on base. He was 0-5 on Monday. Pinella angrily said after the game;
“Soriano is running better. We’ll put him in the leadoff hole, where he’s more comfortable, and let him hit there.”
I’ve batted leadoff all my career,” Soriano said. “I feel comfortable batting leadoff. It’s my first time batting second this year. But I’m seeing the same pitches. It’s not a big deal for me. I’m the same guy, batting leadoff, batting second, I’m the same guy.”
Maybe he’ll stop pouting and start hitting.
After the game, Lilly said;
“Believe me, we came out with the intentions of going 2-0. We were unable to do that, but you’d like to get off to a good start. Like you saw last year, we weren’t able to do that, and we were able to continue to battle through the season, and we got ourselves in position to win the pennant.”
Now, there are two schools of thought to the first two games of the season. Let’s go over them both.
#1-Hit the Panic Button
After all the hoopla of 2007, the 100 year anniversery in 2008, the Fukudome signing, etc, Cubs fans and Lou were expecting this team to come roaring out of the gate. Instead, they fell flat on their faces. The Cubs said the 2007 left a bad taste in their mouths, but what about the Brewers? Leading the division for most of the season, then watching the Cubs pass by them disgusted the Brewers and their fans. There lineup look filthy, with nearly every player able to jack one out at any time. They got Braun out of third, where he was a huge defensive liability, and moved Bill Hall back to third, an upgrade defensively. All of this and they are missing their new centerfielder, Mike Cameron, who has to sit out the first 25 games for testing postitve for a banned substance. Cameron had an amazing spring. How would these games have gone if he was in the lineup. Just like last April, our bullpen is terrible, we are making base running mistakes, defense is shoddy, and we are not getting clutch hits. The Cubs were 8 1/2 games back before they were able to come back and win the division. Can lightning strike twice?
#2-Sprint, not a Marathon
The second school of thought is that the season is a sprint, now a marathon. Fans have been waiting so long for baseball, that every game seems like a playoff game. Remember, a great baseball team will still lose 65-70 games. The Cubs have pitching depth and a great lineup and they just need to get it together. The Cubs have the resources to make moves in the middle of the season, and Lou and his coaching staff know their players better.
What school of thought do all of you subscribe to?
Match up for tomorrow-Ryan Dempster vs Dave Bush. Up to Dempter to prevent the sweep. Does that change your vote either way?