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Game 1: Cubs 2 – Dodgers 7

Oct
01

Series: Dodgers 1-0

box
POTG: 2B Mark DeRosa (2B, HR, 2 RBI)
Runner Up: SS Ryan Theriot (2 H)

This was a total and complete return to pre-2008 Ryan Dempster. Naturally, the clock struck midnight on the first day of the playoffs.

Dempster BB/9 IP
2004: 5.4
2005: 4.7
2006: 4.1
2007: 4.1
2008: 3.4
tonight: 7

I don’t know why it happened, but this game brought out the worst in him. No one out of the pen looked good, but Marshall was okay enough and I’d rather Samardzija and Marquis be used in these games rather than people who matter.

You’re not going to win many games you give up seven runs. But you’re also not going to win many games you only score 2. I was afraid the Cubs would get shut down this game, so I’m not that worried they were one windblown hit away from getting shut out, but the pitching worries me.

Not too much. No point in it. My brain knows better, but my heart says there’s no one I rather put all the chips on then Z. So Z it’ll be.

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and even more

Oct
01

I think I may be getting excited for this. Hard to tell, what with more posts in three hours than in some three week stretches.

– I hate doing predictions, because they’re so useless and no one really cares about them, they just care about what actually happens. But I think the Phillies are a deeper team than the Brewers (Gallardo is unhuman for coming back this soon and is going to be lots of trouble for the years to come, but it’s a lot to ask him here, and I don’t trust another Brewers pitcher not named CC), I think the White Sox exhausted themselves to make it this far and the Rays will end them (last person on the bandwagon, I know) and the Red Sox/Angels is way too hard to call with the Red Sox injuries and the Angels being on cruise control all year. Anything could happen there and I wouldn’t be surprised.

– the Ramirez/Fukudome “there’s only one October” commerical? hilariously hilarious. The Cubs have to win the World Series so I can see that all month. Does Aramais really use a Macbook. I’d think he’d want something with more RAM.

yea, that was horrible.

– it’s going to be SO COLD. 50s and 40s, for the first time since fall. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when it’s 10PM in Game 2, but it’ll be a factor.

– bigger factor: Felix Pie making the roster instead of Micah.

I think this means Fukudome’s starting, someone’s going to pinch hit for him if they need it, and Pie’s there to take his spot (or take CF with Reed moving over.)Now I’ve got it.If DeRosa could go, they’d just use Fukudome for defense, so Mark’s not doing too well. Maybe he can update us on his (better than I was expecting) MLB blog!

DeRosa’s injury is surely worse than they’ve been letting on. I don’t blame them for not giving out info, because it’s the right stragey, but it makes me worry other injuries (Soto) might not be as minor either.

This is all just setting the stage for Mike Fontenot to take over the playoffs and steal the hearts of a nation. I can’t wait.

– WGNRadio.com used have a link to a special radio player which had an adjustable buffer allowing you to match the delay on the TV. Watching the game with the radio doesn’t work as well nowadays with the dump delays, and my TiVo adds another couple seconds at times. I really wish I had the device or knew what it was called, because I’d so prefer to here Pat & Ron over Dick Stockton (bad again last night.) I’d even take the ESPN radio crew over what they’ve been doing on TV.

I won’t be able to watch the early portion of today’s Phillies/Brewers game, but that’s fine – between GameDay Audio and 620 from Milwaukee coming in pretty clear here, I’ll be all set.

the obligatory playoff preview

Oct
01

I’m with the those who say playoff baseball is as much random chance as anything else. I don’t believe it takes anything away from the champions, because everyone has a chance to the rules of the game before they play it, but it’s different enough from the regular season that you shouldn’t be surprised when the team that struggles to make it in the playoffs succeeds or the one with the great record falls, and quick.

For most of the second half of this season, I’ve been worried about the Cubs being the latter. The 2008 Cubs regular season was the best in my lifetime; they surpassed the ’84 Cubs sometime in August, and the other teams aren’t close. As much as I enjoyed that, I kept thinking back to another Lou team, the 2001 Marniers, and how it all came crashing down in a blink of an eye. Regular season success doesn’t guarantee you anything.

Most Wins, NL
2007: 90 (Colorado, Arizona)
2006: 97 (Mets)
2005: 100 (St. Louis)
2004: 105 (St. Louis)
2003: 101 (Atlanta)
2002: 101 (Atlanta)
2001: 93 (Houston)
2000: 97 (San Francisco)
1999: 103 (Atlanta)
1998: 106 (Atlanta)

In the previous ten years, only the 99 Braves, the 04 Cardinals and the 07 Rockies made it to the World Series. Accounting for last year’s tie, there was a 27.5% random chance the best team makes it out the NL. 30% did, which doesn’t say much for being the best team.

I’ve had these numbers in the back of my head for a few months, and visions of Webb, Haren and RJ shutting the Cubs down just as easily as last year. Thankfully, Arizona took care of themselves so the Cubs wouldn’t have to try, but that doens’t mean I’m not fearful of being crushed even harder this year.

At least I was, until the series in Milwaukee against Houston. The Astros had plenty of excuses (some valid) for their performance, but the way the Cubs absolutely crushed them while breaking away from the division. They Cubs were so dominant when they need to be, they seem significantly better than the rest of the NL teams. The Brewers and the Phillies had to fight to make it in the last week and the Dodgers would’ve been fifth in the NL Central. The Cubs are a step ahead, a big enough step to outweigh the numbers.

Maybe even a big enough step ahead to avoid all the expecations, all the hype (each paper will have a story a day about a possible Chicago/Chicago World series, and it’ll be five stories if they make it to the LCSs) and everyone trying to capitalize and monetize the Cubs success. I love baseball, I love the Cubs, but I know I’m going to hate a billion things going on around it the next three months.

—-

Look, a break. Like this thing is coherent or focused at all.

1: Dempster vs Lowe

Derek Lowe’s line for the last 7 games:

44.1 IP
27 H
4 R
8 BB
27 K
0.81 ERA

If the Cubs can steal this game, this series is going to be a rout. It turns to the Cubs advantage for Game 2-4, but this as tough a start as the Cubs are going to get.

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