NLDS Game 1: Diamondbacks 3 – Cubs 1


Cubs 0-1
Diamondbacks 1-0

POTG: SP Z! (6 IP, R, 4 H, BB, 8 K; 2B)
Runner Up: 2B Mark DeRosa (H, BB, HBP)

I need to get this argument out of my system, because arguing with human beings, arguing with the radio and arguing with newspapers hasn’t helped so far. Writing it out usually does the trick. Since the Cubs are indeed playing another game today, it doesn’t serve a purpose to dwell on it.

Whatever time Z got yanked – after 6, after 7, after 8 (I’ve been arguing with someone who thinks he could’ve gone 9, which would’ve put him at 127 pitches and pitching in 3 days) – it makes absolutely no difference if the Cubs can’t score any runs. Z pitching one more inning would not have changed the offense, you can’t prove Z wouldn’t have run into trouble, and even if he didn’t, Marmol’s always going to be the first guy out of the pen but now facing a better portion of the Diamondbacks order. You’re getting the same result whenever you pull Z, and if the Cubs weren’t going to score regardless, they’re better off saving Z for a day where they might. (Let’s take a moment to note that Arizona is going with a 4 man rotation, which means Z faces Micah Owings next time thru, not Webb. That’s a much better shot.)

I find the whole argument about pulling Zambrano completely and totally insane and inane. It’s like arguing if it’s better to get to the North Side via Lake Shore or 90/94 – if you don’t have enough gas to get you there, it doesn’t matter which route you take. The Cubs ended up pulled over to the side before the big S curve and for all the complaining about taking the wrong route, the actual problem was not stopping at BP sometime earlier. In 2007 baseball, pitching can not be blamed for any lose where the offense scores 3 or less runs – it takes a heroic effort to win with little support.

Marmol’s problem clearly wasn’t the batters he was facing, but overthrowing the ball and pulling everything to the left because he was too hyped up, then trying to just get pitches over which got them cranked. Maybe Wood would’ve handled the moment better, but you’ve got to go with your best bet, and Carlos Marmol arguably has been the MVP this year.

I greatly admire Lou for believing in the move he made and refusing to back down from people who had decided what story they wanted to tell without taking a look at the scoreboard.

Sometimes, the other team is just simply better. This was one of those games. Tip your cap and try again tomorrow.

These things I know to be true

– The Cubs aren’t winning the series if they score 1 run a game
– The Cubs aren’t winning the series if Carlos Marmol turns into a pumpkin
– at least the first and probably the second problem won’t be such an issue when the Cubs face the non-Webb pitchers.
– The Cubs must get ahead early to take the Diamondbacks bullpen out of the game.

I think I’m not really as mad about this as I am about the extremely annoying guy in the blue/white Under Armor-like shirt behind home plate all night. He had tickets in the surely most expensive section in the ballpark and he wasted them, so either he’s filthy rich or someone was dumb enough to give him free ones. He clearly didn’t care about wasting the money for the tickets, because he spent half the game turned around chatting with someone, a full inning flirting with the blond girl who was sitting in that section (and also not paying any attention) and the rest of the time watching himself on television. He gave Narcissus a run for his money, and the stupid “Hi [whomever]” signs he kept trying to hold up were unreadable even in HD but still very distracting.

This guy really should’ve been ejected after he tried the flashing Cubs logo thing, and I’m figuring it was only because the game was so close to being done (those people who left early just after can also get lost) and because he was in the expensive section – if someone did that in the bleachers, they’d be banned for life. At the least there was a payoff at the end, when he picked up a plastic glass of whatever and he got distracted or got yelled or whatever and the glass slipped from his hand and splashed onto the floor. Serves him right for standing around like a goof and acting the part all night.

(These are the kind of things you notice when the team’s doing nothing at the plate.)

This dude, more annoying than anyone calling home on their cell phone and waving to the camera, gave me two ideas:

1) Baseball needs to find some fabric that allows one way viewing – you can see out, no one can see in, like a one way mirror – and use it to cover the area behind homeplate (as well as any visible basement area like where this guy was sitting). TV still has the whole rest of the stadium for reaction shots, and we don’t have to stare at people who are purposely trying to distract attention from the game so we will look at them instead.

2) The next great idea for a cable station is to have no TV shows at all. Just turn a camera on in a public metro area, broadcast that camera’s feed on your network, and promote it’s existence. It’d basically be the most high profile webcam possible. Everyone who so desperately needs to be on TV can seek it out and do whatever, and it ought to be cheap enough that it can be added to every cable system in the universe and maybe those people can get the exposure they want. I’m not sure who’d bother to watch this, but if you can make being on TV not so novel, perhaps people will get over it when they get good seats at a sporting event.

Ted Lilly and the Cubs are going to beat Doug Davis and the Diamondbacks today. I’m not even worried about it.