GameCast: April 05, 2010 - Cubs at Braves
The Chicago Cubs look to inflame the hope of fans everywhere and to extinguish our fears of an 0-14 start in one sweeping gesture. They do this by sending out veteran 20-something ace Carlos Zambrano, he of the epic contract, the infantile behavior, and the gargantuan heart.
It will be the first time that Alfonso Soriano will open his season for the Cubs in a place other than leadoff. Chicago's lineup of choice is Theriot, Fukudome, Lee, Ramirez, Byrd, Soriano, Fontenot, Soto, and Zambrano. Sounds like a reasonable lineup to me.
Cub fans will be anxious to see some Big Picture questions get answered -- but, I caution again, we will have to wait a while. One series -- or even three or four -- will not tell us outcomes. We won't know by May if Soriano will have a good year, whether he starts out hot or cold. We won't know by May if the bullpen is as horrible as it appears, whether they dominate or not. We'll just have a few trends, some of which will be more concerning than others.
Still, if Dusty Baker taught us anything, it's that a baseball season is far less stressful when the team starts out with motivation and momentum. Therefore, I hope -- as you surely hope -- that the Chicago Cubs will kick the holy hell out of the Atlanta Braves today. I hope that they win 20 to 0. I hope that Carlos strikes out 18, that Soriano slugs 3 dingers, that Soto goes 5 for 5. I hope the bullpen comes in, pitches the 8th and 9th only, and strikes out every single batter they face. I hope that Carlos Marmol throws 9 pitches, all strikes, with no appearance of lacking control.
Today, we hope. The dread comes later.