Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Cardinals 3, Cubs 2

Game Recap
The Cubs collected 3 of their 7 hits and both of their 2 runs in the 1st inning yesterday, and were then shut down by John Smoltz and the Cardinals for the next 8 innings.  And while Ted Lilly delivered an extremely solid 7.2 innings of work, he melted down in the 5th surrendering 2 runs -- including an RBI triple by Mark "Why Did It Have To Be" DeRosa.  Then in the 9th inning, Aaron Heilman surrendered a walk-off homerun to Matt Holliday and that was all she wrote.

There's a saying in baseball about how good teams find ways to win and bad teams find ways to lose.  It's a cliche because it's true, but the Cubs aren't really a bad team.  They're just a not good enough team, there's a difference.  And in a year that seems to belong to the Cardinals, the Cubs are busy at making sure that their fans will have this October free for other things, like vacations, football, and dentistry.  Yay.

But hey -- there are teeny, tiny positives in this.  Derrek Lee is batting over .300 and has more than 100 RBI.  Jeff Baker has, minus a few droughts, been a worthy pickup at least for this season.  Aramis Ramirez managed to come back from a serious shoulder injury to have a very productive second half.  Oh, and the team got sold.

All these things are worth feeling The Positive about.  But the overall play of the Cubs on the field?  Not so much.

Cubs vs. Cardinals --- taking their jobs seriously

Here's the biggest difference I see --- emotion. When the Cardinals saw the finish line, they kicked things up a couple of notches; The Cubs --- well they're just a bunch of guys who get together 162 times a year to play some baseball. If you look at the few hot streaks this year, I think you'll always find that some minor-league call-up player (Bobby Scales, Jake Fox, Sam Fuld, ...) is in the midst of it, loving every second that they are in the Majors --- and playing with all the heart they have. Sure, several of the favorite targets for criticism may have had some personal issues this year, but some of them deserved every bit of criticism for their selfish play. Example: Soriono apparently has been hurt all year. Jake Fox might not ever be half the player Soriano already is, but for most of this season, he's been twice the player that Soriano has been. And people criticize Theriot for being less than perfect at shortstop --- when they would be thrilled to replace him with an "unspecified player" who has worse numbers?

Try ranking the players on this team based on who has done the most to help the team win ... it might be downright enlightening ...

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