GameCast: Sept. 20 at St. Louis
Way back before the start of the '07 season -- or perhaps shortly after it began -- I had a long debate with a friend of mine about the quality of the Cubs when compared with the Cardinals. This friend -- a lifelong Cub fan who used to sling beers in the bleachers during the '84 season along with his buddy Dave Kaplan -- explained to me that the '07 Cards were head and shoulders better than the '07 Cubs at almost every position. He hammered his views home by telling me how great Adam Wainwright was compared with Rich Hill.
A few years later has proven him right in the long-term about Wainwright vs. Hill -- although as I expected Rich was the most outstanding of the two back in '07 -- but time will never erase the fact that the '07 Cubs were the better. So, he can suck on that one for a while longer.
As for 2009, at this point there's no doubt that the Cardinals are a force. They've received key performances from players of middling talent, all of their studs have played exactly as they'd expected, and they've even had the extra bonus of long-hurt stars returning to tip-top shape. Thus, they have succeeded in making the Cubs their bitches. Yes, it hurts. But I would happily take a second-place finish to the Cardinals if it meant a Wild Card playoff berth, but even that won't be happening now.
And as the season winds down, the Cubs have 15 more games. That's 3 more starts, give or take, which means that Carlos Zambrano will have to win today and once more if he wants to reach double digits for the 7th time in his career. Hopefully this will be the worst season of his career, ironically appearing in a "prime" year, but we'll have to see about that. He may not even be a Cub for 2010, although why they'd deal him now makes little sense.
Then again, not much makes sense about this shit-stain of a baseball season.