Inspite of Dusty
...not just a great name for a band, but a way of life.
Dusty really didn't want to win last night's game. If he did, he probably wouldn't have started Macias, Blanco, Hollandsworth, and Neifi! (oops, can't say bad things about Neifi! anymore...this is going to take some getting used to) on the same day that Dempster pitches. But the Dr. Evil of management was thwarted by the Cubs' own personal Man of Mystery: Derrek Lee. Derrek Lee, the words are like sweet, sweet magic, except without the rabbit or an endless string of scarves. No wait, I can do better. The words are like a 4 for 4 night with 2 homers and 6 RBIs - now that's poetry. Except that it doesn't rhyme. So never mind.
Closer to a closer
(just to be clear, the first word is pronounced closer, and the last is closer. They are spelled the same, so it can be confusing. I hope that helped)
JoBo, the savior the Cubs have been waiting for, is one step closer to making the long trip to the mound. Borowski threw a simulated game (or a "Prior," as we like to call it in the "biz") which consisted of 35 pitches, both sliders and fastballs. His fastball was "fair" (read:not so fast) and his slider was "good" (read:good) which means he is almost back to being the JoBo we all know and love. He will need to pitch a bit in the minors to hone his control before he tries to come back to the majors, but he is only one step away. More importantly, this means that LaTroy is one step away from the setup role, which is where he belongs.
In other related news, Leicester was sent down and Novoa (nickname: CasaNovoa, Reliever of Love) was brought up. Somehow Leicester was unable to maintain his control pitching, um, basically never and that resulted in a pretty hefty ERA. Novoa proceeded to give up a run in his first trip to the mound. He should fit right in as our bullpen has simply been vomitting up runs recently.
The Wrong Hand
The Cubs now have four lefties in the bullpen. Four. If there is one thing I've learned from Monty Python, it's that four is right out and the number of the counting shall be three. I'm not sure how that relates here, but it might mean we have too many lefties. But wait! (what?) Two of the Cubs' lefties (Remlinger and Rusch) have reverse splits. Basically, especially with Remlinger, those lefties are just like righties and can be used as such. So get ready to see Remlinger be used as primary LOOGY and Ohman rot at the end of the bullpen. I mean, it's Dusty, he hasn't figured out the reverse split in the last two years, and I don't think that's going to change now.
The Cubs have a much needed off day today. It will give everyone a chance to pack their groins in ice (all the Cub players, that is. What are you looking at?) and the pitching staff a chance to sew their arms back on. Play resumes on Friday with the battle of the 300 game winners as Maddux takes on Clemens (or good vs. evil, as I like to call it). An important series for the Cubs, and one they really need to win. Go Cubs!