Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Mark Prior heals the faithful

"And thus it was spoken, on the thirteenth day of the fourth month, the Messiah arose from ashes, his formerly broken body bathed in the holy waters, and he smote them. And the Prophet Dustymael spoketh to thee, and said, 'For yea, He is risen, He shalt heal thy sick, thy weak of faith, He shalt saveth thee who poopeth thou pants in fear and want. He is the messiah Marcus the Christ, and our enemies shalt feeleth His heater when He buzzes them on the inner half of the plate, and thee shalt know salvation when thou seeith Him.'"
-From the Testiment of Dustymael, Book 3, Verses 5-8

There was a revival yesterday at Wrigley Field. After a distressing first game of a double header against the Padres, Dusty Baker proceeded to rub Holy Water blessed by the Pope all over Mark Prior's body. Prior proceeded to pitch six shutout innings in his debut, striking out six batters and only walking one.

And in spite of that first game loss, don't you feel better about the Cubs today?

Of course, there's still the matter of Judas--er, Kerry Wood. He's up to his old tricks, getting rocked early, but buckling down and pitching strong innings after. You have to wonder if Kerry will ever put it all together. this is supposed to be his coming out year, after all. Remember? But so far, it's been the Same Old Kerry Wood. Dangerously good when on, but rarely on enough to be dangerously good.

But man, Biblical text aside, don't you kind of get the feeling that the Divine is against us? I mean, for all intents and purposes, the Cubs have a good enough team to win some ballgames this year. They might even have the best backup in baseball in Jerry Hairston. Then, when Todd Walker goes down, rather than watch Hairston take his place, we're forced to suffer through Neifi Perez. But only for a game, or so we're led to believe.

One fan over at Desipio recently said, "watch, Neifi will have a 3 for 4 game and Dusty will start him regularly after that." When I read that, I laughed. No way was Neifi going to play that well. It just wasn't possible, right?

Neifi's game lines from yesterday:
Game One v. Jake Peavy: 3 for 4, 1 run scored, 1 K
Game Two v. Brian Lawrence: 3 for 5, 2 runs scored

In one day - one day! - Neifi had as many hits as Nomar has had all year long. I'm sure that every time Neifi got another hit, Jerry Hairston probably emited a loud curse from the bench. He knows what's coming, and so do you. You just know that Dusty had a glint in his eye as he saw Neifi get hit after hit. Tomorrow, when the lineups are announced and Neifi is the starting second baseman, you can expect to hear something similar to the following to come from Dusty:

"You gotta play the hot hand, dude. I can't bench Neifi when he's seeing the ball that well. You gotta let him play it out, dude."

But, hey, at least we got to see The Franchise pitch a gem of a game, right?

Tom

Um, and there are people who want to make Wood the closer?
Last time I heard, closers typically pitch about one inning. Kerry Wood doesn't seem to do so well in his first inning of work.
I'd hate to see a nameless starter -- his initials are "Carlos Zambrano" -- throw a gem and then have Wood come in and pitch a "first inning" with the game one the line.
But maybe that's just me.

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