Gamecast: Phillies at Cubs, July 15, 2010
Jamie Moyer (9-8, 4.51) vs Ryan Dempster (7-7, 3.61)
Well, the most boring sports day of the year has passed (yesterday). Hope you enjoyed the ESPYs. At least we got this little gem out of it. That aside, it's nice to have baseball back on the air (making it one of the few sports on the air today at a reasonable hour... unless you wake up a 3AM CST for the British Open). We had our laughs and shouts of joy to the great play of Marlon Byrd during the All-Star Game, but now it's back to business. The Cubs are 10.5 games out of first place in the division and things look pretty bleak. However, don't tell that to the team, who was out in the field early today taking fielding practice. It looks like motivation isn't lacking at this point.
I honestly don't know what to expect out of this team in the second half. On the plus side, Aramis started to rediscover how to hit a baseball, Byrd has been a delight to watch, and there are some young kids (Castro, Cashner, sometimes Colvin) that have been fun to watch. On the other hand, we have some aging vets that are barely hitting their weight (Lee, Koyie) and a lack of that "x" factor that seems to pull teams together. In all honesty, I just want to see a better second half than the first.
To test out how this team's second half will start, the Cubs will face their kryptonite: and aging lefty junkerballer. The Phillies are struggling as well and are missing 1/2 of their opening day infield, while their star shortstop still isn't confident in running on his strained calf at 100%. This smells like an opportunity for the Cubs to get off on the right foot and win a 4 game series at the outset.
Call me an eternal optimist at times, but I have a feeling this can be a fun second half, and will at least produce some watchable baseball. What are your expectations/predictions for the second half?