Negative Fans to Blame for Impending (possibly) Sweep?
Our esteemed host Kurt Evans wrote the following after the Cubs 7-2 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night:
"I've predicted that if the Cubs lost Game One, they could be swept, and the negative fans are the reason why. I will stand by that prediction."
Kurt is a fan, like the rest of us and his opinion matters the same. Strike that...his opinions around here carry more weight, because this is his house, afterall. And since he and I are friends, and this is his house, I am not going to come in here and pee all over the furniture.
No, I don't need that much space, the corner will do just fine.
Negativity amongst the Cub fan base will not cause this team to get swept; 7 walks by your starting pitcher in just 4.2 innings, will. 2 for 19 at the plate with no RBI by the top five hitters in your batting order, that will also suffice. Actually, that is an improvement over last year's 1 for 20 performance by the top five against Arizona in game one.
Your leadoff hitter showing the plate discipline of a rookie in the second week of March, that will sting a bit.
Walking the bases loaded twice in the first four innings, that could have something to do with it. Had I mentioned that yet?
Sorry my man, I am just a bit down after this one.
Prior to Kurt coming on my radio show on Tuesday, I said the following in my show open (paraphrasing):
Am I the only Cubs fan that is scared that Ryan Dempster will revert to the mean? Am I the only Cubs fan that expects D-Lee to keep grounding into double plays, for Alphonso Soriano to put up the following two letters, K and E more than R-B-I? Am I the only Cubs fan that expects Zambrano to pitch the way he did in all but one of his September appearances? Am I the only Cubs fan that expects Fukudome to play like....well, Fukudome at the plate?
Hey, I still had hope. I still clung to the hope that this might really be the year. But I have gotten wiser in my late 30's. I now know how to manage pain better. I know how to distance myself between the shock of the 2003 collapse and the gut shot that went with it, to just sort of expecting the pain first and if it doesn't come, then being pleasantly surprised.
It's sad to say it, but I laid the groundwork in emotionally distancing myself from this Cubs team about two weeks ago, once it was apparent they were going to make it to the playoffs.
And especially when the Cubs had every chance to lay down, just a little bit more, against the Mets...or to rise up and swat away the Brewers, thus giving the Cubs the Mets in the playoffs instead of the Dodgers, the team that I had not wanted them to play since about the middle of July as I went through my playoff scenarios.
The old axiom is that good pitching beats good hitting in the playoffs. And I was not exactly sold on the Cubs pitching staff in a five game series.
A 162-game regular season? Heck yes, I like it. Five games or go home? Not so much.
Now, as we turn the page on this footnote in Cubs history, game one, we look ahead to game two...and Carlos Zambrano will be on the hill for the Cubs.
This dream of a season pretty much rests on his right arm...or rather, the stuff between his ears. How does that make you feel right about now?
One last point that rammed things home to me.
Our cats were looking at me really pissed off in the top of the 9th, so I got in the car to get them some food. I had my radio with me, and headphones on as I went into the store.
That's when Pat Hughes said the Cubs were on the verge of losing their 7th straight playoff game, which they accomplished.
I had totally forgotten that the Cubs were up 3 games to 1 in 2003. I remembered they had lost the last two, but I forgot they lost the last three.
Z....please....your city needs you.