Northside For Life

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Skid marks

Baseball is a game of streaks. Some streaks are favorable, such as Derrek Lee's 18-game hitting streak, and others are on par with a brown stain in your shorts, such as the Cubs 7-game losing streak. Losing streaks happen over the course of a baseball season. The Cubs have not had a streak that bad since 2002, a season in which they lost 95 games. The big reason for that is the great starting pitching the team has had the last couple of years put a stop to these streaks after a couple of games. But during this streak, the team has just found ways to lose that are just excruciating. Wood only goes 3 innings before he breaks down again (did his warranty expire yet, or can we still trade him for another model?) . Mark Prior looks good the next day before he gets lit up like Richard Pryor by Mike Lamb of all people. Zambrano pitches a great game but the team only scores one run for him and Corey Patterson throws his helmet at an umpire when he gets tossed for arguing. The next day Roberto Novoa, who arrived in the Kyle Farnsworth trade and wears the Farns' old number 44, did his best Farns impression and walked in the winning running. A walk-off walk. The day after that Hawkins gives up a bloop single for another Brewer walk-off win. The next day, Prior pitches a gem, only to watch LaTroy throw it off of Jose Offerman's helmet and into the stands, allowing two runs to score....the tying and go-ahead runs mind you. The "Ooooooh Noooooooo!" that came out of Ron Santo was up there with the one he let out after Brant Brown dropped that flyball in '98. At 6 games, the streak is as ugly as Will Ferrell running naked down the street in Old School. And guess who's throwing out the first pitch and singing "Take Me Out to The Ballgame" the next day? None other than Frank The Tank himself. Even Ferrell's best Harray Carey impression can't spark any life into this team, as they phall phlat against the Phillies, 4-1.

Of course all streaks come to an end sooner or later. Today, Big Z was on the mound and he was taking no shit from no one. He dominated, and again the Cubs could only manage to give him 2 runs to work with-solo dingers from Neifi and Aramis-but that was enough. And in the ninth Dusty did the right thing and left him in to close out his own game, which he did effectively even though he let the tying run get to third. 135 pitches later, Big Z was still bringing it nasty style, strking out Jose Offerman to end the game and doing his patented fist pump, as well as a cool looking bald headbump with Barret. Cubs win 2-1, and the skid is over.

Now it looks like Dusty is going to put Dempster in as the closer for now and go with either a four man rotation or bring someone up from the minors (Mitre maybe? Guzman?) The team is having a hard time producing runs (again) and that worries me, altough Aramis had a good day with the bat. If we could have him and Lee going strong and get some guys on base in front of them, the Cubbies should be ok. Borowski should be coming back soon and he's looked good in Iowa, which is encouraging. All this team has to do is tread water for the time being until Wood, Walker and maybe Nomar come back, and until Hendry makes a move of some sort (and he will make a move). Once that happens the team should be in a good position to challenge for the Wild Card (I gave up on the division title at the begining of the season).

Let's hope the Cubs can put together a seven game win streak now. That would really help. If they do, I'll go streaking through the streets of Naperville, Old School-style.

Or not.

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