Northside For Life

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Even when they win they lose

I’ve always considered watching baseball as a form of therapy. No matter what goes on in my life, what kind of stress I may be enduring- and lately there’s been quite a bit of stress- its comforting to know that I can flip to a game on TV and escape reality for a few hours a day or night. Although this is true for all sports, I find baseball to be the most therapeutic. I’m not sure if it’s the pace of the game or what but it just puts me at ease. But for all the therapeutic qualities baseball has, if you watch the Cubs on a regular basis like I do, sometimes they’ll make you feel like getting real therapy.

For instance last night I came home at around 10:30 after a long day at work followed by three and a half hours of graduate level statistics (I’ve felt like Chevy Chase in that classic SNL skit, “Nobody said there would be math involved”). All I wanted to do was get home, crack open a beer and veg out in front of the TV with the Cubs game on. Thank God for these west coast games!

Anyway I pick up the game in the 4th with the score tied 2-2. According to reports of the game, Sean Marshall did pretty good in this start, although his command wasn’t all there so he ran up his pitch count and was gone after 5 innings. They put in David “the Aardvark” Aardsma who apparently hasn’t given up a walk this year in AAA and he promptly issues 3 walks and gives up 2 runs in the inning. Fantastic job, Aardvark. Sit down.

In the middle of the 7th I flipped to ESPN News to catch a few highlights and scores as well as to avoid the unwatchable commercials on Comcast. I flip back to game just in time to see D-Lee rolling around on the ground holding his wrist.

Oh. Shit.

The replay showed him getting bowled over by Raffy Furcal (and you thought Furcal only screwed the Cubs during the offseason) followed by him rolling around in pain. Not a good sight. To make matters worse, Eyre hurt his knee during his belly flop to catch the ball. Two players hurt separately on the same play. When was the last time that happened? Only the Cubs.

At this point I thought the game was a lost cause. Down 2 on the road and with the franchise player out for who knows how long. The Cubs of the past would have folded right here. Instead, they slapped the ball around in the next inning, and with the help of a couple of errors by Dannys Baez and Jason Repko, they scored three runs-all with 2 outs mind you- to take the lead. The bullpen, which has been pretty solid, sealed and the Cubs took it 5-4. It was a pretty encouraging come-from-behind win. The Cubs of the past couple of seasons would have been hard-pressed to win a game like this without hitting two or three homers. That this team is using speed and timely hitting is truly refreshing. But I can’t shake the worry of D-Lee’s injury being serious.

X-rays of his wrist proved inconclusive and reports are saying that he’s flying in to Chicago today for further evaluation. Hopefully it’s just a sprain and he won’t have to miss too much time. The trouble with this type of injury is that it will affect the way he swings the bat for a considerable amount of time after he returns. Even coming back from a mild sprain takes some time. So even in the best case scenario- wrist sprain with no DL time- this injury is probably going to set D-Lee back a few weeks in terms of offensive production. I know a D-Lee recovering from injury is better than some of the options we have right now, but it still sucks nonetheless.

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