Northside For Life

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mad Dog 320

Things weren’t looking too hot for the Cubs at the start of yesterday’s game. You had Mad Dog pitching against a Red’s team that had gone deep 6 times the day before and has given the Dog fits the last couple of years. On a day when the wind was blowing out to right no less. On top of that, A-Ram and Jaques were both out, replaced by Neifi and Angel Pagan who was batting 5th for some reason. Also in the line-up was Hairy Jerry (in because of the lefty Claussen) batting 2nd and Barrett batting cleanup. A Dusty Special. The game had the makings of a slugfest, and the Cubs looked to be short a couple of guns.

Instead, Mad Dog turned another masterful performance, pretty much shutting down the Reds offense over 6 innings. The Cubs played small ball as the Reds got ready for the upcoming World Cup by booting the ball all over the infield. The ‘Nati made 5 errors in the game –including 3 by 3B Edwin Encarnacion- and Dusty must have stole some notes from Whitey Herzog’s notebook by using the double steal not once, but twice. With the Mad Dog dealin’ and Pierre and D-Lee stealin’ the Cubs took the game 4-1 and Mad Dog earned his 320th career victory.

And that brings us to today. It sounds odd to call a game in April important, but that’s just what this particular game today is. It’s already been said that the Cubs need to get off to a fast start this season to keep pace in the NL Central and so far they’ve been doing just that. The Cubs need to take advantage of their fairly easy early schedule and keep their momentum going until the supposed big guns (Prior, Wood, Miller) return to the fold. So beating the Reds today and taking the series is exactly what the team needs to keep the mo going.

The Cubs have the advantage with Z taking the mound today. He looked great in his last start against the Reds but unfortunately got a no decision. If he could stay on his game today and pitch a good 6 or 7 innings, then the Cubs should be in great shape. The Reds counter with Eric Milton, who’s well on his way to breaking the all-time record for homeruns given up. The Cubs have owned him the past couple of seasons, and with the wind blowing out again today, there could very well be a few dingers coming off Cub bats, even if A-Ram sits out again with his strained ass cheek.

Let’s get ‘em.

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