Friday, October 3, 2008

All of Chicago is Depressed Today

You can actually feel it.

As a bi-Sox-ual Cubs fan (meaning I’m not from the city proper and don’t have to pick a team based on geographical proximity, thereby making me a Chicago fan), it has been a complete let down to have watched a combined total of 324 regular season games only to have both teams lay complete eggs in their first efforts of the 2008 Playoffs.

Ryan Dempster, with a home record of 14-3, was to provide a tone setting first game performance with his level-headed, even keeled approach to the game. He set the tone alright, throwing a season high 7 walks in route to a lack-luster 4 and 2/3 innings pitched allowing a total of 4 earned runs on 4 hits. Prior to the start of the series, Cubs manager Lou Pinella, stated that, “in order for them to be successful in the first round their starters had to go deep.” Which is kind of a misnomer because for the Cubs starting rotation, going deep has meant about 6 innings on average.” This worked just fine during the regular season with a typical bullpen outing consisting of; 7th and 8th innings Carlos Marmol and Jeff Samardzija, and then Kerry Wood to close in the ninth.

Subsequently in Game 2, the easily rattled Carlos Zambrano pitched a decent game allowing only 2 earned runs despite having his normally reliable defense pick the worst opportunity to boot the ball around the infield. Sure handed Mark Derosa missed a play that should have lead to an inning ending double play, followed shortly by multiple time gold glover Derek Lee mishandle a play at first, allowing an additional run to score. Despite all of this, Zambrano maintained his composure, remarkably, but couldn’t get any run support.

The Cubs are being beaten at their own game; solid starting pitching, deep, reliable bull-pen, timely hitting, and power to all fields resulting in a 0-2 deficit and being outscored 17 to 5.

I had friends at the game last night and they said it was so quite at times that you could hear the echoes of the beer vendors from various locations in the stadium.

Meanwhile the Sox are very, very lucky just to be in the Playoffs. They squeaked by a younger and more talented Twins team only to face a team better than the Twins but built much like them. The Rays play baseball with sound fundamentals and consistently do all the little things necessary to win. The Sox on the other hand, are a bunch of aging, veteran sluggers, well past their prime, who have the team speed of a snail.

Based on what I have seen so far, it’s quite possible that all of Chicago could be watching a combined 6 and done.

So much for this year, being the year Cubs fans, take a Xanax and put on your earplugs as the fat lady appears to be waiting in the wings.

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