Monday, May 10, 2004

Cubbies 11

A word on yesterday's game. Great job by Dusty in that last inning. Now, I know he's gonna take some heat for two sac bunts. And most times, the heat would be justified. But if you think like me, and you think Patterson sucks (despite how the game ended), then what Dusty did was ensure the game could not end without a Cubs win or Sosa and Alou coming up again.

Let's say the Rocks don't walk Jackson intentionally (which should say boatloads of how the league looks at Patterson) and Jackson makes the last out in the 13th. That means Sosa and Alou are guaranteed to bat in the 14th. The way I see it, Dusty said that the gamble of Jackson/Patterson batting with two outs is worth it to get to Sosa and Alou.

I agree.

That said, this was sure a disappointing homestand. They shoulda knocked off one or two more wins, especially against sub-.500 opponents. If this team needs to be 12 over .500 by the break, then these are the games where you make headway. Over the last 13 games, the Cubs are actually 1 under. The next 6 games are brutal: Good opponents in parks where you don't hit a lot of home runs. Not a good combo for this lineup.

I expect a 2-4 trip. 3-3 would be very nice, and 4-2 would be outstanding. On the plus, with the off day today, Mitre only pitches once on the trip. And with 4 off days between now and the end of May, now would be a good time to go to 11 pitchers and add an extra bat to the bench. The Cubs can go with normal rest for the big 4 through the end of the month and only need a 5th starter twice.

And Prior should be back the following week.

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