Thursday, April 9, 2009

Offense on display

What is every Major League team's goal? To win series. And that's just what the Cubs did Wednesday, taking two of three against Houston to win their first season-opening series since 2003. The Cubs tried to put it away early, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings, but Houston stayed alive by belting five home runs in the game. The Cubs ultimately held off the charge, winning 11-6.

Had Lilly pitched Monday or Tuesday when the offense was more dormant, we'd probably be mad at him right now and talking about how the WBC affected his preparation (which it probably did), as he went just five innings and allowed five runs, but he got the win because he was staked to such a large lead. Why, though, did Piniella take him down after just 73 pitches? Is it indeed because the WBC messed with his prep? I know Lilly didn't have his good stuff, but I'd rather see him back out for the sixth.

One more complaint--why were both Gregg AND Guzman warming up in the top of the ninth? Gregg pitched in the first two games, and why get him stretched out again when Guzman was going to pitch in the bottom of the ninth anyways? Sure, if Guzman gets into trouble, you get Gregg up, but why you would warm him up prematurely is beyond me.

Cubs notes
  • The best thing about Wednesday's offensive explosion? That's easy--Kosuke Fukudome drank some sort of magical hitting potion prior to the game and went 4-5 with a home run and four runs scored. He also--gasp--walked! Fukudome's last four-hit game was May 1 of last year. It's obviously just one game, but we haven't seen that type of pop off Fukudome's bat since, well, May 1 of last year. 'Dome also stole a base as part of a double steal.
  • If you're a starting pitcher, is there anything better than coming up to bat before you've thrown a pitch? Yeah--how about batting again in the second inning? That's what Ted Lilly did Wednesday, as the Cubs batted around in each of the first two frames.
  • David Patton began his Major League career by promptly serving up a home run to Hunter Pence. He settled down, though, getting through two innings with no more baserunners while striking out two.
  • How freakin' good is the Cajun Connection? One reason I hate the Cardinals is because of all the little scrappy bastards they always seem to have who refuse to make an out despite apparently being members of the Lollipop Guild as a second job (think: David Eckstein, Fernando Vina), but now we have our own pint-sized studs in Fontenot (5' 8) and Theriot (5' 11). In the first series, they both batted over .385 and accounted for a combined four runs and six RBI.
  • I have to give Milton Bradley props. Yes, he's still hitless, but his OBP is .357 and he's second in the majors in pitches seen per plate appearance. He's not in a groove right now, and yet he's still exhibiting patience at the plate and getting on base at a pretty good clip.
MLB notes
  • Who says chivalry is dead? The Braves walked in four runs in one inning against the Phillies Wednesday, kindly enabling them to come back from a 10-3 deficit. This could end up being one of the bigger comebacks all year.
  • How often do the Padres wear those awful camouflage uniforms? I thought it was just for every Sunday home game (which is still way too often), but they were also wearing them Wednesday night, which is surely the reason they lost 5-2 to the Dodgers. Man, are those ever hideous.


  1. EW... they ARE ugly!

  2. If you don't like the uniforms, then you don't SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!!