“Everybody wants to win. But the fans know one team is going to win and one team’s going to lose even before they get to the ballpark. But to come with the spirit of having fun... of laughing, of joking, of making trickery, of booing an umpire, or cheering a star, all the emotions are there. And whoever designed the phrase ‘the agony of defeat’ and ‘the ecstasy of victory’ certainly covered it all. But, it’s a game. Enjoy it.” - Harry Caray, 4th Inning

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Something funny, Ron?"

So, my theory about Cubs and good pitching didn't exactly hold up during yesterday's 7-5 loss at the confines. But as far as wins and losses go, this was a quasi-satisfying loss. The team really gutted it out, and though I was stuck at my desk sans TV tracking the game on my XM Radio and MLB.com's GameCast, it sounded like the ball was just impossible to see in the late innings. I don't take any solace in the mind-numbing amount of walks, and dropped fly balls, however.

As for the radio aspect, I used to loathe Pat and Ron... but now, there's something comforting about them. Maybe it's because I have zero attachment (or regard) for Len and Bob. Maybe it's because I like hearing Ronny swear in the background when the Cubs do something boneheaded or kill a rally. During yesterday's broadcast, sometime in the late innings, WGN-AM comes back from commercial, and Ron is just laughing uncontrollably for what seems like two solid minutes, while Pat tries to call the game. Occasionally Pat would try and pay some mind to Ronny by saying things like "Well, it sure seems like Ronny's having some fun." And Ron is just laughing and laughing. No idea. God bless 'em. And there's nothing like the "Attendance Game." For those of you who don't have the pleasure of hearing two broadcasters routinely guess the attendance of every game, at some point during the broadcast, I promise you are missing out.

Back to the game... Guzman was spotty in places and strong in other places. As far as a Cub debut goes, it was unremarkable. I used to have a tendency to justify every single pitch, or performance, from hyped (or semi-hyped) Cubs prospects in their first go-rounds (I was a card-carrying member of the Micah Bowie and Scott Downs fan club). However, this was what it was. Not great, not awful. I know the kid had some nerves, and I'll be eager to see how he fares the next time out; I'm just concerned that he may not have the dazzling stuff that he used to.

The reason this loss was quasi-satisfying is because they battled, and the Cubs don't usually battle. But if we want to stand a chance in this division, our bats have to get going. I think Juan Pierre is on the verge of breaking out, and I hope Aramis Ramirez is as well. I was surprised that Baker didn't go to Barrett in a pinch, so his finger must be jammed pretty bad (We really didn't need that injury, by the way). 'Till the bats heat up, it's up to our nasty bullpen, and what we can get from our starting pitching... and speaking of:

Next up: The Brewers...

Maddux (4-0, 0.99) vs Bush (2-1, 3.54)
Rusch (1-3, 6.41) vs Davis (0-2, 7.66)
Zambrano (0-1, 4.86) vs Capuano (3-2, 3.00)

(I hate the Brewers.)

-Fletch

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