Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cubs Given Gift

Mediocrity is the best way to describe the Cub's first half. Dysfunction, disappointment, and hard-luck are other words that can fit into that category, but I think mediocrity nails it on the head. They are a 42-42 team that on paper and based on general logic should be better. However the real product they put out this year should have them buried 6 or 7 games back in the division. Neither happened thus mediocrity.

Today's doubleheader is a gift for this team. The season might actually hinge on what happens today. I know that is being a little over the top, but I wouldn't be surprised if the one of the following scenarios play out:

1) Cubs sweep today, go into the All-Star break at 1 1/2 back and find that "it" factor that was there last year and hasn't been this year. For all intensive purposes they reacquire their "swagger" after taking 3/4 from the Brewers and Cards in consecutive weekends.

2) Cubs lose both game today. Plummet to 5 1/2 back, most likely ending the first half in 5th place. Guys keep trying to pull the ball onto Sheffield/Waveland all season and the offense languishes where it has been up to this point. The career averages numbers never do average out for Sori and Milt.

3) Split the games. Not bad, not great = mediocre. The second half is exactly what the first half was: glimpses of a decent team followed to streaks of inconsistency.

Obviously I am hoping for scenario 1. The doubleheader is such a great opportunity for the Cubs. Sweeping it in a way can make up for all the crap that has gone down in this first half. If they swept, the Cardinals would go into the break with more losses. If the Brewers lost on top of that the Cubs would find themselves in second. Today is such an important day; there will probably be few days the rest of the year as important as this one.

I like the Z/Lohse matchup. Z has been pitching great lately and Lohse is coming off the DL. He was pitching pretty well this year except a couple rough outings, but the Cubs got to him for 4 runs earlier this year and that should be enough to give them a good chance with Z on the hill (if they can do it again, big if).

In the night game, I like the Cubs chances there too. Wainwright is a great pitcher, but he has a 4.86 career ERA against the Cubs and as of right now, I fully trust and believe in Randy Wells to get the job done and crank out a quality start.

Here's to salvaging the first half in one day. Go Cubs.

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