Sunday, October 05, 2008

Very-bad-word next year!

All those white flags flying around the city with a big, blue "W" on them: that "W" stands for "WASTE!" What a very-bad-word waste this whole pointless very-bad-word season was! Why bother going through all that effort to make the very-bad-word playoffs when you're just going to very-bad-word choke again?! You can't very-bad-word hit, and you can't very-bad-word pitch, and you can't very-bad-word field with both hands around your very-bad-word necks! If baseball wanted teams that played like the Pittsburgh very-bad-word Pirates in the playoffs, they'd invite the Pittsburgh very-bad-word Pirates!

Here's what baseball should do. They should send the Cubs - the entire very-bad-word franchise - down to AAA and not let them come back until they win that league's championship.

No, I have a better idea. Let the Cubs play the first two months of the season. Then, make them stop and play in the College World Series. Then, if they win that - which they won't because it's against the very-bad-word law for them to win anything with the name "World very-bad-word Series" in it, including the very-bad-word Little League World Series - they come back to the major leagues and try to get into those playoffs. If they don't, they pack up and go home so they don't waste another entire very-bad-word year.

This year's Cubs' playoff MVPs are: Henry Blanco, Bobby Howry, Reed Johnson and Ted Lilly. Why? Because they never got into a very-bad-word game. Can't very-bad-word up on the very-bad-word bench.

I have another use for all those very-bad-word "W" flags. Wipe.

Very-bad-word! Very-bad-word! Very-bad-word! Extremely-bad-word!

There. I feel better now.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pitching follies

The Cubs gagged away home field advantage last night because Ryan Dempster was left in the game two batters too long.

Mishandling the pitchers was a problem (though by no means the only one) last year as well. In game 1 last year, he took out Carlos Zambrano, who was doing great, too early to save him for a game that never came. Then, in the next two games, he failed to realize his starter had nothing and left them in too long.

Same thing yesterday. Dempster never had control. He threw 109 pitches, but only 57 strikes (I can't believe it was that many), and walked seven. Three of them scored on a grand slam in the fifth. That was one of those rare strikes.

And that's the problem. By the fifth, he had so little control, I was afraid he would throw a strike. Because if you're wild out of the strike zone, you could be wild in the zone and leave a pitch fat. That's what happened, and it was game over.

But it wasn't just the walks that was indicative of a problem, it was all the guys who didn't walk that he got behind. It was how badly he was missing the target.

Entering the fifth, the pitch count was around 80. He struggled to get the pitcher Lowe and walked Furcal on five pitches. At this point, the bullpen should be working and the pitching coach should be on the mound, but that didn't happen. He gets Martin to fly out on a 3-1 pitch, but when he walks Manny after having him 0-2, it was time to call it a night. Unfortunately, he stayed in for two more batters and threw one strike too many.

Hopefully, if Zambrano is going good tonight, Piniella lets him keep going. The Cubs have to treat this as a must win though. If it's bad Carlos tonight, he needs to have a quick hook. There is no point in making the trip to LA if they lose tonight.

The Sox, on the other hand, made the shocking decision to start Javier Vasquez today against Tampa. Vasquez is not a big-game pitcher. At all. By any measure. So, either the Sox are conceding, or they must feel they can outscore whatever he gives up.