Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Flash of Optimism

I've gotten away from Chicago for the holiday weekend, so I'm quite relaxed and not quite ready to jump off a cliff over the Cubs' recent inability to recognize balls and strikes or hit a ball out of the infield.

While Joel Piniero is not the second coming of Cy Young, he's a young pitcher with some nice upside that is capable of dominating a lineup when his stuff and command is working right. Hell, if Frank Castillo could throw the occasional shutout, we can't be shocked and amazed by Piniero accomplishing the same feat.

Chris Carpenter is a tremendous pitcher who rivals Rich Harden in both nastiness of stuff and propensity to get injured on a fairly regular basis. It is not even a surprise that he was able to dominate the Cubs lineup. The fact that he managed to get healthy enough to pitch against the Cubs one night after Piniero's masterpiece can simply be chalked up to the baseball gods manipulating the calendar for their own amusement.

Adam Wainright is more frustrating because he is not a dominant pitcher, but he is not a crappy pitcher either and is certainly fantasy team ownable. The Cubs are hardly the first team he has managed to shut down in his life.

Being shut down by Jake Peavy was not only not surprising, it was expected. There is a reason that some Cub fans wet themselves with anticipation when talking about past (and future) trade rumors that involve Peavy joining the Cubs rotation. The man is flat out good.

So, is it shocking that the Cubs have managed only two runs in the last four games? Not even close. It is disappointing. It is frustrating to the point of madness. It is painful to watch and have Len & Bob struggle to feign enthusiasm when a singular runner accidentally gets on base. It is excruciating to listen to Ronny in the background muttering ever more defeatedly with every routine grounder and pop-up on the infield.

But there is hope still. Perhaps the birds chirping outside my window without the sound of police sirens has made me deliriously optimistic. Perhaps I don't fully realize the talent of Mr. Josh Geer and his 5.61 ERA heading to the mound tonight for the Padres. Perhaps I don't fully comprehend the level of ineptitude that the team has sunk to, but I think the Cubs will win tonight.

They f---ing better.


waxpaperbeercup said...

add Josh Geer to the group of players to shutdown this cubs offense. Chris Young must be licking his chops that he gets to pitch to these fellas this afternoon.

Tim McGinnis said...

Yeah, my flash of optimism is gone. I wish I hadn't dropped Chris Young off my fantasy team before reaping the benefits of this next game.

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