Cubs game recap
The Cubs lost 2-1 to the Nationals yesterday. Ryan Dempster had an incredible start, striking out ten batters in 7.2 innings. Unfortunately, after he was relieved in the 8th inning Kerry Wood walked three straight batters to tie the game. Carlos Marmol gave up a double in the 9th to Cubs Legend Chad Tracy followed by a bloop single by Ian Desmond. Ian Stewart just missed a HR off Brad Lidge in the ninth, and pinch runner Joe Mather was thrown out at home in the next at bat. To Dempster's credit, he got the strikeouts but the Cubs best defender yesterday was the wind blowing hard in from center field. Stewart's ball wasn't the only hard-hit one that would have gone out on an average day at Wrigley.
Wood had a lousy day but I still think he should be the primary set-up man. He's not as good as he once was but I don't think there's much case to say that any of the other non-Marmol relievers are better than he is right now unless he's injured.
Dempster's start was the best by game score (78) for a Cubs opener since Bill Bonham in 1974 (87).
Joe Mather was thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the ninth after running on contact. I think he was out either way, since that ball was hit pretty hard to the third baseman. I'd chalk it up to bad luck, but the TOOTBLAN definition is a harsh mistress.
Is there a Cubs game today?
Maybe Bill Murray should stop throwing out the first pitch
Ryan Dempster accidentally used the ceremonial first pitch ball for the first actual pitch of the game. Bill Murray had signed it and added "good luck, Ryan". Ian Desmond hit a single on Dempster's first pitch.
Pictures from opening day
Cubs interested in John Lannan
You can never have too many slightly above replacement level pitchers that are paid more than league minimum. Though maybe the best way to improve the pen is to pick up a ton on fringy starters and make them setup men. It worked wonders for Sean Marshall.
Media waiting to pile on Cubs "culture"
For some reason Cubs players are "tired of the perception that failure is institutionalized in the organization". I wonder what's perpetuating that perception?
Wait, what? moment
During yesterday's game WGN had a shot of someone wearing a "Sveamus Catuli" t-shirt. That doesn't even make sense, and was way too complicated to explain to someone who didn't get the reference. Still better than Pujols mows my lawn, though.
Ad campaign of the day
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