Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Maybe Next Year

As much as it hurts to say it, I'm going to spend this blog telling all you Cubs fans why we can all write this year off.

I know what you're thinking, "But Dan, it's only one game!" Well here's what I have in rebuttal. Yes, it's one game. One of the most important games of the season, and not only did we blow it, we showed a plethora of glaring weaknesses in the wake of a 16-5 shallacking to the Atlanta Braves.

The Cubs' rotation is in real trouble. It was bad enough watching ace-by-default Carlos Zambrano get yanked after 1 1/3 inning after giving up EIGHT runs, but it was even more cringe-inducing watching a young bullpen match that over the rest of the game. The only seemingly bright spot was Sean Marshall doing well on the mound, and even he got touched up for runs.

While Byrd looks like he will do well in this system, and while the Cubs offense does have some promise, they still show the inability to manufacture runs at will as they did in 2008. 5 Runs isn't too bad on an average day, but when you're playing from behind, it's hard to watch Alfonso Soriano get back into the groove at swinging at anything thrown in the direction of home plate. The bright spots of Aramis Rameriez showing that he is doing just fine coming off an injury plagued 2009 campaign, along with Fukudome showing the benefits of working with new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, was overshadowed by a lousy pitching performance and an offense that was effective for two out of the seven innings.

Let's not kid ourselves, we know how these seasons go. We're Cubs fans. Whether or not we won this first game wasn't the important part; the importance comes in the fight we put up, and I saw little. Zambrano said he wanted to watch his temper, but after that outing, I wanted to see him choking the life out of a gatorade cooler in the dugout.

It's just proof that getting Milton Bradley out of Chicago was only the first step in solving the puzzle which is the Chicago Cubs. Better arms are needed, and if they don't make a trade, I don't even see them competing for the NL central, especially considering how St. Louis (those bastards) opened up the season.

Just remember kids: yes, there are 162 games in a baseball season. There's room for improvement and I don't expect the Cubs to lose every game like this, nor do I expect them to show no life for the remainder of the season. But I will say this, as ridiculous as it sounds:

It's never too early for the Cubs to start panicking.

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