Friday, June 23, 2006

Game 1 Thoughts

So it has been two years since I saw the Cubs live and it looks like I should have waited a little longer after Friday night's 7-2 loss to the Twins.
Here are some random things going through my mind after tonight's game, which was my #17 Franchise to see in action on its home field.

1. Carlos Marmol is not ready for the majors. He has flashes of real good pitching, then things like the second and third innings. Some time in AAA will do him some real good.

2. Phil Nevin hit the ball hard in each of his at bats. I am pretty sure he and Told Walker will be the first out the door in the next few weeks. And yes after his home run, I let myself think we might win.

3. For the first time in quite some time I was actually 99.99999999% sure we would lose the game and I was right. I knew the 1 run would not be enough. Johan Santana is the real deal, he didn't have to strike many out, because Cubs hitters swing so early in the count.

4. That brings me to my Dusty bashing post. Why lord why is Neifi Perez #2. Ok you want to play him, but good lord our top two hitters were .250 and .220. Why not bat Walker No. 2? There is no question who is a better hitter, hell it might even give Juan Pierre more pitches to see. Neifi has to be black mailing the man, because he is the worst hitter I have ever seen. Got on a base in the 8th on an error and that is it. I could write a ton more, but we already know, but it still hurts.

5. The Metrodome is pretty bad, just like everybody said. It is not the worst place, but you can tell it is out of date. We sat directly behind home plate in the upper deck and I could see everything fine. Now I have pretty good eyes, but I could see somebody with bad eyes might struggle. Things feel too far away for a baseball game. It is the same feeling I get going to Shea, which is still the worst place I have caught a game that is still around, but the Dome is just one spot in front. With Pro Player rounding out the top 3.

6. Torri Hunter knows how to play Centerfield. I know everybody knows that, but Nevin's smash didn't put Hunter in a jog. While his bat is not the best anymore, his defense is unreal. That play would have given Juan Pierre fits, and why does Pierre play so shallow? He was almost burnt once and even with a good effort he was behind on the home run ball.

7. Back to Dusty bashing No. 2. Ok Marmol gets out of the fifth inning with around 100 pitches, I think it was exactly 97. Instead of going with a reliever to start the inning, he leaves the rook out there who has labored. Gets two quick outs and then it finally catches up with. Dusty goes to Ohman with runners and quickly ends the Cub's chances of winning. I knew after 2003 Dusty had no clue to manage pitchers, but it grows more evident now, because he doesn't have guys who can fight through days without their best stuff.

8. Raise your hand if thought Aramis was striking out with runners on? That is why Santana is one of the best pitchers of the game. He picked up strike two on a nasty 81 MPH pitch that Aramis has still not seen. Then he came back with high heat and Ramirez was still stunned he didn't hit it.

9. Hopefully things get better tomorrow. This is probably the 5th time I have seen Prior pitch in person, and maybe he will be better in game 2.