Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Well that sucked - Reds 3 Cubs 1

What a frustrating game! The breakdown:

The positives - (1) The Bullpen (!) continues to impress me. Wuertz threw another scoreless inning of relief as did Pratt. Are these guys for real or is this just an early season tease? (2) Grudzielanek 2/4 - man I am glad we re-signed him - I have liked Grudzy ever since he came on board! On a day of much offensive futility, Grudzy was one of the few bright spots. (3) Patterson 2/4 - these two gentleman accounted for over half of the Cubs hits :-( Sorry Greg Maddux - a little bit of run support would have helped.

The neutrals - (1) Mad Dog wasn't exactly great or terrible. It's tough to win a game when you get no run support (Is Paul Wilson really that incredible of a pitcher?!). We got more innings out of Maddux than we did from woody yesterday (and Maddux threw almost 20 pitches less than woody while he threw one more inning than him - boy if woody could just learn efficiency from the master). I'm not terribly disappointed in Maddux - this wasn't a terrible performance, but it wasn't great either. (2) Derrek Lee 1/4 - his homer in the 9th represented the Cubs only run and his skillful glove saved 2 errors (The Aramis line is holding steady - 0 errors on the season to date, but as mentioned, he has Rodan to thank for that). Nice to see Derrek finally get his stick on the ball (I know it's early but I'm impatient). (3) Moises Alou 1/4 - his leadoff double in the 7th looked promising until Ramirez, Lee, and Gonzo went 1-2-3!

The negatives - (1) Sammy freaking Sosa - 0/4 today; 0/4 yesterday. Is this what $16 million/year buys? I know it's early in the season, but come on man - show us what you can do. (2) Paul Bako 0/3 - This is an absolutely useless bat in the lineup. I almost put him in the neutral category due to his throw out of Jimenez trying to steal in the first - but it was a questionable call, and in any event - his utter lack of offensive prowess will probably relegate Bako to the perpetual negative category of this blog. (3) Cubs synergy (or lack thereof) - What a waste of hits and walks. When Grudzy got on, Patterson, Sammy, and Alou were worthless. When Patterson got on, Sammy, Alou and Ramirez were worthless. When Sammy got on - whoops - Sammy didn't get on. You get the idea (7 total hits and 6 batters left on base). We couldn't put anything together offensively - and that ill advised base stealing attempt by Patterson in the 4th was just representative of a day of offensive futility.

To make matters worse: (1) Houston won; (2) St Louis won; and (3) the White Sox won. Looks like the South siders were able to avoid a 9th inning meltdown like Monday's game - but I think that bullpen of theirs is going to give them as many fits this year as ours did last year.

I wish I could say I'm positive about tomorrow's game, but Matt Clement is scaring the heck out of me based on his performance in Spring Training. I have a feeling he is going to get shelled tomorrow - even against a very mediocre Reds lineup. I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I'm fearful that I will not be!

Oh well - it's a long season. Hopefully we'll come out tomorrow and grind out a win.

Up next - Fu man chu vs. Acevedo