Monday, April 10, 2006

What a Great Game!

As a Cubs fan, the most exciting part of the season is the first few weeks, when we still believe we have a chance at winning the division and attaining some level of playoff glory.

The rest of the season?

Well, not so much.

Inevitably (by early June), we end up like Jim Mora, referring to the playoffs only in the most exasperated of tones.

So forgive us for celebrating. This is, after all, our time of year.

Last night's game was so much fun, I even went downstairs and got my 2 1/2 year-old son out of bed to finish watching the last inning and a half with me (much to my wife's displeasure).

How about Michael Barrett hitting a game-saving/winning homerun in the 7th/8th innings two games in a row?! I was watching the interview with him after Saturday's heroics (which Camden was at btw), and he is a class act.

That it came against the Cardinals only made it that much nicer. How does that sweep taste Randy?

I don't want to stir up any unfounded optimism (the starting rotation remains a major cause for concern at this point), but if Wood and Prior can come back and contribute for the last 2/3 of the season - this may be a pretty dangerous team.

The offense is improved, and the bullpen is markedly better (if we could have only have had this bullpen in 2003). Walker continues to demonstrate why he needs to be the everyday starting 2nd baseman for this club - he is a solid and patient hitter who works pitchers long into counts and gets on base at an impressive rate.

It's also nice to see Jones finally get a hit or two - apparently the National League ballclub from Chicago needs a free swinging outfielder who strikes out a lot, and Jones has been filling that role admirably thus far.

I think the upcoming road trip at L.A. will be telling, especially since I am projecting the Dodgers to win the west this year and threaten for the pennant crown as well.