Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by alex ciepley
In a night when Paul Hamm pulls perhaps the greatest comeback in men's Olympic gymnastic history, the Cubs did a little coming-back of their own. I was, again, primarily watching the Olympics last night, but I "fortuitously" turned to watch the Cubs right before both game-tying Branyan homers. I felt immediately guilty (by changing the channel to watch, I of course had affected the outcome of the at-bats), so I didn't watch any more of the game until extra innings, when Corey Patterson once again tried to shush his critics on The Cub Reporter with a game-winning homer.
It wasn't all good, though. Somewhere, in some hotel in Milwaukee, I imagine Matt Clement up last night drafting the following letter to his teammates:
Did I forget to send someone on a card on their birthday? Did I leave some dishes in the sink? Did I forget to put the toilet seat down?
What ever it is I did, I'm awful sorry.
I've tried my best this season, but it seems that we always find a way to screw up the games I start. Even I find a way to screw up the games I start: last night I had one of my better outings of the year, but I throw one mistake pitch and Pow! Three-run homer. No one else had a chance the whole night.
Until, of course, I turned it over to the bullpen. Even when we get the only guy in the 'pen going good—Remmie—he manages to blow my lead. I won't even go into the fact that the opposition's rally began in the eighth (of course) when there were two outs (of course) and our pitcher was ahead in the count 0-2 (of course).
Bitching aside, guys, I don't know what else I should be doing here. In June I had a 2.75 ERA, and I K'd 43 in 39 and 1/3 innings. I won one game (yippee!) and lost three. In July I had a 3.29 ERA, and I K'd over a batter per inning again. But again I only won one game (yippee!) while losing four games. Sure, I'm not perfect, but Shawn Estes is 13-4 this year, despite having a 5.59 ERA. Yeah, he's in Colorado, but he's Shawn Estes. Shawn Estes sucks.
Dusty, I'm getting the feeling you don't like me so much either. Now, I don't mind going up against a team's best pitcher, but why do I always have to go up against a team's best pitcher? I mean, this year I've faced:
This is even leaving out Mark Redman, Kelvim Escobar, and Matt Morris, all of whom—granted—I'm better than. But can't I every once in a while draw, say, Shawn Estes? I betcha he wouldn't have 13 wins if I were facing him every time out.
But I don't want to complain too much here. You guys are swell, even if I know this is probably my last run with the team -- you got that Dempster dude, plus those whippersnappers Guzman and Brownlie in the minors. So I'm gonna bring my resume to the free agent mart. You know, a lot of those GMs look first at that win column. Can you give a guy a hand here, help me wrack up a few "W"s in the last few weeks of the season?
With the Wild Card on the line, you might even find that those wins help us all out.