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Watching For Once
by Alex Ciepley
15 hours or so into the Cubs game last night, I fell asleep. Actually, I think I fainted, just around the time Doug Spellcheck hit a shot off LaTroy, sealing the fate of the Cubs once again. I've got some nasty cold, so instead of feeling the usual wave of depression following another late-inning Cubs collapse, the game felt like a commiseration of my current misery.
For the first time in weeks, I actually watched the Cubs on TV. I didn't Gamecast them, or play catchup on Cubs.com, or receive random emails and phone calls from friends telling me about the latest screwed up bullpen maneuverings. Even this night almost didn't happen, as just yesterday Cablevision and Time Warner dropped their little feud, allowing New Yorkers to see their Mets broadcasts.
My bullets aren't as insightful as Derek's, but I bullet nonetheless.
Jon Leicester has such pretty blond hair. I, too, once had pretty blond hair, shoulder length--now I have a fugly shaved head. These days I tell my friends it's just in honor of the current Cubs trend, but considering I've had nary a hair on my scalp for several years running, no one's buying my load of garbage.
So much for Jason Dubois being the starter beginning Monday, as Hollandsworthless-thus-far got the start. The Cubs are apparently all worried about Dubois' defense in left field, but I'd be a little more worried about the .197/.251/.363 line the team put up last week. Libérer Dubois!
Corey Patterson entered the game with one stolen base on the season. He stole second twice in the first inning, but Neifi! both times fouled off pitches he coulda-shoulda taken, sending Patterson back to first. Then came the rain. Then came a double play. Thanks, Neifi!
Neifi! kinda makes up for it with a 13-pitch AB in the bottom of the third, drawing a walk (!) on the final pitch. It's the highlight of the game for the Cubs.
As I watch Aramis Ramirez turn a single into an ill-fated attempt at a double, I think: can Rickey retire already so the Cubs can hire him as a first base coach?
I have Michael Barrett on almost all my fantasy teams, and have been patient in not dropping him. He's been hitting the ball hard all season, with a good dose of bad luck making his season look below-average (an unlucky 24% hit rate on balls in play--29% or so is normal). There was no luck, good or bad, about the three-run homer he hit in the bottom of the sixth to tie up the game.
Poor LaTroy. Poor Dempster. Sad Clowns all.
Game two features a more favorable matchup for the Cubs (Maddux-Benson), though Benson has pitched well so far this season. Hopefully the offense can wake up before I fall asleep, again.