Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
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by Derek Smart
Well, it was obvious from my rantings yesterday that I was in need of a day off, and I have to believe it was a positive thing for the Cubs as well. I know I'm feeling better for it, so let's hope I'm not the only one.
Speaking of days off, it couldn't have hurt The Savior to get a little rest, and thankfully, the MRI on his shoulder confirmed that rest is all he really needs. The noise from the fishwraps is that he'll sit out at least one of today's games, and probably both. He may not like it, but it certainly seems like the most prudent course.
I find it interesting that nearly every chance a manager has to avoid a matchup of ace pitchers when a double-header is necessitated, gets taken like he's a kid snatching free candy. I suppose it's because no one likes to get swept during a twin-bill, and the move of the ace to face a supposedly inferior pitcher increases the chance of garnering at least a split for the day.
So true to form, Bobby Cox is moving John Smoltz out of the early game against Mark Prior and into the late game versus Jerome Williams, while Horatio Ramirez gets the call against The Franchise. That looks like a good deal on paper, but of course, the flip side is that if during the first game the Cubs offense continues to hit like team full of...well...me, the day could be an ugly one, indeed.
Ah, yes. Ugly. Which brings me to the fact that I just got a look at the starting lineup for last night's cancelled game, and what I saw sent chills down my spine.
A team that has been conspicuously unable to score runs over the last week, that sustained an injury to their first baseman that necessitated starting their regular second sacker at first, and has seen backup second baseman Jerry Hairston act as their only effective leadoff man all year was going to start Jose Macias at the keystone. And bat him second.
You reap what you sow, folks. You reap what you sow.
I'm ready to have a good day if the rest of you are. Here's to a solid first game victory, followed by a surprise mashing of the Braves' finest, and all in spite of a full day of rest for Mr. Lee. I know it's not Christmas, but I'll take my present early, thanks.