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Let It Begin
by Derek Smart
Not a lot going on as we await the opening pitch, but I've got a couple quick things for you:
I watched most of Saturday night's loss to the Padres, wherein we were treated to knowledge that we already had: that Sean Marshall is human. Not only that, he's a young human, and it shone through clear as a prairie morning.
As was noted in the newspapers, he had issues putting innings away, getting to two outs in each frame before allowing runs to score, but the really big issue was Marshall's inability/refusal to get the ball down. From the very start, he spent so much time living high in the zone I could have sworn he'd bought a condo there.
He doesn't have the stuff to work consistently above the belt - his fastball simply lacks the zip - and if he wants to avoid having the middle of the Cardinal lineup hand him his head on a platter Sunday night, he'll need to move out of that condo in the clouds and buy a nice, quiet place in the valley.
There are a couplepieces this morning about the Derrek Lee contract extension talks, with the Sun-Times saying something might get done today, and the Daily Herald less aggressively optimistic, but fairly certain something will happen soon. Myself, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a finished deal by the end of the week. If there's one thing Jim Hendry doesn't mess around with, it's contract extensions, and I'd guess this will be a fairly smooth process.
Taking a look at how Carlos Zambrano matches up with the Reds, I'm not seeing much to be afraid of. The thing he really needs to do against them, which he needs to do in general, is cut down on the free passes. If he can do that, he's got a shot to make quick work of this afternoon's game. Otherwise, all it takes is an ill-timed mistake to ruin the day.
I'm sitting at home today, just waiting for play to begin. To be honest, when I look at the club I see only small reasons to hope, yet here I am all jacked up about the season that begins this afternoon. That's the beauty of the thing, I suppose, that no matter how dire things look as the games approach, when the time comes there's always room for a little dreaming.