Baseball Toaster Cub Town
On the Homefront 2008 - Week 3
2008-04-21 08:51
by Derek Smart

I got to thinking, here I've been doing a weekly wrap for the NL Central, and while that's all well and good, this is still a Cub blog, so it only seems logical to do something similar for the team we're all here for. So, below is my first shot at On The Homefront - Cub Town's review of the past week's Chicago Cubs action. The format is a work in progress, so any input is welcome.

But enough about me. On with the show!

Game 13
Opponent: Cincinnati
Result: Win
Score: 9-5
Big Play: Derrek Lee's fifth inning, three-run bomb. After the Reds had gone ahead two innings before, the blast gave the Cubs a lead they'd never relinquish.
We'll talk about this game next year because: Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the - owwww!!!

Game 14
Opponent: Cincinnati
Result: Win
Score: 12-3
Big Play: The Cubs got the lead with Fukudome's first inning, two-run double, and never stopped piling on.
We'll talk about this game next year because: Idiots threw balls on the field, then more idiots had to talk about it.

Game 15
Opponent: Cincinnati
Result: Loss
Score: 9-2
Big Play: Ken Griffey's seventh inning, three-run homer. While it didn't change who led, it pushed the difference from a reachable three runs, to a distant six.
We'll talk about this game next year because: Someone from Cincinnati will make us.

Game 16
Opponent: Pittsburgh
Result: Win
Score: 3-2
Big Play: Pulling Rich Hill after 5 innings. He threw decently, but still struggled with his control. Leave him in and you could not only lose the lead, but even more of Hill's already shaky confidence.
We'll talk about this game next year because: It was the beginning of Rich Hill's return to respectability. I hope.

Game 17
Opponent: Pittsburgh
Result: Win
Score: 13-1
Big Play: I'll take D-Lee's opening frame two-run shot.
We'll talk about this game next year because: Someone will want to point out that Jason Marquis isn't completely worthless. They will be right anytime before June 1st.

Game 18
Opponent: Pittsburgh
Result: Win
Score: 13-6
Big Play: Ronny Cedeno's fifth inning, run scoring double. The Pirates had just gotten three runs in the frame previous, cutting the lead to two, but Cedeno had a great at bat after failing to get a sacrifice down - he's had a couple very nice PAs lately, which has been refreshing - and the run served notice that the Bucco's comeback was at an end.
We'll talk about this game next year because: It was the day the Cubs took sole ownership of first place in the NL Central for the first time in 2008.

The Week That Was

Season Record 12-6
Season RS/RA 111/86
Week's Record 5-1
Week's RS/RA 52/26
Games Back --
Change +2.0

Look at those game by game run totals up there. Three games in double-figures, and another just short - a six day outburst that lead to the club nearly doubling their offensive output of the previous two weeks. This is a good offensive team, no doubt - they've scored the second most runs in the Majors behind the surprisingly dominant Diamondbacks - but they're not that good. The club is currently on pace to score exactly 999 runs over 162 games, which is clearly beyond their base talent level. They're also on pace to allow 774 runs, which seems below their base talent level.

I think it's fair to say we'll be seeing both of those rates going down in the coming weeks. The tale will be told by which falls further and faster.

2008-04-21 09:09:09
1.   Sandus
How about a spot for an interesting stat or a standout performer (from either team)?
2008-04-21 09:40:46
2.   Todd S
And all of this without Soriano in the lineup. I'm loving Soto's approach at the plate; one of the more patient Cubs hitters.

Pie still looks lost at the plate. Murton needs to get some loft on the ball-he's beating everything into the ground.

I think some of the extra "oomph" in the lineup is being driven by hot streaks from Johnson and Theriot. We'll take 'em, but I have a feeling they will be the first to "return to Earth."

2008-04-21 11:33:43
3.   Derek Smart
1 One or both make sense. Maybe a game MVP, and something else that catches my eye (to be catchily named at a later date).

2 Agreed on all points. What we're seeing from Murton right now is, essentially, his fatal flaw. That prodigious ground ball tendency is, above all else, the reason why he won't ever play full-time for this team.

Some of the extra zaz is the hot streaks, and not just from those two, but in general. However, the wonderful thing is the way the entire team seems to be seeing a lot of pitches. Keep that up, and there won't be nearly the drop-off that you might otherwise think.

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