Writer's Block

Yes, I have it this morning.

Let's see. Here is the current situation: Our favorite team is 14.5 games out of first place and 15 games under .500. And thus, I don't have much witty or interesting to say. This diary has the report of BCB reader MikeJ, who attended Monday night's win at the Jake.

They did win their game last night, 9-2, in a game that was shortened to seven innings by huge thunderstorms that barrelled through the Cleveland area. Wisely, the umpires called the game off after an hour and eighteen minute delay.

The short game recap is:

  • Z pitched fairly well after a shaky first inning in which he walked two batters and the Indians scored, tying the game at 1 at the time.
  • Henry Blanco continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 and raising his season average to .254. In the six games he's played since Michael Barrett first sat down with an injury, and then the first three games of Barrett's suspension, Blanco is 12-for-23 (.522), with two doubles, 3 HR and 8 RBI. He's got a real chance to be named NL Player of the Week. So yes, it sucks that the Cubs mismanaged the suspension appeal to minimize Barrett's time off -- but it hasn't hurt the offense at catcher. Do not expect this to continue this weekend -- Blanco is .140/.201/.261 at the Metrodome, as opposed to .426/.451/.702 at the Jake. Say! Maybe the Cubs can deal him to the Indians.
  • Blanco is also now leading the torrid RBI race with Juan Pierre, 14-11. Yesterday was the second game this week that they had both had RBI in the same game.
  • The Cubs' 8-run inning, their largest of the season, was extended by two REALLY dumb defensive plays by the Tribe -- first, Cleveland 1B Ben Broussard throwing home to try to force Neifi Perez coming from 3B. Unfortunately for Broussard, the bases weren't loaded at the time, and Perez took a couple of steps toward the plate and went back to third. OK, Benny -- NOW the bases are loaded! On the very next play, Indians 2B Ronnie Belliard fielded Matt Murton's ground ball and decided to admire it while looking all around the field, scoring a run and leaving the bases loaded. Hey, it's nice to see the OTHER guys make defensive lapses from time to time.
After that, it was all Cubs, with the next five hitters reaching base on a walk, two singles and a double.

The Cardinals may be 14.5 games ahead of the Cubs, but they sure haven't looked like a very good team the last two days -- they gave up double digits to the White Sox again, a 13-5 loss last night. That's 33 runs and 40 hits allowed in two games.

So, the Cubs have won another series, this time against a team almost as bad as they are -- and that is surprising, because the Indians won 93 games last year and were expected to contend at least for a wild card spot, if not the AL Central title.

Meanwhile, Derrek Lee is getting closer to a return -- but it won't be in Minnesota this weekend, as originally rumored. He has reluctantly agreed to a minor league rehab assignment, likely to begin tomorrow at Iowa. If it goes well, I'd expect him in the lineup Monday at Wrigley Field. Then, it becomes interesting to wonder who might go in a roster move. With Michael Barrett still under suspension for four games, it would make sense to send a pitcher -- probably Angel Guzman -- to Iowa until Barrett's return, to give the club an extra bat while playing with a 24-man roster.

I really do have a bit of writer's block, and I realize this post isn't very interesting. I do have a book review to post later today or tomorrow. I'll try to do better then.

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