Did You Ever Have One Of Those Days?

I'm sure you don't want to hear much more about the Cubs' 15-2 loss to the Rockies last night in which the pitching staff (Rich Hill, Sean Gallagher and Scott Eyre in particular -- Michael Wuertz, who threw only one-third of an inning, was the only untouched pitcher last night) had virtually a complete meltdown.

So let me tell you a bit about MY day, which was just about as bad.

A few days ago my printer completely stopped working -- kept telling me to check the right print cartridge, which I had just replaced. Went through the troubleshooting procedure, and then spent about half of Friday afternoon in an online chat with a HP rep, who was very nice, went through some procedures with me, and we reached the conclusion that the printer was basically done, and naturally, out of warranty.

As you likely know, repairing most modern electronics is pointless, because such repairs cost more than simply buying a new product. So I headed to OfficeMax -- where I had stuff to return anyway -- to buy a new printer. I chose this one, since I've had good luck with HP printers for many years.

Not this time. The thing would simply NOT install properly; I'll save you the gory details, but suffice to say that I had to do a system restore by the time I was done.

Back to OfficeMax. Fortunately, it's not far from my house. And, being a little upset at HP, I decided to pick up this Epson model instead. It installed just fine -- and then told me that one of the print cartridges, new out of the box, was empty.

(Can you see Lou Piniella trying this sort of thing? Me either. I'm guessing he doesn't even do email.)

Anyway, by this time the people at OfficeMax were getting pretty tired of seeing me. I exchanged the Epson printer for another one of the same model, and finally, got the new printer installed and working, after having spent most of two days wrestling with this issue.

And isn't that about the way last night's game was? It started out seemingly OK, but even when it was 1-1 and 2-2, there was a sense of impending doom, and sure enough, doom hit in the form of Jamey Carroll's pinch grand slam with two out and two strikes (that's got to be about the worst sin a pitcher can make, leaving a ball up in the zone in that situation). Carroll hit his only other HR this year against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 26, a game the Cubs won anyway. He's hitting .232/.324/.315 overall this season, but .364/.462/1.091 against the Cubs, with 8 of his 13 season RBI. Lifetime he is .297/.382/.516 against the Cubs in 64 at-bats, with three of his nine career HR.

Glad we don't have to see him again this year after today.

There's nothing really positive to say about the Cubs' performance last night -- even though Hill, before allowing the grand slam, had pretty much singlehandedly kept the game close with a couple of nice defensive plays and a RBI single that had tied the game 2-2. Later, good defense deserted the ballclub, as Ryan Theriot made an error leading to a couple of unearned runs and even the usually reliable Mark DeRosa let a ball under his glove. That one was ruled a hit. The entire team looks tired -- that's 19 days in a row (team record: 9-10). Their Monday off day can't come soon enough.

Worse, as you know, the Brewers came back in the 9th last night and beat the Astros 7-4, when Ryan Braun hit a three-run HR off Brad Lidge, his fifth blown save of the year. Thus the Brewers increase their lead to 1.5 games, their biggest since July 28.

And this worries me -- today's Rockies pitcher was supposed to be Jason Hirsh, but he suffered a broken leg in his last start on Wednesday. The Rockies had called up Ryan Speier in the interim to give them an extra bullpen arm. Today, they will send Speier back to Triple-A and recall 36-year-old Tim Harikkala to start. Harikkala hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2005, and his 72 major league appearances include exactly one start, eleven years ago for the Mariners against the Blue Jays.

You know how the Cubs usually do against pitchers like this. And besides, Harikkala has been spending his time since he last pitched in the major leagues saving whales, rebuilding New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and finding cures for at least sixteen dread diseases. We're doomed.

So my advice to you is to go buy some consumer electronics this afternoon. You'll be far less frustrated than watching our favorite team play. I'll have a game thread up a little later this morning.

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