When a game starts out like the previous day's, our catchphrase in the bleachers is, "Didn't we see this game yesterday?"
Depressingly, last night's 9-2 Cub loss to Arizona started out like Monday night's -- with the Cubs down 1-0 on a solo HR by a Diamondback hitter; this time, even earlier than Monday (first inning as opposed to fifth), but the ultimate result was the same.
Criticize all you want, but Jason Marquis did his job last night, allowing three runs in six innings. For most teams, that will keep your team in the game, and in fact, when he left for a pinch-hitter, the Cubs were down only 3-1. Even after Sean Marshall allowed two runs, the Cubs came back with one and entered the last of the 8th trailing only 5-2 -- a deficit they've overcome this season more than once.
Much as I like Kevin Hart's arm, the promise he showed last September seems to be gone -- with an ERA up to 7.91, it's time to get some more bullpen help. Perhaps one of the lefties Jim Hendry and the staff are scouting -- Ron Mahay of KC or Damaso Marte of Pittsburgh -- might be on the way before the end of this month.
One thing I was amused by in last night's telecast -- if you didn't see Bob Brenly's pregame interview with Ryan Theriot, Theriot called himself scrappy. Either he's been reading blogs, or... well, I don't know or what. Amusing, though.
But that's really not what I want to talk about here. Last night was another loss due in main part to the offense's failure -- they've scored more than two runs only once since the All-Star break. What I want to discuss is the game threads on this site getting out of control.
First, here's a little more perspective. First of all, Bank Holding Company Field in Phoenix has been a house of horrors for the Cubs ever since it opened. They're now 13-29 there (including the two playoff losses last year). Even Cub playoff teams (1998, 2-4; 2003, 1-2; 2007, 1-2) haven't played well in Arizona. Further, the Cubs still have the best record in the NL and maintain, despite the slide, a one-game lead over Milwaukee. And, if you check the right sidebar box titled "Best Starts By Cub Teams Since 1900" that I update every day, this team is 21st best through 100 games of the 109 Cub teams since 1900. That's pretty good, in my opinion... and it does NOT warrant the profanity and ledge-jumping and nastiness to other posters that I have heard about in the game threads. Most of you know that I'm not in the game threads during home games because I'm at the games, and often not there for later-evening games like last night's because I have to get up at 3:30 am to go to work.
I opened my email at 4 am today to find multiple messages from BCB readers complaining about the tone in the game threads. We are all frustrated at the play of this team right now. I've uttered a choice word or two myself -- to the TV, in the privacy of my home, or at the ballpark, but NOT to other people who feel the same frustration! I remind all of you of the words you saw when you signed up for this site:
When posting at this blog, please follow this one simple rule: Before hitting "post" to post your remarks, ask yourself: "Would I be embarrassed to say this in front of strangers who were physically present in the room with me and could respond to my face?" If the answer is "yes," then don't post. BCB encourages and welcomes all opinions, no matter how strong; however, personal attacks, vulgarity, and other uncivilized forms of expression are not welcome. Thanks.
Please. Keep the profanity down. I once wrote here, "I don't mind the occasional fuck", a statement that provided a large amount of levity, but I think you see the point. And be nice to others. We're all here for the same reason: because we love baseball and the Cubs and want to see them win. If you've followed baseball and this site long enough, you'll remember some other words I've written:
Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.
This will turn around. Alfonso Soriano may be back tonight. Hang in there, everyone. The best is yet to come.