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Sing Us A Song, You're The Piano Man

So I spent the first part of the afternoon at my son's piano recital.

Imagine spending an hour listening to 25 seven-year-olds playing piano. No, actually, it wasn't that bad and the kids did real well, and they weren't all seven. It ended with a 12-year-old playing Beethoven's "Fur Elise", and quite well, I might add.

By the time I got to the game, Shawn Estes had already had his bad first inning, and though the Cubs did come back to tie the game, bad defense by Antonio Alfonseca allowed the Cardinals to score the go-ahead run, and then, predictably, 6F (and if you don't know what that refers to, don't ask) allowed a two-run homer to Scott Rolen, cementing the Cardinals' convincing 6-3 win over the Cubs.

What bothered me even more than Estes' performance, or Alfonseca's bad throwing error, was the fact that the Cubs had a run in, the bases loaded and nobody out, and the Cardinal bullpen at the ready, and all they could score was a consolation then-tying run on a double play. If the Cubs are truly to be a contender, they've got to do better than that in those kinds of situations.

Steve Stone pointed out that the Cubs pitchers have already made more fielding errors than the 2002 pitching staff did in the entire season. So clearly, there's work to be done here, and no one is exempt, not even golden-boy Mark Prior, who made a couple terrible plays in the field a few weeks ago, costing himself a win.

Matt Morris is the Cardinals' best starter, but the Cubs have actually handled him fairly well the last couple years. If Carlos Zambrano continues on the consistent path he's been on the last few weeks, the Cubs will come out of this wraparound-the-weekend series tomorrow with a split, which would be fine with me.

Pat & Ron spent part of the radio broadcast talking about last week's game and the horrible conditions in which it was played, and saying how silly it was for all the stats not to count, like the seven home runs that were hit. They seemed to be agreeing with me, in saying that any game started should be finished -- but they missed part of the point, which was that the seven homers probably would never have even been hit in normal conditions (remember, there was a 40 MPH wind blowing out to right), and that in the end, the result last Sunday was the same as if the game had been called at 10 am, which I guess was their point. Oh, except that Eli Marrero suffered a serious injury.

This rule has got to be changed, for the benefit of everyone.