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I Miss The 70's

Both the decade and the temperature, and for the same reason. Back in the '70s, we had spring after spring with long warm spells, with the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field and with high-scoring games. That's where Wrigley gets that reputation, by the way; and in the last 5-10 years it's proven to be just the opposite, with cold, drizzly, windy springs and even early summers with the wind howling off the lake every day, temps that struggle to get past 50 or 55.

I'm tired of freezing!

That said, the wind helped the Cubs today, as it kept fly balls in the park, and Shawn Estes threw another good game at home, and the Cubs held on to beat the Brewers 2-1 and salvage a game out of the 3-game series going into the big weekend showdown with the Cardinals.

Lots of good things happened today. Sammy Sosa broke out of his slump with two hits; Mark Bellhorn walked twice, including once with the bases loaded; and the bullpen redeemed itself, with Antonio Alfonseca throwing well for the third day in a row, and Joe Borowski putting two men on base, then striking out the side in the 9th for his seventh save.

Bill James, whose writings I respect a great deal, wrote years ago about the "Tommy John family" of pitchers -- a group of left-handed sinkerballers who were very similar, and some of whom had pretty good careers. The more I see Shawn Estes throw at Wrigley, the more I think he could very well be one of these types. His sinker worked really well today, and so did his breaking ball. He's already this year thrown much better at home than on the road, and if he could figure out a way to be even average on the road, I think the money spent on him could be considered well spent, since there are so few lefty starters in the NL Central these days.

Now let's warm it up!

Sight seen: about half a dozen clearly underage kids thrown out in the sixth inning for drinking. If the city Liquor Department ever sent any inspectors to the bleachers, the Cubs would lose their liquor license in about five minutes. This is why they will eventually have to adopt the wristband idea, and limit beer sales to one at a time, four total.