On April 7, 2003, the day in Chicago dawned cold, with a forecast of snow. The Cubs called their scheduled home opener -- which was to have been played on a Monday after a six-game road trip to open the season -- at seven o'clock in the morning.
While there may be a break in the rain later today, I wonder about the purpose of opening the gates, making everyone -- fans, vendors, players -- sit there waiting for something that's not going to happen, especially with the Cub players having returned so late last night from Milwaukee. Perhaps it'd be best to call the game early and play tomorrow.
In the meantime, you can have some fun with the photo here; make up your own caption and post it in the comments.Bruce Miles was prescient in his blog post yesterday:
Lou was talking before [Saturday] night's game how he and his staff were of "the school" that says let the other team beat you late by hitting the ball, not by walking. Fewer things drive Lou crazier than his relievers issuing walks.
On the flip side, Lou is the anti-Dusty when it comes to his batters taking walks. In other words, he doesn't mind walks "clogging the bases." He also points out how walks can turn the lineup over and bring up the good hitters more quickly.
The walks helped kill the Cubs on Friday -- but won the game for them yesterday. The 29 walks drawn so far this year are nearly five per game; at that pace they'd walk 783 times this year. That average will come down, but perhaps later this spring I'll be able to post a "Walk Watch" box. The club record for a single season is 650, set in 1975. Last year's team walked 636 times, coming very close. Maybe this year's edition will break the record -- and score a ton of runs as a result.
Speaking of Dusty, check out his quote regarding the triple play the Pirates turned against his Reds yesterday:
"That’s the first one I’ve seen in person," Baker said. "There was one when I was with the Dodgers, but I was in the bathroom. I came out and asked what happened, and they told me there was a triple play."
The mind boggles. Incidentally, the only triple play turned during Baker's time with the Dodgers was by the Astros on April 21, 1978. It ended the game -- it was in the bottom of the ninth.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Ted Lilly||1-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||5.0||8||5||5||4||0||3||9.00||1.60|
|2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez||1-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||7.0||4||0||0||0||3||8||0.00||1.00|
The four homers allowed by Ted Lilly in his first start last week are a little disturbing, but consider that they were given up in the Juice Box, with the roof open and the wind blowing out, and I'm sure you can see that today, with temperatures in the 40's, rain and the wind blowing in, will likely be very different. Lilly has not faced any current Rockie more than 7 AB (Garrett Atkins, 3-for-7).
Ubaldo Jimenez, similarly, has no Cubs batter who has faced him more than seven times (Ryan Theriot, also 3-for-7). The hot Alfonso Soriano is 3-for-5 with a homer; Soriano appears to have come out of the gate in one of his patented hot streaks, let's hope it continues.
Today's game is on WGN-TV, FSN Rocky Mountain, and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Discuss amongst yourselves.