The 5-Minute Superfan: June 16, 2008
June 16, 2008
Welcome to the third installment of The 5-Minute Superfan. If you’re wondering what the heck it is, check this page out. Well we’re back from a completely undeserved vacation, and hope you survived without us. The Cubs certainly did, losing just once this week, and continuing their torrid pace.
In case you missed it, this week saw the Cubs win five of six against the Braves and Blue Jays – the Cubs’ first interleague series of the year. The Cubs still have the best record in baseball at 45-25, but sadly STILL hold just a 3.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals – who are STILL apparently unaware that they are not supposed to be any good.
The Bare Minimum Weekly Roundup
Monday, June 9 – Off-day. Lou Piniella and Scott Eyre share a special moment and a deep-dish pizza. Or five.
Tuesday, June 10 – The Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 10-5 at Wrigley to open up a three-game series. Several Cubs got the best of [former] Atlanta ace Tom Glavine. Ted Lilly had a nice quality start (3 or fewer earned runs in 6 or more innings), and Scott Eyre critically struck out an Atlanta Brave – neither he nor we were exactly sure who he was… Gregor Blanco… Henry’s less-talented brother, perhaps? Is “less-talented” possible? In so doing, Eyre extended his consecutive scoreless appearance streak to 31, tying former closer Ryan Dempster’s club record, set from August 2005 to April 2006.
Wednesday, June 11 – Cubs win by five again over the Braves, but lose in the process. Left fielder Alfonso Soriano tried to smack a second inning fastball with his left hand and broke his ring finger. Soriano could be out for more than six weeks. At the risk of editorializing, that sucks. Soriano leads the Cubs with 15 homers on the year and an OPS near .880. At least Soriano’s constant outfield misadventures will be easily replaced. Lost in the injury shuffle was another outstanding performance by Ryan Dempster, who now has a 2.81 ERA on the season. He better be an All Star.
Thursday, June 12 – The Cubs complete a series sweep of the Braves with a 3-2 win – their 10th comeback win in 11 games. Center fielder Reed Johnson “drove” in the winning run by being on the recieving end of a bases loading plunking. Jim Edmonds hit a game tying homer in the 9th, and through 22 games with the Cubs, he sports an incredible .309/.342/.515 line to go with 14 RBI’s. Maybe we’ve been too hard on ‘ole Jimmy Baseball.
Friday, June 13 – Ah, Friday the 13th. Clearly that’s what it takes to stop the Cubs, as they lose to the Blue Jays 3-2 in Toronto. AJ Burnett wiggled out of jam after jam – or the Cubs blew opportunity after opportunity, depending on your perspective.
Saturday, June 14 – Cubs get back to their winning ways with a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays. Jason Marquis pitched well for the Cubs, and former Blue Jay Reed Johnson hit a three-run homer. Marquis has actually been quite good lately, going 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last three starts. For you non-baseball types, that’s good.
Sunday, June 15 – Ted Lilly beats his former mates as the Cubs win again over the Blue Jays, 7-4. Fortunately that’s just a metaphorical “beat,” and Lilly managed to refrain from beating on his former manager John Gibbons (Lilly and Gibbons notoriously got into a physical altercation – Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano style – back in August of 2006).
The Cubs Count’s Number of the Week: .643
Yes, we’re all very sad that Alfonso Soriano is going to be out for an extended period of time. But this isn’t the first time he’s been out for at least a couple of weeks this year.
When Soriano missed 14 games earlier this year with a calf strain – that like, completely, totally had nothing to do with his ridiculous hop catch style – the Cubs managed to win nine of those games for a .643 winning percentage.
Does that mean that the Cubs will necessarily play better without Fonzie? Of course not. But it does take some of the sting out. And so far so good: the Cubs are 4-1 since Soriano broke his hand.