The 5-Minute Superfan: June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
Welcome to the fourth installment of The 5-Minute Superfan. If you’re wondering what the heck it is, check this page out. It’s been a streaky week in Cubs Nation. And not all the good kind. Think half Heidi Klum streaking, and half Will Ferrell.
In case you missed it, this week saw the Cubs lose three of five to the Tampa Bay Rays and the evil White Sox of the South. The Cubs still have the best record in baseball at 47-28, 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. We’re gonna keep posting that damn article until these bozos fall more than 3.5 games back. It’s been a 3.5 game lead for the last three Superfans. Ridiculous.
The Bare Minimum Weekly Roundup
Monday, June 16 – The Cubs are slated to play in the last Hall of Fame scrimmage game against the San Diego Padres, but alas, the weather does not cooperate. The Cubs were totally heartbroken to learn that they would miss this completely worthless, completely meaningless, crammed-in-between-two-actual-playing-days, forced-them-to-travel-all-over-the-dang-country game.
Tuesday, June 17 – The Cubs lose to the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on the road – no shock given the Cubs had to fly all over the country just to play this game and not play that fake game yesterday. Ryan Dempster has another good start, but gets nothing to show for it. Former Cub / really old guy Cliff Floyd hit a homer to help the Rays win.
Wednesday, June 18 – Cubs lose again to the Rays, and again by just one run, 5-4. Pitcher Carlos Zambrano gives up five runs early, and then shuts the Rays down. But sadly, he then shuts himself down with some kind of shoulder injury. Cubs Cat sez “Zambra…NO!!!” We also learn that the center field tandem of Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds are also ailing with a sore back and foot, respectively. But all thoughts are with Zambrano.
Thursday, June 19 – The stupid, poopyface Rays complete the sweep of the Cubs with an 8-3 loss. Going into the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs have a 3-1 lead, but the bullpen – which came into the game with a very tasty 3.22 ERA – disintegrates, giving up seven(!) runs. Notably, the setup man extraordinnaire Carlos Marmol walked two batters and then plunked two batters, consecutively, and with no outs. He didn’t even hit the batters with fastballs, so there was no silver lining. The loss marked the third straight for the Cubs, their first three-game losing streak of the year. Considering it’s mid-June, that’s pretty awesome, I suppose.
Friday, June 20 – Those evil Southsiders arrive at the blessed kingdom of Wrigley. Rejoice, good citizens! For the Cubs are victorious 4-3! Aramis Ramirez hits a walk-off shot in the 9th to win the game after the Cubs had battled from behind. Sportscenter begins running a pieces comparing Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen. It makes Ozzie look like a lovable card and not the Ozzie he really is. We also receive good news from Carlos Zambrano’s MRI results: no tear in any of the important structures of his shoulder. Just a strain. But he’ll go on the 15-day Disabled List for now to rest up. Good news on Alfonso Soriano, too – he seems to be healing faster than expected.
Saturday, June 21 – Cubs step on the little brother Sox 11-7. Nine of those runs come in an explosive 4th inning that sees the Cubs go deep four times, two by Jim – gulp, Jimmy Baseball – Edmonds. Edmonds becomes only the third Cub ever to hit two homers in the same inning (the others being Sammy Sosa on May 16, 1996 and Mark Bellhorn on Aug. 29, 2002), and is now a part of Cubs lore. Speaking of homers, Dewayne Wise hit his first of the season off starter Jason Marquis. Wise has hit three home runs since mid-2004 – and all three have been at Wrigley Field. Edmonds is now hitting .400 in his last 18 games. Watch out Ted Williams! Well, not because Edmonds might hit .400 on the season, but because he might steal your frozen head. He’s rambunctious!
The Cubs Count’s Number of the Week: .725
Yes, we were all sad to see the Cubs get swept by the Tampa Bay Rays. But .725? That’s the Rays’ winning percentage at home this year. So I guess it’s not exactly uncommon for teams to head down there and get smacked around.
Of course, I would be negligent to fail to mention the fact that the Rays are not the best team in baseball at home. That honor belongs, of course, to our very own Cubbies. The Cubs are now 31-8 at home this year, for a mind-numbing .795 winning percentage.
Did you ever wonder why teams in baseball have a homefield advantage? I can certainly understand it in a sport like, say, football where the home crowd can actually impact the play on the field (creating too much noise, preventing the opposition from calling audibles, for example). Is it just the comfort of sleeping in your own bed and/or lack of travel? Am I just really stupid and missing something obvious?