The waiting game

Last night’s Cubs game, an 11-9 loss to the Reds, is most clearly summed up with the following:

The Cubs, in the course of getting 15 hits, one walk, and two extra baserunners on errors, allowed the Reds’ staff to get by with only 118 pitches.

The Reds, meanwhile, forced the Cubs staff–seven pitchers in the game, including four different lefties from the bullpen–to throw 202 pitches.

Adam Dunn–a BRPA 2004 favorite–managed to eat up 33 pitches all by his lonesome, going 2-4 with two walks and a home run.

The Cubs have, in the 13 years since I moved here and became a fan, never even come close to addressing their most consistent problem: their impatience. Only Grace–and New Sammy for a few years–understood the value of getting into a hitter’s count.

Now, to be fair: when Eric Milton is pitching against you, the best method really might be to close your eyes and swing at whatever, since he gives up an astonishing number of homers (four last night). But when hacking is your approach for every plate appearance by every hitter, you should probably have a talk with your hitting coach and your general manager.

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the Cardinals drew eight walks and won 5-3 over Milwaukee, running their record to an NL-best 13-5.

Original comments…

thatbob: And I thought Milwaukee was unbeatable!

Big time

While the comments are down and I’m busy with work, you’re all welcome to enjoy this article from‘s Page 2 on the all-time all-fat team.

While many in the audience will be disappointed that John Kruk didn’t make it, they should remember that it’s no shame to lose out when a team is being assembled from all of major-league history, just like it’s no shame not to make the Hall of Fame. Many very, very good players will never make the Hall of Fame, and many very, very fat players will never crack the all-fat team.

Comment allez-vous?

Hmm, the comments aren’t working. I know the files are on the server, they’re just not showing up correctly on the pages. I wonder if the hosting company upgraded PHP versions and broke the comments that way.

New comments have always been automatically e-mailed to me, and that’s still working (I just tested), so I’ll still be able to read your words of wisdom — and everyone else will once I fix whatever’s screwed up. Unfortunately, I won’t really have time to deal with this for a while (maybe as much as a few weeks).

Baseball plans for 2005: Now it can be told

First of all, on last night’s “Simpsons,” astrology was described as “the Tampa Bay Devil Rays of the sciences.” True enough.

Now, then, a while back, someone asked about baseball trips this summer. Sorry to say Levi and I aren’t doing a big baseball road trip this year like we did last year. But — unless gas goes above $4.00 a gallon — Jason and I have a Western trip planned for July, involving fewer games than the trip last year…

Thursday, July 7: St. Louis at Arizona
Friday, July 8: Memphis at Albuquerque (Pacific Coast League, class AAA)
Saturday, July 9: Salt Lake City at Colorado Springs (another PCL game)
Sunday, July 10: San Diego at Colorado

We’d have done a slightly longer trip, but the baseball schedules didn’t permit (for one thing, that’s leading into the All-Star break for both MLB and the PCL).

Now, I also happen to know that Levi and Stacey are visiting New York next month with friends from the U.K.; I assume either the Yankees or the Mets will be in town, but their schedule might be filled with other plans. (The two minor-league teams in NYC won’t be playing yet, since they’re short-season Class A.)

And I have also suggested a fair number of potential itineraries to Levi and Stacey that would work if they wanted to visit southern California and see the Dodgers, Angels, and Padres. Now, Levi’s predictable enough that I know his top choice would be the last weekend in July, when the Cardinals are in town to play the Dodgers, but he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether or not he can make it then (or ever).

As far as I know, my first major-league game attendance this year is going to be two weeks from tonight, to see the first-place Dodgers play, that’s right, the first-place Washington Nationals on May 2nd. Well, maybe they won’t be in first place in two weeks, but whatever. The post-Opening Day column in the L.A. Times about how horrible the Dodgers were going to be this year is now but a distant memory.

Original comments…

Levi: I just this morning purchased several tickets in a terrible, distant-from-the-plate (maybe not even in Queens!) section of the upper deck of Shea Stadium to see the Cardinals play the Mets on May 14th.

Jim: From what I know about Shea Stadium, sounds like you’ll have a very good view of the underside of airplanes.

I’ve got the fever

As you may recall from a post here a few weeks ago, I wanted to hate the new movie “Fever Pitch.” You can’t truly hate what you don’t know, so I went to the theater today, grumbling through the euphemistically-named “pre-show countdown,” grumbling through the trailer for a Hilary Duff movie, grumbling through the trailer for a movie about girls sharing pants, really grumbling through the trailer for “Titanic” in space, and returning to a normal level of grumbling during the unexplained and unexplainable short promoting “American Dad.” Then the actual movie started.

Oh, wow, it’s just so downright charming, it’s impossible to hate. And it’s about baseball! Johnny Damon is in several scenes! The words “Devil Rays” come out of Jimmy Fallon’s mouth! I didn’t even mind Tim McCarver’s brief appearance! It made me forget all about that other movie called “Fever Pitch” with Colin what’s-his-name.

Seriously, Levi, I highly recommend that you and Stacey see it. If nothing else, it made me want to go see another game at Fenway Park, or fall in love with Drew Barrymore (or someone similarly cute), or preferably both.

Redbirds, white smoke

Hey, Levi, are you enjoying the fact that, so far this baseball season, there’s been so much talk about Cardinals? Why, they’ve been getting a ton of coverage on cable news channels, not just ESPN!

Original comments…

Becky: I can’t wait to see which one is going to the Pope. And will they let him do it from STL, or will the whole team have to relocate to the Vatican?

Pujols for Pope!

levi’s help-mate: silly becky, the new pope will undoubtedly be from the more enlightened world of japan. check out what they are doing with cell phones!

Becky: I would like it if they showed your strat-o-matic games on your little phone cartoon

Jason: Cardinal Fang! Get…..THE COMFY CHAIR!!!!!!

Cardinal Fang: Yes sir.

"The Greatest Game Ever Pitched"

From the Yankees’ 1981 yearbook. The artist did the “Spider-Man” comic strip for years, so it’s nice to see that he can present an entire baseball game in only four pages.

Original comments…

thatbob: “No one will ever better Don Larsen’s performance in the Greatest Game Ever Pitched!” is quite a claim. Mightn’t someone pitch a perfect World Series game AND hit a couple of grand slams? And wouldn’t that, by any standard, be considered a better performance?