Woe Is Me
Games like this really piss me off. And for those newbies reading this, I'm a huge Cubs fan, so guess which game I'm talking about? People never seem to believe me, but I would much have preferred the Diamondbacks to have routed the Cubs in game 1 than this 3-1 bullshit. It just makes all the stupid things that happened even more depressing.
Overall, with the exception of Carlos Zambrano, and I guess Mark Derosa with his .750 on base percentage, the team played like ass. But let's talk about Zambrano. He was lights out on the mound tonight. He's had a lot of great games especially toward the end of the season, but I haven't seen him on his game like he was tonight in quite awhile. The six innings he pitched might have been the best six innings he's pitched all season, and considering he hadn't even faced any of these guys in the regular season, that's even more impressive. Granted, they hadn't faced him either, but for some reason that usually goes better for the hitters.
But notice I said six innings. That's right, with the exception of a solo home-run (it happens to the best), Zambrano was on fire, and was still pitching well in the sixth. So, why was he taken out? Because Pinella wanted to save him so he could be more rested for game four. Chris had a post earlier today debating this same theory that you should just leave the pitcher in if he's pitching well, and showing no signs of fatigue. At that point, he had only thrown 85 pitches, and Pinella said he was looking for no more than 105 pitches, so why couldn't he pitch another inning? Plus, look at it this way if you win tonight there's a better chance you won't even have to play a game 4. And even if you go into game 4 up say 2 games to 1, find out if Zambrano feels up to it after three days of rest, and if he doesn't pitch Marquis. Marquis has been fine down the stretch, and he pitches well at Wrigley, so what's the freaking problem.
But no, Zambrano gets taken out in a 1-1 tie, and then the relief gives up two runs in the top of the seventh which ends up sealing the deal. Another interesting situation for me was in the top of the fifth. Arizona leads 1-0, and Theriot gets a 2 base error off a misthrow from the Diamondback's third baseman. So, with no outs, Theriot is on first, and Zambrano is up to bat. I understand that Zambrano, for a pitcher, is a good hitter. But it's not like he's Derek Lee or Alfonsio Soriano; he's batting .247 for Christ's sake. So, you lay down the bunt and movie Theriot to third with Soriano in the on-deck circle? Hell no. Pinella lets Carlos swing away; he hits a line drive to the shortstop. Thankfully, Theriot quickly dives back to second so the double play doesn't happen. Soriano comes out and flies out to center. If Theriot is on third here, guess what? They probably tie the game, and if everything played out the way it did over the next couple of innings then it's only a 1 run game in the 8th and 9th instead of a 2 run defecit.
And on top of these two ridiculous scenarios, the Cubs left 8 men on base. Soriano looks like he forgot how to hit and goes 0-5; Ramirez is 0-3, and Derek Lee finally got a hit that led to the one run the Cubs would get.
I have to hand it to the Diamondbacks, who I don't think I've seen play this year. They have the worst team batting average in the league and gave up 20 more runs than they scored over the season, but still managed to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs with the best record in the NL. This might be more firepower for the AL to bash the NL with than anything, but still, they know how to freaking win a game. Or better yet, they know how to not lose one.
Still it's only 1 game, and oddly enough the first game win is only about a 50/50 determination of the overall victor in the first round which is only a 5 game series. When you get to the seven game series, the team that wins the first game wins about 64% of the time. Strange indeed; of course a lot more seven game series have been played than five, but still. Really need the win tomorrow, hope they get it. I'm so tired of Cub fans being painted as the lovable losers; fuck that, I want them to win.