Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Don't Like to Vacuum, But I LOOOOVE To Sweep!

Whew, that was close! Things looked as though they were going to get a little hairy last weekend, what with the Cardinals losing two of three to the Giants (their first series loss of the season) and the Cubs sweeping their three game visit to Milwaukee. But don't worry, people, it was simply a FALSE ALARM! Sure, I did go to the Cubs game on Monday night and nearly acquired hypothermia while the Nats bullpen kindly walked in the game winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Sure, Adam Wainwright wasn't QUITE as sharp today as he's otherwise been this season. However, some balance has been restored in the world over the past couple of days, as the wily Redbirds pounded on the last place Atlanta Braves for four straight games (making this a five game winning streak), while the Cubs lost their next two to Washington and don't appear likely to close the 8 run hole they are currently in against Arizona. And remember how I used to pick on David Freese? Well, that's all water under the bridge now, after his heroic 6 RBI game today. Congratulations, Mr. Freese! You've been exonerated for all of the random stuff I've been stubbornly holding against you for the past several weeks, which I'm sure is a HUGE relief. Now, if all goes according to plan, this ought to prop the Cards 5.5 games in front of the now third place Baby Bears and 4.5 ahead of second place Cincinnati. Not a bad place to be, if I do say so myself. Not a bad place at ALL. What is most definitely a bad place? The bleachers at Wrigley Field. Just ask this girl, who had to learn the hard way that you can't punch strangers in the face at the ballpark. Now, I know what you're thinking. Exceptions should definitely be made to that rule which excuse the savage beating of white trash Cubs fans. I completely agree with you, although I'm unfortunately having a tough time getting that legislation through Congress.

Anyhow, I'm likely going to miss all baseball related activities this weekend, as I'm jetting off to another potentially "bad" place. I've never been to Las Vegas before, but based on everything I learned from the movie "The Hangover", I'm probably going to end up roofied, married and/or missing a limb. Much like the Wrigley Field bleachers, it seems the laws of nature prevent one from leaving that town with any semblance of sobriety or dignity. Although if you look at the bright side, it's nice to know that these years of suffering amongst the Cub fan bleacher monkeys are finally going to pay off. It's been like Las Vegas boot camp, which probably comes off as more of a compliment than I intended. Because I hate them, you see. I just want to make sure that's clear.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get Outta Town!

I must have done something really awesome in a previous life to deserve this lovely bouquet of karmic glory that I'm enjoying right now. My cell phone essentially had a seizure last night, as the texts and calls poured in to share the news that Carlos Zambrano's reign of terror has been temporarily suspended, as he has been removed from the Cubs starting rotation and relegated to the bullpen. He is now, in all liklihood, the highest paid human to ever babysit Jeff Samardzija. It's a fantastic turn of events, though. Just think of all the new stuff he can beat up out there! The dugout watercoolers had to be getting a little rote for the guy. This new gig presents him with a tremendous opportunity to display his creativity and take his temper tantrums to the next level. Carlos Marmol, you best take note! You don't know if he's going to use you as a punching bag or a WEAPON!

In other news, Carp fanned ten over 7 plus innings last night in the Cards 9-4 win over the D'backs. Colby Rasmus couldn't keep the ball in the yard if he tried, while Skip Schumaker busted his slump with a three run homer in the ninth. This capped off a 5 run 9th inning, which gave the Birds a lead that the bullpen was miraculously able to maintain. Woohoo!!! This series victory keeps the hot streak alive, as the Cards now sit 2.5 games in first place, maintain the best record in the national league and lay claim to all five of their series this season. I have to keep telling myself that it's only going to go downhill from here, otherwise I'd probably start being nice to Cubs fans or something equally reprehensible. And I just don't think I want to live in a world where that kind of thing happens.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Could Get Used To This Winning Stuff

After the first four series of this young season, I have to admit I'm pretty tickled about the state of affairs in Baseball Land. This weekend we got to see the Chicago Scrubbies lose two of three to the hapless Astros, which was especially satisfying after all of the crap my boss gave me on Friday afternoon. After what would end up being the Cubs lone win of the weekend, he proceeded to heckle me incessantly about the Cards losing to Houston the day before. His twisted logic was that because Houston earned their first win of the year against the Cards (9 games into the season, mind you,) that the Redbirds were destined for failure and early season obliteration. What that reasoning says about the Cubs losing the next two in a row to Houston? I don't like to speculate, but I'd guess a team wide outbreak of spinal meningitis. I like to be conservative with stuff like this.

In other happy news, the Cardinals took two of three from the Metropolitans of New York this weekend, improving their record to 8-4. They have now won two of three in all four of their first series, which is encouraging to be sure. Carpenter pitched a strong seven innings on Friday and allowed Felipe Lopez's seventh inning grand slam to seal the deal and send us to bed happy. Enter Saturday night's epic 20 inning showdown, where Johan Santana, Jaime Garcia and what seemed like every single member of every bullpen in the National League battled it out for 18 scoreless frames before St. Louis finally succumbed 2-1. Position players were pitching, pitchers were in the outfield, it was SHEER BEDLAM!!! I'm surprised Big Mac didn't play a couple of outs. Or one of the announcers. Or maybe even my great aunt Betsy. I actually thought my brain was going to catch on fire just trying to keep track of it all. "Joe Mather is doing WHAT? Kyle Lohse is WHERE?" Even more impressive is that Yadier Molina caught that entire damn game, which you'd think would require him to have immediate reconstructive knee surgery. Then again, he's probably made of tougher stuff than most of us. I would have passed out halfway through the second inning, although that probably doesn't say as much about his vim and vigor as it does about my athletic limitations. I'm quite the delicate creature, you know.

Finally, Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game last night and picked up the W on the heels of Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick homeruns, himself scoring a run after an 8th inning double. He was positively terrifying as the night wore on. I swear, he could have pitched another five innings, he just was that in control those last few at bats. In any case, Brad Penny takes the mound tonight in Arizona, so hopefully these guys keep it up. The bullpen should be rested again, so hopefully Waino's performance will allow Penny a few innings of relief if he needs it. Although wishing for a Jason Motte appearance is sort of like hoping to get a canker sore. By which I mean, nobody actually does that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Patience: Tested, Failed

You know, I almost forgot how much I hated Cubs fans until yesterday. GOOD HOLY GOD!!!! My four mile, ten minute drive home from work last night was transformed by Wrigley's home opener into a 40 minute exercise in futility. By which I mean, I TRIED to remain calm. I TRIED to keep my blood pressure from rising and the anger from swelling deep in the pit of my stomach. BUT DAMMIT, I CAN'T HELP IT!!!! YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME INSANE!!!! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY, YOU DRUNKEN BUFFOONS!!!! It took everything I had to resist ramming cars and running over baby strollers. I had overworked and underpaid traffic guards blocking me from my normal route home, thus forcing me to head in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. I had a friendly fellow in an SUV call me a bitch because I wouldn't "honk for the W". I had morons meandering across the street ignoring all traffic signals or rational thought. PLUS, I really had to pee. It was maddening. I actually went and bought a new bike after work, with the idea that I can start riding it to work when the Cubs play a day game. That way, I'm not faced with the moral dilemma of commiting vehicular homicide on a regular basis. I may have been able to resist it last night, but it was only opening day. By the end of the summer, I believe the temptation will be too much to resist.

So, yes. Baseball is back. God help us all.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wait, What? The Season Started?

I have been terribly neglectful over the past couple of weeks and it shames me to the core. I didn't get to my pre-season round up, wasn't able to compose a post exulting the arrival of Opening Day and most importantly, have yet to address the Cubs season opening failure. Therefore, this post has a lot to cover. Let's get to it, shall we?

First and foremost, BASEBALL IS BACK!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!! I feel like I've been more excited than usual for the season to start. I don't know if it's the weather or just my complete indifference to the NBA, but I couldn't WAIT for America's favorite past time to finally get underway. So far it's been gratifying, as the Cardinals have started the season in rather impressive fashion. Save a couple of late inning hiccups by the bullpen, it's been a delight to dig into the first couple of series against the Reds and Brewers. A 4-2 record is certainly nothing to complain about, particularly compared to how the Astros and Cubs have been faring. Yeesh. Coming into the opening game at Busch Stadium today, the Astros are winless, while the Cubs have floundered about through their first couple of series winning only one in each. And I'd be remiss not to mention their opening game against Atlanta. My old buddy Carlos Zambrano got lit up for six runs in the bottom of the first inning and another two in the second before promptly getting yanked. A Zambrano Explosion this early in the season? What is this, an early birthday present? My dad happened to be watching that hot mess and thankfully called to share the good news. He was so hysterical, I couldn't tell if he was laughing or crying. All I could make out was "Zambrano...rocked for six runs...first inning....MWAHAHAHAHA!!!" It's reasons like this that I'm glad he brainwashed me at a young age. How horrible my life would be if we couldn't share those beautiful moments!

In other Zambrano news, the man has been practically haunting me lately. In preparation for the opener at Wrigley today, they've been hanging banners and signs all over the outside of the stadium. As such, a giant photo of Big Ball Scratcher McGee is plastered right next to the main entrance. It's terrifying. In fact, it's actually been giving me nightmares. I had a dream last night that Carlos was my sister's ex-husband and tried to kidnap my nephew in a helicopter. It was so realistic, I actually woke up angry with my sister. That just isn't normal.

In any case, it's opening day at Busch today. I've got the game fired up on my computer and am hoping to see Waino pitch a merciless game. After watching Carpenter struggle through five innings last night, it would be nice to see a lights out performance that isn't peppered with 19 homeruns. That Sunday night soap opera was the first game I've been able to catch on TV this year and it was certainly a roller coaster ride. (Editors note: I HATE roller coasters.) Pujols and Holliday led a ninth inning rally, teeing off on Trevor Hoffman for back to back homeruns, before Kyle McClellan savagely crushed their efforts with a walk off homerun to Casey McGehee. Plus, David Freese acted like he'd never seen a baseball before, racking up two errors in the same inning. What was that kid's problem? Is he legally blind? GAH!!!! It was refreshing to remember how batshit insane I become while watching this team. All negativity aside, it was also a blast to be reminded of just how awesome it is to watch Albert Pujols play baseball. I think he's already hit 27 homeruns this season, which makes me want to weep in gratitude. It never gets old watching him destroy things. You know what DOES get old, though? Listening to the commentary by Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Orel Hershiser. I had to change the channel every fifteen minutes or so to alleviate my irritation with their inane ramblings. Do they honestly get PAID to do this? I've heard drunken homeless people make more sense. If ESPN and WGN broadcasts are they only ones I get to see this summer, I might as well go poke a stick through my eardrum.

Baseball is back, people. Let the fun begin!