Creeping Inexorably Toward A Worthwhile Sub-Heading.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Game Notes: Post-Maddux Hangover Version
Have you ever been watching a game that was scoreless after one inning, and after that single blank frame, found yourself certain of the outcome?
That was exactly my experience last night, as I watched the Cubs go down in the top half on nine pitches from Paul Wilson, while the bottom half featured Greg Maddux plunking two guys in the same inning for the first time in his career. From then on, I knew the night would be featuring Shaky Greg and the Hackinators, and boy, was I right.
Wilson is exactly the type of slow-tossing, outer-half-living, junk-baller that the Cubs' free-swinging, pull-happy, fastball-loving lineup doesn't know what to do with, and the seven shutout innings he threw just goes to prove the point. The only offensive bright spot was Derrek Lee's first Cub hit, which came in the form of an opposite field home run in the ninth against Danny Graves. It was just nice to see someone go the other way, and with a little power to boot (yes, I know, Grudz hit the ball to right, but what choice does he have, really?).
As for The Professor, he wasn't horrible. His issue for the night was control, although he was missing more in the zone than out of it, hence the two dingers he coughed up. It looked eerily like some of the outings he had in the first half last year, but let's hope he can turn it around a little more quickly this season.
You have to lose sometime, and we may as well get the first one out of the way early. Let's hope the Cubs can handle Jose Acevedo today, who has a chance to be the Reds' best pitcher this year, and that Matt Clement can put his lousy spring behind him. Batter up!