Cubs Left In The Cold During Opening Week

Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

Jake Arrieta gets the start today. Game Time is 2:20 Eastern

After the thrill and excitement of Opening Night, I was all set to settle in and enjoy a good Cubs game last night. Did it happen?

No.

Rain and cold temperatures spoiled my plans. Welcome to April baseball. As it turned out, I watched what was probably the best Ottawa Senators games I’ve ever seen. They came back from a three goal deficite to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime and keep their playoff hopes alive.  A great game!

Now, the Chicago Cubs have a lot of work to do to get to the post season. It’s only the second game in but when they’re facing those pesky division rivals, now’s the chance to get ahead in the standings. Teams are rusty and April is a very important month to win.

“The start is so essential, especially when you’re in a real competitive division,”Theo Epstein said. “I thought it was nice we had a really good final third to Spring Training. We started out slow and kind of found our way and we played some really good baseball the last week to 10 days. Let’s try to have that carry over.”

What’s that Yoda saying, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Yeah, that keeps coming back to me. I think the team is so much different with a Can-Do attitude in Joe Maddon. He likes to learn new things, however, now is the time to do it, not a couple of months from now.

“I’ve got to learn the National League,” Joe Maddon said. “I don’t know these teams. You look at a scouting report, and when you actually know what this guy looks like visually, it’s a lot easier to understand the scouting report. … I have to understand the National League, I have to understand the Central fast, because we play them so often. I have to understand the other managers and how they think quickly. Those are my challenges.”

Even though the Cubs may have their challenges this year, I’m making a safe bet that they’ll be in contention throughout the season.

Believe it.

Win in the Cards

Travis Wood pitches a gem.

Travis Wood pitches a gem.

The problem about watching baseball this time of year in Canada is you have to compete with the NHL Playoffs. Sometimes it’s difficult to say to the guys,”Yeah, the Cubs are on tonight and they’re playing the Cardinals.” when there’s hockey on. some games do take priority. Last night, I shuffled back and forth between my beloved Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens series and the Cubs/Cardinals game. Both were a gem and both were decided by a goal/run.

The rivalry between the Cards and the Cubs goes way back farther than I can remember and spans generations. Every game has a hero and last night, Travis Wood was that guy.

“He’s the best starter in baseball, pretty much,” Cub’s Manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s figured it out. We talked about it at the end of last year and in Spring Training about how he’s able to pitch to both sides of the plate, and arm side — that’s one thing he couldn’t do — and now he can do just about anything he wants with the ball.”

The 30 000 plus crowd at Wrigley Field witnessed a great pitcher in command of his craft. They cheered when he left the game and they cheered when the Cubs won.

Nate Schierholtz, the Cubs sensational Fielder rocketed his fourth Home Run this year which helped the Cubs in the 2-1 victory. Kevin Gregg came in to close out the festivities. Nate’s home run lands the Cubs in third spot in the National League with forty. With the win, the Cubs have now won two in a row after losing four.

The Cubs now improve to 13-20 and will face the Cardinals today at 2:20 Eastern Time before heading to Washington to face the Nationals on Friday.

Keep it up boys!

Mark

Snowed In Spring

Welington+Castillo+Chicago+Cubs+Photo+Day+zobiGRqKS5sl

I don’t know about you guys, but it’s the first day of spring and there’s snow everywhere! “Everytime I try to get out, They keep sucking me back in!”

Since my last post where the Rangers trounced the Cubs, Yesterday the Cubs came roaring back with a 5-4 win. It was the big bats this time that settled the score. Darwin Barney hit one outta there as well as Alfonso Soriano. Oh yeah, have I not mentioned the great, “Duke” Wellington Castillo scored a crucial run.

Things are winding down as the regular season is all but two weeks away. This is pretty much as close the the opening Day Lineup as we’ll see. Nobody is predicting a World Series or even 70 wins by these guys, but I have a bet goin g with someone that the Cubs will win 75-80 games this season. Hell, look at the Ottawa Senators, nobody predicted they’d be doing as well as they are. Plus, they’ve lost three of their top players and still find ways of winning.

Now, we’re not talking about hockey here. Everybody is well aware of the long baseball season ahead and I think that the Cubs young bats could prevail with notching up some wins.
–Mark

Retro Jerseys

A little off topic, but since there’s a retro game coming up on Wednesday against the Dodgers, I thought I’d pose a question to everyone.  Next year, my other favourite team the Ottawa Senators are commemorating their 20th year back in the league by changing their jersey.    So, I would like your opinion on which jersey is better.

Here is what their new one will look like(similar)

 

 

 

 

Here is their current one:

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think?

And here is their original one from the 1930’s

Ottawa Senators 1931-1932 Heritage Sweater Jersey

—Mark Gauthier