I tuned in to last night’s Opening Day game for a glimpse at the hyped up Chicago Cubs team and, as exhausted as I was, I couldn’t turn away.
Living in the Midwest, having a regular 9-to-5 and two kids to manage, West Coast games are not a big thing with me. I kind of hate them.
Even with my brain fighting me to just tune out for the evening, I kept thinking along the lines of “Okay, but (insert name here) is up next. Kind of have to see that.”
The problem with that – and it’s a problem only in so far as depriving me of much-needed rest – is that just about every plate appearance coming up for the Cubs’ lineup is something that seems worth staying awake for.
Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero are just about the only players in the everyday lineup right now that I could maybe step away for and even Montero ended up with two really quality at bats in their Opening Day game. A well-fought plate appearance that ended with him flipping a base hit to the left side against an infield shift to the right and another plate appearance that ended with a back-breaking three-run homer pulled to right.
We’ll all get tired of hearing it, but the Cubs really have built an American League lineup. How their pitching holds up is another matter, but they did the right thing last night, pulling Jake Arrieta after 7 shutout innings of work with the game well in hand. Save those bullets for bigger games.
It’s just one game and folks can get way too excited about these things.
To give an equivalency here, one baseball game is the equivalent of roughly one drive in a football game.
So winning your first baseball game is like scoring on the opening drive of your Week 1 football game. Or forcing your opponent to punt on theirs.
Losing is like allowing a score on the opening drive of your Week 1 game. Or punting on yours.
It’s a big mistake to make too much of it. But on paper, if they stay healthy, this team could be must-see viewing.
After one game for each team in the NL Central, not a whole lot to be surprised by.
Pittsburgh (1-0) beating St. Louis (0-1) and Adam Wainwright – not surprising.
Milwaukee (0-1) crushed 12-3 by San Francisco yesterday afternoon – expected.
Cincinnati (1-0) beating a rebuilding Philadelphia squad – sure, why not.
Chicago (1-0) pounding “The The Angels Angels” – that’s a pretty horrible roster the Halos have.
Let’s give this season a couple of months before putting together our “Power Rankings”, okay?
We’ve got a long way to go.
Giants 12, BREWERS 3
REDS 6, Phillies 2
CUBS 9, Angels 0
St. Louis (0-1) is in Pittsburgh (0-1) at 6:05 for the second game of their series. Michael Wacha and Jonathan Niese are the pitching match-up… Jimmy Nelson takes the bump for Milwaukee (0-1) for a 7:10 game against San Francisco… Chicago (1-0) starts at 9:05 out on the West Coast against the LA Angels with Jon Lester up against Andrew Heaney… Cincinnati (1-0) has the day off…