Mysteries of April

April Flowers, April Flowers 1.JPG

I’m not sure what to take from April.

I’m speaking about baseball in particular, not my life per se.

The Chicago Cubs are off to an 8-1 start, which is not entirely surprising given the national love they received from just about every writer worth a damn.

But before I can anoint their hot start as the second coming of the 1984 Detroit Tigers, I’m very mindful of their opponents.

The Los Angeles Angels have perhaps the best player in the game and he’s joined by 24 other guys who are not exactly world-beaters. Maybe a pitcher or two who is semi-decent. But the lineup outside of Mike Trout is not well regarded.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are thought by some to be a playoff team. Maybe. Getting Zack Greinke is great and all – even if he’s been roughed up so far – but Shelby Miller might have been a reach. Paul Goldschmidt? Great. The others? Meh.

The Cubs just swept the Cincinnati Reds, but they’re largely expected to battle for the bottom of the division.

So the 8-1 start isn’t too thrilling for me yet.

The Cubs play the St. Louis Cardinals next week, which is an interest test for both teams.

And in early May they finally face the other member of the NL Central Trio of Terror, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

So let’s pump the brakes on the Cubs until mid-May. Then we’ll see what we’ve got.

Similarly, what Jaime Garcia did yesterday afternoon was astounding.

A 1-hit shutout to go along with 13 strikeouts. Ouch.

But, again… it’s against the Milwaukee Brewers, who aren’t too far removed from being a AAA team.

Also, there’s this weird feeling with Garcia that we’re always just waiting for his arm to fall off. He’s averaged just 14 starts a season for the last 4 years.

But when he’s healthy, he’s damn good.

Anyhow, back to theme – too early to crown him a Cy Young Candidate, given the opponent and his history of arm problems.

Then there’s the Pirates…

They were just swept by the Detroit Tigers in a 3-game inter-league series.

They’re 5-5, which is fine for now. But I still am starting to feel a little bit uneasy about them.

With 39 runs scored and 45 allowed, their Pythagorean record is 4-6, so they actually may be “lucky” to be at .500 right now.

In the 3 games against the Bengals, they allowed 22 runs. Not good.

They’ve issued 40 walks so far, which is 2nd worst in the National League.

And the 12 long balls surrendered are 5th worst in the Senior Circuit.

They have a home series this weekend against the maligned Brew Crew followed by a 3-game set visiting the San Diego Padres, so they can turn this ship around pretty quickly.

It’s only April.


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