Just a couple of thoughts from the last two games against the Brewers:
1. If it’s possible to beat a dead horse 5 games into the season, that dead horse is the Cubs’ anemic offense. Right now the Cubs are averaging a miniscule 3.60 runs per game. Sticking with the theme of looking for isolated glimmers of hope amongst an abyss of mediocrity: after zero home runs in the first series the Cubs have hit three over the last two games. That’s not too shabby, and the fact that all three homers have been solo shots is a bit unlucky. Continuing to hit a few homers, and hitting them with a runner or two on base, should help boost the runs per game number.
2. After a terrible first inning, Paul Maholm settled down and was basically effective for a few more innings. Sadly for the Cubs, 5 runs is a big, deep hole for this team (see above) and it proved to be too much in the end Early April games are notorious for pitching lines like Maholm produced (4IP, 6H, 6ER, 2HR, 2BB) so I will refrain from a rush to judgment for the time being.
Ryan Dempster will take the mound this afternoon against Yovani Gallardo. Also John Grisham will be throwing out the first pitch and doing the 7th inning stretch. Surely this is a promotional stunt related to his new book Calico Joe, which was released yesterday. A brief glance at the product description informs that the book is about a hot-shot prospect for the Chicago Cubs who makes a big splash…until something bad happens. I had to double-check and make sure this was in fact a fiction book, as the memories of Bobby Hill and Felix Pie, among many many others, led me to believe this might just be a “based on a true story book.” Grisham is a devoted fan of the Cardinals, but without the chance to read the book yet, it’s unclear whether this will be a noticeable part of the plot. Let’s hope not.