A House Of Ill Repute
So the first “measuring stick” is over, if that’s indeed what it was. While Desipio is right and series in May don’t really matter any more than any other, and this Cubs team still has a lot of growing and moulding to do before it’s the finished product, I think a lot of Cubs fans like myself were at least more curious as to how the Cubs would look against the team playing the best baseball in the league right now (and yes, I just barfed typing that, so any typos from here on out are vomit-related as opposed to my usual idiocy).
And the answer we basically got what was Busch Stadium remains the Bermuda Fucking Triangle to the Cubs.
On the surface, we didn’t find out anything new. The offense can grind staffs to the bone for the most part, and have some days where they’re easily passed through, though much less than the former. The middle relief is something of an issue without Grimm and Ramirez, and it’s exacerbated by a couple starters who can’t get deep enough into games at the moment and the overuse of Pedro Strop (the dude’s on pace for 90 appearances at the moment).
But whatever cracks we knew the Cubs have, and whatever ones they don’t actually have, the Cards always fucking seize upon. It just doesn’t seem to matter what team the Cubs bring down there, unless Mark Prior is pitching (because he clearly didn’t give a fuck about any of it).
Yadi Molina and Jason Heyward couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a snowshovel all season. Put blue in the other dugout and they get his even when they’re clearly not trying to. Mark Reynolds is an out anyone can get, and yet there’s Travis Wood throwing him fastballs for some reason with a five-run lead and the bases loaded, when he would whiff at breaking pitches if you held his family at gunpoint.
Starlin’s had a pretty excellent defensive year, but any blip he has seems to come against the Cards so they can tut tut about how he doesn’t play the game their way, the right way, and all those runners seems to score. They get the ridiculous strike calls because… well I don’t fucking know, the umps are all intimidated by Molina’s neck tats or something.
They don’t challenge a pickoff off Heyward, he’s scoring like six seconds later. They’ll tell you all of this is because they just put teams under that much pressure with how correctly, they play, but I call bullshit. It’s all voodoo magic or something, and only the Giants seem immune to it. But the Cubs? They get the measles/mumps/ebola strain of it.
Yeah, it’s an inferiority complex. I know that. I’ve lived in it elsewhere, namely Boston pre-2004. So you don’t have to diagnose me. I got it. Every challenger claims black magic when confronted and basically defeated by the throne-holder. I know what it sounds like.
I know the Cards could cool off. I know after watching the Cubs for six weeks now they’re better than a one game over .500 club, but maybe not by too much. It’s frustrating because the Cubs got to the two best pitchers the Cards have right now in Lynn and Martinez. They got shutdown by human armpit stain John Lackey. That happens, it’s baseball, yada yada yada.
I guess we learned that they aren’t exactly outclassed by the Cardinals anymore, and that was the most humiliating thing about this supposed rivalry. They can play with them, and maybe down the road if you squint you can see where they can beat them. But goddammit if it wasn’t four infuriating days. And that’s after losing two of three to a Brewers team that sucks deep pond scum. Do us a favor Cubs and sweep in Milwaukee. We could use the palate cleanser.