Don't look now...
... but the Cubs are climbing the Wild Card ladder.
Last night the Cubs beat the Giants 4-3 with another Burnitz walk-off RBI in the bottom of the ninth -- his 2nd game-winning swing in 3 games. The game also notched Dempster's 3rd win in 4 games after he kept the Cubbies tied by icing the Giants in the top of the ninth.
So let's check it out. Since the all-star break the Cubs have gone 9-5, and have won all of their series (including what I consider to be a HUGE series against the Cards) except for a 4-game split against the Reds. Had they won one extra game of that series they would be right on the 5-2 pace I tried to set them on over the break. And good things are happening because of it. After Houston completed their sweep of the Phillies yesterday, the Cubs attained the third spot on the wild card list, only 2 games behind Houston and 3 behind Washington. We play Houston in at least two more series this year, so I'm not worried about them, and if the NL East continues to beat up on itself the way it has been, I am not worried about the Nationals (or Braves (or Phillies (or Mets (or Marlins)))) either.
As long as the Cubs keep winning and stay on or at least close to a 5-2 seven game pace.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not all that crazy I tell you. Nomar is about to come back (2 RBI's last night at Double-C level or wherever they have him playing now) which will give the team a boost. Who knows, maybe we can teach Neifi Perez to play left field? I'd LOVE to keep him in the line-up, especially when Hollandsworth continues to be inconsistent, and it's too early to start Murton or Greenberg every day (also considering that Greenberg has a target drawn on his batting helmet that no one told him about). So all this bodes well for the Cubs in my opinion.
The one thing that worries me? Pitching. When I suggested "Lingering Bursitis" for the name of this blog, I never thought it would actually be THAT pertinent of a name. I wish it hadn't been. I wish it had remained a good-fun poke at Kerry Wood's early season woes. But this the end of July and it's time to get serious! We don't have time for jokes anymore!!! Seriously, not having Kerry Wood healthy hurts the Cubs, and while I could rant about how much it pisses me off that he is such a pink triangle this year, I won't. If Wood does indeed move to the bullpen when he gets back, I'd like to see them put Rusch back in the rotation. He did great this year as a starter, and I don't have anything against Rich Hill, but we'll make more of a decision on him after his next start. The same goes for Jerome Williams today in my book.
At any rate, I suppose the best thing is to keep taking it one game at a time, starting today against Arizona. Williams (3-3) for the Cubs vs. Halsey (6-7) for the D-backs.
Oh, and I have a special liking for sarcasm, so let's hope that I have the power all sports-commentators possess -- the power of jinxing a team or player simply by pointing things out or talking about them.
("and such-and-such hasn't thrown an interception in 4000 pass attemts! Amazing!" directly preceeding the play where such-and-such throws one directly to Deion Sanders just so we can all painfully watch "Primetime" do something exceedingly annoying and offensive)