A Struggling Cubs Fan

There is one aspect of blogging that I have not been able to fully grasp. That would be timeliness. I could not pull myself together and organize my thoughts to write anything after the three-game sweep to the Dodgers. I would imagine that you were all experiencing the same feelings that swept through me.
How could this happen? How can a team look so consistently dominant for 162 games and then crumble in the playoffs? I have no answers. I don’t even want to talk baseball. I haven’t watched a playoff game since that Saturday night that Andy and I huddled around a campfire listening to Pat and Ron call the final Cubs game of the “magical” 2008 season.

So where do we go from here? Forget the Cubs, I’m not talking about them. We have the next four or five months to over-analyze the roster changes and line-up adjustments. This time right now, this is our time. Us Cubs fans deserve a good amount of time to forget analyzing this team and focus on ourselves. We got screwed over. Don’t tell me we aren’t owed anything. Look at what we’ve suffered through. If there is such a thing as fans that deserve a championship, it’s us.

 

I have gone through the gamut of emotions. For a very brief period of time, I decided I was done with the Cubs. I couldn’t take the heartbreak anymore. I can’t accurately say how long this lasted. It may have been Continue reading

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NLDS Game 1 Review

My God. 

I don’t even know where to begin.  I became increasingly nervous about this game throughout the day.  The last few days have been exciting.  A successful regular season behind us and nothing but potential bliss ahead.  I listened to WSCR 670AM out of Chicago and within hours had chiseled down my fingernails and had a heavy feeling in my stomach.  Celebrating the regular season was over and the post season was about to begin.  Suddenly to me, the Cubs pitching didn’t look quite so great.  I was hearing all of these ridiculous stats about Derek Lowe, Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers in their last 50 or so games.  Wait, this isn’t the team in the playoffs with the worst record.  This is a team that has put something together and surged.  They are hot and everyone knows those teams are the dangerous ones in the playoffs.

So we had an Ivy Envy and friends gathering at the Backyard Pub and Grill.  I think we ended up with 30 or so people coming over.  We were pleased to host Dispatch/Argus Cubs Blogger Matt Veto. Check out his blog, Veto Power. It was a good time but Continue reading

Bedtime for the Brewers

With fifteen innings of no-hit ball pitched by Lilly and Zambrano over the past two games, the Cubs are riding a growing wave of confidence into the postseason.  Now all they need is to beat one of the best pitchers in the game tonight to feel unstoppable.  The bats seem to be coming back to life as well.

I feel a little bad for the Astros having to play two games in Milwaukee that were supposed to be home games for them.  Mike and Mike were asking whether there could’ve have been any other better options for an alternate site for the Cubs-Astros series.  They suggested nearby Round Rock (AAA affiliate) or the Rangers’ stadium.  It is a good point, but if the Astros had won even one of the two games (or even got a few hits for that matter), no one would probably be having this conversation.

Did anyone else hate that the anchor on ESPN kept referring to Zambrano as Zam-BRAN-o (bran as in “Raisin Bran”) during their highlights of his no-hitter?  Continue reading

Asshat of the week?

It’s not that he gets pumped and shows his excitement–although showing emotion on the mound is enough to make pitchers hated by rival fans (see Zambrano and Marmol).  It’s the damn theatrics.  The guy has a strict warmup ritual (this is so out of control) and a strikeout ritual as well.  He never steps on a foul line, and he always keeps three sticks of gum in his mouth.  Just pitch the freakin ball.  Of course baseball has always been fertile ground for superstition, but this guy takes the cake.  If Bob Howry, Carlos Zambrano, and Turk Wendell had a love child, Valverde would be it.  Finally, have a look at his irritating winning celebration.  Maybe this is just sour grapes since our closer lost the game last night, but I almost hope that the game tonight goes to a save situation for Valverde so the Cubs have the opportunity to score a boatload of runs on him.  Continue reading

Is Miller Park REALLY an Away Game?

I believe I have written before that the idea that “This series is important” or “This game is important” is kind of a silly notion.  There are 162 games and though the idea is to just win series’, there are numerous opportunities to make up lost ground.  That said…this series is important.

I don’t think it’s terribly important numbers-wise, although the Cubs and Brewers were close enough last year for it to scare me.  If a few games would have gone the other way, the Cubs wouldn’t have enjoyed getting destroyed by the Arizona in the playoffs.  This series feels important because it has the potential to be a momentum-builder, especially for the Cubs.  I would think it would be kind of deflating for the Brewers Continue reading

We’re Cubs Fans, We Panic

Things haven’t been so great since the All-Star Break.  The Cubs have lost three games in a row and are in danger of being swept by the Astros.  Usually when Zambrano takes the hill, he is the losing streak-buster.  But when the only run the team scores is your own solo homerun, it’s tough to the win. 

I can’t comment much on the last two games.  Both nights, we have had friends that we haven’t seen in a while over to our outdoor bar.  The game has been on, but I haven’t paid attention to these last two games as closely as I normally do.  All I know is that Continue reading

Samardzija Update and Cubs/Cardinals

I won’t brag about every Jeff Samardzija accomplishment on Ivy Envy.  Let’s be clear, my man-crush is on Matt Murton.  But I have never owned any Cubs shirt/jersey with a name on the back and when Jeff Samardzija makes it to the Cubs and is issued a number, I will own one.  I almost feel like I should apologize to Ryne Sandberg for saying that. 

Jeff Samardzija took the hill in Oklahoma City against the Rangers Triple A Affiliate.  Samardzija earned a win, going over 6 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits.  He walked 3 and struck out 6.  He is now 2-1 with a 3.93 ERA with Iowa.  Samardzija was gifted Continue reading