Monday, July 28, 2008

Lowered Expectations

I am generally trying to be circumspect about the Cubs' chances this year. Ernie Banks says this is "the year" for the Cubs. Fine. Santo promised us the same thing in 2003. The bullpen is unsettled, Marquis remains in the rotation, and the offense disappears way too frequently.

But sitting in front of the tube tonight, watching the Cubs play in Wrigley North, building a two game (MLB-best record) lead over the Brewers, I am cracking a little bit. The vulnerability is easy to explain: Marmol's slider is awe-inspiring. The pitches he has just thrown to close out the ninth inning in a close, important game, defy explanation. They are wicked. He has not attempted in any way to reject the pressure that has been placed on his shoulders. Not bad for a converted catcher.

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