After the whole high-intensity, playoff atmosphere in the series against the Reds, it would normally be anti-climatic to play a team that is 19 games under .500 and sitting 17 games back. But this is the Chicago Cubs we are talking about. There is always an implied rivalry with them.
It probably wouldn’t be so bad, but here’s the thing. I live in West Central Illinois. And what that means is I am smack dab in the middle of a very heated Cardinal / Cub rivaled fan base. It’s split about 50-50. And Cubs fans are so annoying. I haven’t heard anything from them all season long. And then they beat us two games in a row and they start crawling out of the woodwork crying, “Sweep! Sweep!” No matter that they are completely out of the postseason race. No matter that they have had horrible pitching all year. No matter that they are completely irrelevant. No matter that they haven’t won a World Series in over a century. If they beat the Cardinals, all they do is talk smack.
So it goes without saying that I desperately want to beat them this series. So far in 2010, we have gone 3-3 with them, but listen to a Cubs fan and you would think that they were on the brink of a championship. In any event, we cannot squander the lead we gained by squashing the Reds.
First up for the Redbirds will be Jake Westbrook. He hasn’t won a game in a Cardinal uniform yet, but he has pitched well enough to be a number 4 guy. Hopefully, he’ll get his first win against the Cubbies who are sending Thomas Diamond to the hill. Um, wait….who???? Well, he’s thrown a grand total of 187 pitches in the big leagues. And he has an ERA of 8.00. Surely we can beat this guy, especially with the bats starting to come alive. But don’t be mistaken. The Cubs will be up and ready to play against us. Every one of those rookies. I seriously don’t even know half of the Cubs team anymore it feels like.
The other good news is that the Reds will be playing the Florida Marlins. And facing not just any Florida Marlin, but the Florida Marlin with the best ERA in baseball. None other than Josh Johnson. And we already know what happened when the Reds bats came into contact with the league’s 2nd best ERA pitcher, Adam Wainwright. If we hit well and back up Westbrook, we could easily be a couple games up in the division.
Let’s add to our lead boys,
P.S. Did anybody else see that Loshe is scheduled to start Sunday? That experiment could go either way, so all the more incentive to wrap up the first two securely.