4-20-05 -- Thoughts from JT - Cubs 7, Reds 1
A comprehensive win for the Cubbies last night, moving them back to .500 and showcasing the danger they pose in the NL Central (no joke - did you see Prior? Lee?)
++ Prior lack of restraint
Prior was unbelievable again last night. He held nothing back, scattering 4 hits over 7 innings of work. It could have been oh so different for Mark - the 4 batters he faced in the 1st inning were connecting well with the pitches, and Corey Patterson made two unbelievable catches in center field, one robbing Joe Randa of a HR (slamming into the wall), and another leaping catch to rob Ken Griffey Jr. of his 1st HR of the season.
From then on, it was lights out. His control was solid - 2 BBs, 6 Ks - as well as an admirable pitch-strike count of 98-66. The only run surrendered came off a Nomar throwing error to first that let the runner score from 2nd, and Cliff Bartosh came in for 2 innings of scoreless, hitless relief to round it out. Not only that, but Prior went 1-3 with the bat, scoring a run in the 3rd Inning.
The rotation is looking steadier by the day. Granted, Wood has some work to do, and there is always the potential for shakiness, but all it takes is a little help from the field like Corey displayed in the 1st Inning. Confidence will grow, arms will get looser, nerves will get easier. I'm not giving up on Kerry yet by any means, for that would be foolish, but looking at Prior, I feel a lot more comfortable in general about the rotation improving into the season.
++ Michael Barrett
I bet you our beloved catcher reads this site, as that 2-4 performance with a HR was all for us here at LB. I can tell, he wanted that one to shut us up, and well he will. I know it's only one game, but it broke a 9-day hitless streak and showed the Reds that they need to respect all the way from 1-9 in the lineup. Barrett will get better and this is proof that he might be seeing the ball a bit better than in the first two weeks.
++ C-A-D (Corey, Aramis, Derrek)
LB can never say enough good things about this triumvirate of terror, but in case they see this, they might appreciate the kind words. Corey, for his HR and his amazing fielding heroics on back-to-back outs in the 1st, we salute you. Aramis, for your HRs in consecutive games and yr 2-5 2-RBI performance, we salute you. Derrek, for yet another HR and yr 17th RBI, we salute you too.
I have a feeling we will be writing more about these three as things continue.
-- Let's leave this empty for today.