Cubs rout Reds
OK, so I'm sure everyone has seen the scoreboard, and if you haven't... go look somewhere else. Here are my thoughts on today's game:
1) Z = not so great. I wasn't impressed by the effort today. Although, knowing Zambino, he was probably too pumped up and therefore his troubles were maybe caused by over-enthusiasm or too much effort. Either way, he didn't pitch well today, surrendering walk after walk, and finding it nearly impossible to hit the strike zone. It's possible, as one of our reader's has pointed out, that he was simply effected by some of the things that other pitchers in today's game were effected by, such as the cold weather or the wind. Regardless of the reason, there were a number of pitchers in today's game who had a lot of trouble hitting the strike zone, and I gotta believe that Z will come around. It was probably just getting some of the early-season kinks out of the ole' throwing arm, I'm sure.
2) Anyone who said that Walker should be traded or used as a bench relief player is insane. I think most Cubs fans were in agreement on this fact, but todays game was evidence of exactly why. He hits great in the second spot, it's where he was born to be a hitter. Struggles he may have had in the past as a hitter for the Cubs were when they tried to have him lead-off, for lack of a better lead-off hitter. I'm not backing this up with stats at this point, mostly memory, but I think if you look it up you'll find that he's been exceedingly more successful in the number two spot... and guess what?!? The Cubs have a bonafide lead-off man now!! Yeah, you can show me stats saying he isn't as good defensively as Hairston Jr or Neifi, but I'll take the offense he contributes over his SLIGHTLY lesser abilities on defense. Summary: Walker should be starting day-in and day-out. He was a huge contributer to the big 'W' today.
3) Murton... Murton. Wow, I don't know what to say about this kid. This should be my number one point today, because he was what stood out to me the most in this game. I mean... his first at-bat of the season is a 3-run knock in the first inning. Wow. I was so impressed to be completely honest. I know it's one at-bat out of one game, and people have been talking about him a lot and all, but still! He was impressive the whole game, and I just hope he can keep the bat going throughout this season. I think his performance today deserves a nickname, don't you?!? I'll kick it off... I'm gonna start calling him "Little Red Murton". It will probably catch on about as much as me calling our starting pitcher today "Zambino", but oh well. Leave your comments with your suggestion for a nickname.
4) I guess there have to be some cons, but Cedeno was offensively unimpressive today. From what I understand, this is to be expected from him, so oh well. More unimpressive was Barrett hitting into two double plays. I like Barrett a lot, but he was supposed to be the next big thing as far as offensive catchers. That was like 3 years ago. Like I said, I like Barrett, so I'm not trying to rag on him too much, but I'm waiting for him to break out of his shell a little bit, and if it's not this season, then it's not gonna happen.
5) The Cubs scored 16 runs in the season opener last year, and 15 in the season opener the year before. Let's hope this year isn't a historical repetition of the last two years.
That all being said, I really like our line-up so far. The biggest bright spots for me today were probably (in no particular order): Pierre (cause come on, we have a lead-off man!!), Hot Rod Todd (I've been on his bandwagon since he got here, let's hope he keeps starting), and Little Red. I think there is a LOT of potential throughout the whole line-up, and overall I am pretty excited about things to come!!! (Note to self: You were saying this exact same thing one year ago at this time.)
And, one final picture to take us to break...