I have a confession. I don’t hate the Cardinals.
In fact, if I had my choice, I’d rather see the Cardinals do well than be terrible (provided they are not doing quite so well as the Cubs, that is). I honestly believe that baseball is better when the Cubs and the Cardinals are both legitimately good. For example: Sept 1-4, 2003. That was the series (as if any of us could forget) in which the Cubs took four out of five from St. Louis in Wrigley and dealt the Cardinal’s division title hopes a major blow in the process. How much less fun would that have been if the Cardinals had still been looking for their 60th win?
Sure, good teams beating up on bad teams can be fun when you’re a fan of the good team, but watching two really good teams engaged in a historical rivalry go at it with postseason implications on the line is better in almost every conceivable way. That is the sort of thing I’d like to see the Cubs involved in every year. Baseball is better when both the Cubs and the Cardinals are good, and that means I have a hard time hating the Cardinals. I’d be perfectly happy if they finished a game behind the Cubs and just out of the playoffs every single year.
The Mets are a different story. Those guys can lose 162 games a season for all I care. The day the Wannabe Brooklyn Dodgers are contracted right out of baseball should be declared a major holiday. Even in the midst of an otherwise dreary season I still smile every time I see that the Cubs are ahead of NYM in the standings. Any season that ends with the Mets hopelessly buried in the basement isn’t all bad in my book. The thought alone is enough to brighten my day.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – There was a double header in Iowa, and the Cubs dropped Game One 5-4. Iowa returned to the winning column thanks to some good pitching in Game Two. The final in that one was 1-0.
Tennessee – Tennessee pulled their season record back to .500 with a win at arch-rival Chattanooga. This one ended 7-2.
Daytona – The Cubs also won on the road, 4-3.
Kane County – Kane County is wrapping up their All-Star break. The Cougars resume play today.
Boise – The Hawks likewise picked up a win on the road. Thanks to this 5-1 win, Boise pulled back to even.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Logan Watkins was 3 for 4 with two triples in Game One, and in Game Two he went 2 for 3. After slumping badly in May, Watkins has rebounded in June. His line for the month currently reads .284/.354/.392.
- [Iowa] Steve Clevenger also had a good game in the second one, reaching twice on a walk and a single.
- [Iowa] The Game Two shutout was started by Barret Loux. Loux allowed a single hit while striking out five over five innings. Hisanori Takahashi and Brian Schlitter nailed things down.
- [Tennessee] Alberto Cabrera struck out six in six innings to win his sixth game. He allowed one run on six hits and three walks.
- [Tennessee] The return of Justin Bour was not a quiet one. The slugging first baseman drilled his third home run of the season. Christian Villanueva also homered (his sixth).
- [Tennessee] Jae-Hoon Ha also returned to action With those two back in the middle of the Smokies lineup, this is suddenly a very dangerous offensive team.
- [Tennessee] Credit Ronald Torreyes with a three hit day. One of those hits was his 13th double.
- [Daytona] Ben Carhart led the Cubs with his third home run, part of a 3 for 3 day. He also stole his fourth base of the year.
- [Daytona] After posting an OPS of .833 in 8 games with the Smokies, Pin-Chieh Chen has been relocated to Daytona. He finished this game 2 for 4.
- [Daytona] Luis Liria and Eduardo Figueroa both pitched scoreless innings in relief for the Cubs. Liria allowed four runners to reach base in his two innings of work, though.
- [Boise] James Pugliese was very effective in this start. Over five innings he struck out four and allowed three hits (one home run) and two walks).
- [Boise] But Corbin Hoffner was better. The tall reliever struck out four in his three innings of hitless work.
- The first half is over in the Florida State League and the Southern League. If you happen to spot records that appear to be very low in the games played total (such 1-0), that is why. We’ll see similar things in the Midwest League very soon.