Wild Finish to Cubs/Brewers Series Barely Pleases Me

Even if you were looking forward to September Call-ups (for some weird reason, weirdo), you don’t have that going for you. You might be fortunate enough to get a sneak preview at some pitching and likely Adrian Cardenas. You’ll also see some Tony Campana. If that doesn’t put your ass in the seats, I don’t know what will.

But, hold on a minute. That’s an interesting thing right there. For this past series – the one the Cubs lost three of four to Milwaukee – Wrigley Field drew just under 126,000 people. I understand that the Brewers’ fans travel and these two teams are a still-growing rivalry (battle for the middle of the division. GO TEAM!).

It’s about this topic that @MidwayJustyna and I frequently get into discussions about. Being a White Sox fan, she understands the complications of attendance. It’s utterly mystifying. The good team in Chicago is drawing garbage and offering to slash ticket prices for 1st place baseball. The Cubs are currently a half game away from 30 back and continue to draw fans. Even if the ridiculous hypotheses of Cubs fans are in play here, I ask you: “Aren’t there better things to do.”

The cornucopia of choices includes, but isn’t limited to:

– mowing the lawn

– labeling various refrigerator food items

– “Does this food look spoiled?”

– watching the (enter awards show)

– watching a Ben Stiller movie

– riding public transportation

It’s my own fault, really. I should have become bitter months ago. Yet, for some reason I always was telling myself to get interested in what lies ahead. That the future prospects for this team can be “exciting and fulfilling to watch”, all while being beaten 15-4 like Monday night.

It’s tough being cynical about this team. Even still. For instance, as I’m writing this, the Cubs are in the midst of a comeback and have pulled to within one run. It’s a privilege to be able to cover the Cubs for this site and I try to show that by writing serious, topical, (semi) coherent articles about them. So much in fact, that before writing this, my boss asked me to try something different.

Hence the cornucopia.

Most from this series doesn’t keep me interested. It isn’t new, but it isn’t old either. It’s that point in the season where casual fans could remark that the team has “given up”. I can see that point of view. For the first three games of this series, they were outscored 22-6. At the conclusion of the game on Wednesday, they’d lost six straight against the Crew. Thursday, the Cubs staked a 3-0 lead early, only to give it right back with 9 unanswered runs before the sixth. Of course we know how that turned out.

And there is Darwin Barney too. Always referred to as mediocre, I’m ecstatic over his newly minted National League record for consecutive games without an error. Hopefully you’re not a chump who thinks some mischief was afoot last night when they switched the E4 to E5. If you look at the play, it’s clear that Barney had no miscues in his throw to Luis Valbuena. It was on target and should have been an out.

“Finkle just booted it.”

So, what are we left with? Starlin Castro just swung at the second pitch he saw after Valbuena doubled and in scoring position. So, there are obviously fundamentals to still work on (see: ninth inning). The base running has been a 50 degree day and for all the fun had in spring training with the bunt contest, they still struggle with sacrifices.

 I think what we’re going to see will be a lot like spring training. Hell, Joe Mather got some pitches in this week. Technically, these remaining games will “matter”.  People like to point out the difference every April.

But they won’t matter.

Travis Wood could win every start he has left this season and that would mean nothing. Steve Clevenger could become the first Cubs player since Mark Grace to hit for the cycle. Sorry. Nothing. Brooks Raley perfect game? Yep…nope. Even, say…a three-run ninth inning for the walk off winner…

They’d all be great things to witness. But, I need to organize my furniture alphabetically.

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