Sunday, October 7, 2007
I have to say, I was a little suprised that they swept. But it does make sense when you look at their numbers. The Cubs' leading homerns hitters Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, and Aramis Ramirez were 6-38, with no extra base hits. The bullpen was in a funk, especially Carlos Marmol while Ted Lilly, who was 9-1 coming off a Cubs loss, melted down and couldn't get back. Lou Piniella was outmanged and came in thinking NLCS, which lost Game 1 which also took all the pressure off the Diamondbacks. He took out Carlos Zambrano too early saving him for Game 4, and didn't pitch around their best hitters who hurt the Cubs the most. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, mixed up their pitching very well, putting the power sinker pitcher in Webb and the changeup specialist in Davis back to back. That threw off the Cubs, and you could tell by the amount of ground balls to Mark Reynolds, usually resulting in a double play. And instead of going with Micah Owings in Game 3 and saving Hernandez for a possible Game 4, he went right after the Cubs and came out great. Also, the young players wanted to be there and understood the importance, while not letting that get to their head. The Cubs were more overrated than ever coming into the playoffs because of their 12-6 record to close the season. The Diamondbacks were young and ready, while the Cubs expected to walk all over them. So, what should the Diamondbacks keep doing? There next game isn't til October 11th and if I were them, I would start Brandon Webb, Micah Owings, Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez, and then Brandon Webb again. Putting Owings if Game 2 would allow him to pitch on somewhat normal rest instead of putting him off for two weeks. It would also put their good pitchers back a game in a longer series. They also need to keep going to the bullpen late, changing it up with Juan Cruz, Tony Pena, and Brandon Lyon. For their hitters, they need to keep doing what they are doing. Swing early, do whatever you can to advance the runner, and run everything out. They will definitely need to do that with Francis on the mound because the lefties will have a lot of trouble with his delivery. What should the Cubs do? The Cubs have little to do because most are under contract. Now would be a great time to talk with Kerry Wood and Daryle Ward about possible contracts, and determining the outfield spots in center and right. Will it be Pie and Jones? Pie and Murton? Jones and Murton? The Cubs should look to trade Jones because of how his numbers decreased so much. He has one year left on his contract, and is drawing interest. You could probably acquire a starter or a minor leaguer or two. They will probably let Kendall walk, along with Trachsel and Monroe, giving Soto the everyday job at catcher. The playoff winners are always the team that gets hot at the right time. For Cubs fans, nothing was controversial in this instance and you can't focus the blame one person.