The good news: The Cubs won yesterday!
The bad news: The Cubs also lost yesterday.
The good news: The Cubs are in first place in the NL Central!
The bad news: So is half the division.
Following the Cubs is an exercise in ambivalence so far this season and no day exemplified those conflicting emotions better than yesterday’s day/night doubleheader split with San Diego. Reed Johnson’s dramatic 11th inning homer stole an otherwise excruciating Game One from the Padres which featured a blown save by Carlos Marmol followed by two gut-wrenching innings from Jeff Samardzija who miraculously (and nauseatingly) stranded five base runners while using 49 pitches to get the hold. The nightcap was basically the opposite kind of agonizing game, featuring a late-inning Cubs rally from a 4-0 deficit that fell short like a classic Jacque Jones “throw” from the outfield. I think I could actually hear the air let out the Wrigley balloon from my Uptown condo as the game finally ended 5-4 to bring the Cubs back to their familiar .500.
The frustrating Northsiders are taking the old proverb, “you win some, you lose some” to a whole new level. Thus far, the Cubs have had records of 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and now 9-9 for the first time in history, setting a new standard for mediocrity.
While I want to be happy that they are winning games and are competitive in the division, their inconsistency is maddening. I really want to like this group of misfits led by the gregarious, cerebral and hairless Mike Quade, but it’s almost like having a girlfriend who suffers from a bipolar disorder (I’ve had a few in my time, none clinically diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure). When it’s bad, it’s really bad. When it’s good, it’s great, but you’re just waiting for the next ridiculous melodrama to unravel before your eyes.
We’re not quite a month in, but I think it’s pretty clear this club is going to hover around .500 for the duration. Fortunately, they reside in an equally average division which should actually keep things interesting for the next few months. I guess I’m just a sucker for drama.