Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Strained Wood

Great name for a band or not, this is unfortunate for the Cubs. Sort of.

Wood was clearly not feeling too well. He had been shelled recently and it wasn't just because of poor control. He was getting hit too, which is pretty rare for Wood (and a bit of an indicator of the problems to come). Now we are not going to see Wood pitch for at least 5-6 weeks which, if I understand my calendar, puts his return at mid-June.

I find it hard to be too broken up over this. Rusch is likely to be much better than an injured Wood and for the next three weeks we are only going to need four starters anyway. That means only 2-3 weeks of a rotation including both Rusch and Dempster/Mitre (which will be a pretty ugly rotation).

The real key isn't going to be what Rusch does, or Dempster, or any of the other filler players the Cubs run out there. The key is going to be the performance of Prior, Zambrano, and Maddux over the next few months. Prior has been exceptional except for one flukey inning, but Zambrano has been far too mercurial for my taste. I've come to expect nothing but sustained excellence out of both of these players, dammit, and it's about time they deliver. Maddux has been okay this year, and I'm just hoping he has something left in the ol' tank.

The final point worth noting regarding the Wood injury is that it is a strain to the rotator cuff. That, I'm sorry to say, is bad mojo. There is no Tommy John equivalent for a rotator cuff injury and such an injury can be quite perilous to one's career. So all we can do is hope that rest helps out the shoulder injury and he doesn't need surgery at any point. A Kerry Wood that doesn't throw hard is hardly a Kerry Wood at all.

The Cubs are at Milwaukee today. Game time 7:05. Hopefully the Cubs can win a couple of these games.

VERY good point about a Rusch or Dempster at 100% (and able to go 6-7 innings) is better than an injured Wood, who is likely to only go a couple of innings AND give up a snootful of runs in the process.
That really is good spin, and I appreciate the (more positive) perspective.
I've been a little less . . .cheery over at ASWTC (throwing around terms like "pathetic" and "useless"), but this inspires hope.
Of course, on Baseball Tonight (BBTN), they made the point that when your hitters are scuffling or some key players are injured, you have to battle to an even record against the good teams, and whoop up on the bad teams.
We're doing okay at fighting the good teams, but we SUCK at dominating the bad teams. (We've played a LOT of VERY BAD TEAMS, and we're one game under .500.)
Thusly the optomism ends.
But, I hope I'm proven wrong.
I think we need another picture of a monkey dressed as a person to put this all in perspective.
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