Remember how awful the Cubs were last year with men on second and/or third? You don't? Well, they batted only .218 in those situations in 2013; in other words, they were RISP averse. But hey, they were 2nd in the NL in home runs and third in doubles.
So the moral of the story is that the Cubs could really only score by way of the longball; wait, I thought Dusty Baker was in Cincy last year. But seriously, it was a trend that went well beyond frustrating, beyond even perplexing, to the point where it got downright scary.
Sure enough, as Tom wrote earlier, Opening Day was no different. As an aside, I don't dislike these new road unis as much as some folks do. As many have noted, the Cubs did at least put men on base yesterday, but they may as well have been the passengers on Oceanic Flight 815, inasmuch as they were stranded.
There were no home runs to be found for the Cubs in Pittsburgh, though Charlie Newhouse managed to give one up to Neil Walker. I can't blame him though; if you only allow 1 run over 10 innings, you should win the game. But the Cubs managed to lose not only the game (in walk-off fashion, of course) but the first-ever regular-season replay under the expanded rules. Because of course they did.
Cubs hitters were, what, 0-14 with RISP. AJ Walsh is much better than me when it comes to in-depth statistical analysis, but I think that futility comes out to a .000 average. But what kind of fool extrapolates one game over the course of the remaining season and then jumps off a ledge over it?
Not me, that's for sure. Well, truth be told, I climbed up there and it was already really crowded and I didn't feel like waiting in line, so I came back. Now I'm going to keep my feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. With that in mind, I wanted to put together a short list (in no particular order) of the things that scare me more than the Cubs' inability to drive in runners who stand 180 feet or fewer feet from home.
Loud noises in the middle of the night
My phone rang at 2:25am with what showed as a Nevada number. That wasn't really scary though, as I was able to fall right back to sleep. What makes me go all Les Grobstein, however, is a loud crashing noise in the wee hours of the morn. I can't tell you how many times one of those little suction cup holder thingies in our shower has come loose, spilling its contents all over the basin.
And since I don't have a producer to clean up after me, I'm forced to get up out bed and clean things up. The activity, not to mention the adrenaline dump, means that I'm not getting settled back into my Circadian rhythm for a while. So the noise itself is scary, but the fallout really makes it terrible.
A child approaching you in your sleep and staring right into your face
Kids can be really creepy. There's a reason Pet Sematary, The Exorcist and more really mess with our heads. But I don't think I knew fear until I had children of my own. And I don't just mean dropping them or having them roll off of a changing table (both of which are CRAZY frightening and also make you want to crawl into a hole); no, I'm talking about the fear they can put in you as they get to the toddler phase.
While it's growing far less common, my kids will often leave their respective beds and come into my room. In most cases, it'll be for some innocuous request, or maybe one of them will just climb between my wife and I and proceed to shoehorn themselves in for the night.
But I remember one time in particular when my son was probably around 3 years old; even in deepest sleep, my parental ears are finely tuned to the sound of opening doors and shuffling feet, but they failed me this particular time. As if sensing a presence in the room, my mind roused itself and signaled my heavy eyelids to open just a bit.
Seeing my son's face hovering right next to my own nearly stopped my heart. I still can't think about that unblinking, alabaster visage at my bedside without getting chills. Something about the innocence of his intentions made it that much worse too.
Sorry, coulrophobes, but I had to do it. The acting wasn't all that great, but the TV movie IT presented the world with some images of Tim Curry as a demonic clown. We all float down here!
On that note, I'll go ahead and wrap this up; I hope you aren't reading it in bed. But if you are, I guess that means you've now got some time to share your own thoughts on the Cubs hitters and whether or not you're scared by their performance. After all, that's what the comment section is for.
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