Monday, August 31, 2015
How Bout Dem Cubs??
The last time I wrote about the Chicago Cubs (My Chicago Cubs) on this blog I was writing them off for the 2015 playoffs after they were swept by the Phillies at Wrigley Field-including a no-hitter by Cole Hamels. I was saying that Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber should be sent back to the minors for more seasoning. That was before they went 21-4 and before last night when Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
So what do I know? When it comes to the Cubs, I think with my pessimistic heart.
Not only was Arrieta's gem the first no-hitter I had watched on TV from beginning to end, it reminded me of a night back in 1964 when I was present at a Dodgers-Reds game at Dodger Stadium.
It was April 18, 1964 to be exact. Sandy Koufax was pitching. You know where I am going with this, don't you?
Not only did Koufax lose that night, but the Reds came within one out of a combined no-hitter by Jim Maloney and Johnny Tsitouris. Maloney had left after 6 innings and Tsitouris was one out away from completing the no-hitter. Not only that, but the last batter was Frank Howard, all lumbering 6'7'' of him. As you can see from the box score, Howard had the only hit. It was how he got it that was so frustrating. With a mighty swing (that usually produced either a homer or a whiff) Howard hit a dribbler down the third base line and managed to beat it out since the third baseman was playing way back on him.
That was the closest I ever came to personally witnessing a no-hitter.
Now back to the Cubs. They are now 5.5 games ahead of the Giants for that final playoff spot. The Giants are hobbled with injuries, but they have an easier schedule than the Cubs in September. If the Cubs keep playing good baseball, they can make the playoffs, but they cannot afford a slump. The Giants have shown they are a team that can not be counted out.
No predictions this time. My predictions in sports are about as reliable as those of Dick Morris in politics.