*Okay, so that's not entirely true. Just because it's my blog doesn't mean I get to just decide how Greek mythology works. To quote my buddy Patrick, "There are certain things you don't say around a classicist." Of course, that was in response to a comment that another buddy of mine, Collin, said about Roman infantry. I don't remember what it was, but long story short, when you're the political scientist sitting in a room with a classicist and a historian, there are some arguments you're probably going to lose.
Anyway, so the Cubs won big last night, and it seemed to be in large part due to the 53 minute rain delay. Going into the rain delay, St. Louis led 1-0 with Jake Westbrook pitching better than I've ever heard of in a Cardinal uniform.* Garza was looking pretty good, too, mind you. Maybe his best as a Cub. But the Cards looked like they were rolling along. Then the monsoon came, and Westbrook had nothing.
*I'm not entirely sure I had actually watched Westbrook until last night. I had certainly heard of him when he came over from the Indians, and I knew a little about him, but I don't think I'd ever actually seen him. I never realized how sidearm he threw the ball, and I'm not sure I've ever heard of somebody throwing that kind of sinker sidearm like that.
The Cubs scored six in that inning, five charged to Westbrook. Jason Motte came in to try to get through the inning, which he did, but not without some trouble. I kind of have a hard time calling Motte a pitcher. He is a converted catcher, and he looks like one. To paraphrase Bob Brenley, he just winds up and throws the ball as hard as he can in the direction of the umpire. He also said Gerald Laird (another player I had no idea had signed with the Cards) was wasting his time giving signs behind the plate, which made me chuckle. Now, if you looked at Carlos Marmol, on the the other hand, you would think he was always a pitcher. Part of that is body type, I think. Motte is, shall we say, solidly built. Marmol is kind of lanky. But Marmol actually looks like a pitcher out there and throws a pretty devastating slider. Motte just throws.
After Franklin finished the job of sinking the Cardinals (I thought Koyie Hill was going to get two triples last night), the game was pretty much over when the Cards came to the plate in the 9th, but I'm glad I kept watching. Darwin Barney (who had been a stirrup hero but has since gone back to pajama pants) flipped over to Starlin Castro, who made a very nice acrobatic turn to finish the double play. That alone is great, but even better is the fact that he legitimately had the bag covered when he caught the ball. None of this "neighborhood" call crap, which is one of the things I detest about our modern game. We don't give first basemen the "neighborhood." Probably not third, either. But middle infielders can just sort of pretend to hit the bag and get credit. As a second baseman, that drives me nuts. Maybe it cut down on my double plays, but I always made damned sure I got the bag, because that's what the rules say I had to do. Kind of like Eddie Izzard talking about British vs. American pronouciation. "You say "erbs," and we say "herbs." Because there's a fucking H in it." That same bit also has the "cheating at Scrabble" line that I love so much and look for occasions to use it.
The rubber match is in a few hours, which I will be paying close attention to. I really need the Cubs to win this game so I have a little bit of ammo when I head down to Missouri next week to see the most hardcore of my Cardinal family. I might hold out hope that the Cubs might slip in front of the Cards by then, but with the Giants and Reds on tap next (along with a surprisingly strong Florida team), all my apples are on this series.