Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bet Your Bottom Dollar That Tomorrow There'll Be Runs

Given the frustrations of the last two games, it's almost hard not to be disappointed by the road trip. But, that's where the day-to-day flow of the games gets in the way of the big picture.

Even though we could have reasonably won two or three more games, we still finished 5-4 on a west-coast trip against the three powerhouses of the NL West.

The nature of baseball is such that you're going to lose a bunch of games no matter what. So, when you're playing the good teams, if you can keep your head above water, you're doing really well.

The nature of baseball is also that your expectations are constantly shifting. After the 4-1 start to the roadtrip, we started thinking about coming home 7-2. It's those shifting expectations that create that feeling of disappointment we feel today.

But, go back to the beginning of the trip. Looking at the teams, and given east-coast teams' difficulty with these long time-zone-changing trips, I figured 4-5 would be the best we could hope for. The most wildly optimistic (while still realistic) scenario anyone could've hoped for was 5-4.

Well, we hit our target.

There's no shame in that.

Yeah, if the umps didn't suck in SF, if Frank could remember Church was on the bench, if Vidro doesn't get hurt, on and on, we'd have more wins. But, they didn't. And, besides, the other teams we play get those sorts of breaks against them too.

We persevered though. And we're coming home.

Like I said before, you want to tread water against the good teams. Well, this next homestand gives us bad teams: Chicago and Milwaukee. We've got to beat the hell out of them, and show no mercy.

How about 5-2 on the homestand? Just win both series. Milwaukee doesn't have Ben Sheets. Chicago has no pen, and no offense outside of Lee. There's no reason we can't run through them like a month-old Taco Bell burrito would.

Beyond them, we've got 6 on the road in Toronto and Cincinnati (the town I can't ever spell right). Those are winnable games too.

I've always said that paying attention to the standings before Memorial Day doesn't make a lot of sense. Variations in schedules and hot and cold streaks play an abnormally large role in teams' early-season performance. By the end of this homestand, and the first part of that roadtrip, we'll be almost there. And we'll have a much better idea if this is a team that can hang around peskily until September.

And it all starts tomorrow.


Post a Comment

<< Home