It’s really good to see the improvement in the Cubs pitching as a whole. Including the 7-0 win today against the Dodgers, the Cubs have allowed only six runs in their last five games. In fact, going back 19 games to May 10th, the Cubs have only allowed more than three runs in a game four times. If you hold a team to three or fewer runs, you should win.
Right after school yesterday, my friend Packer Pete and I headed straight up I-94 to Milwaukee to catch the Cubs vs. the Brewers. This is certainly a blossoming rivalry now that both teams are among the better teams in baseball. Since the Brewers moved to the NL in the 1990’s, these games were just another set of games on the schedule. After the Cubs near World Series appearance in 2003, tickets to Wrigley Field became harder and harder to get. So many Cub fans who could not get tickets to Wrigley, started buying up the tickets to Miller Park. This started the rivalry. The Brewers were not good at this time, but their fans began to resent the F.I.B.S. that started overrunning their stadium whenever the Cubs came to town. What’s a F.I.B.? Well, the “I” stands for Illinois. The “F” and the “B” stand for two words I can’t print here because kids may be reading this. Use your imagination. Thus, the Cubs/Brewers rivalry was based more on Wisconsinites’s disdain for people from Illinois taking over their city and stadium than it was on baseball. That has changed in the past three years. The Cubs and Brewers are now rivals in the standings and these games have taken on a real spirited atmosphere. I always saw the Cubs/Cardinals as a friendly rivalry. The Cardinal fans knew their team was superior to the Cubs and the Cub fans were just happy to be out at the game and maybe see their Cubbies embarrass the Cardinals a bit. After the game, everyone would go out together. Yeah, I don’t see that happening with the Cubs and Brewers. This rivalry is a lot more jaded.
I do have “Hells Bells” by AC/DC stuck in my head as the Brewers continue the Trevor Hoffman tradition of blasting this entire song when he comes into the game.
April has come to an end. Twenty-one games are in the books. Being a teacher, I’m used to grading my students’ performance. I’m going to take this opportunity to grade the Cubs players’ April performance.