The Return of the King...
At least that's what it seemed like with all the hype, hoopla, and heightened expectations surrounding Mark Prior's season debut on the mound today. And he sure didn't disappoint - six strong innings as he pretty much dominated the Pirates' bats.
Unfortunately, Josh Fogg was doing a similar number on the Cubs' bats, so the game was scoreless until the 8th when the Cubs plated a run. The lead didn't last long as another bullpen implosion occured in the top of the 9th, and the Pirates scored two to win it.
No homers, just lots of disappointed fans, and a growing number of disgruntled fans doing a lot of grumbling as they walked down Waveland. Folks seem to be writing off the season already as "June swoon" seems to be on everyone's lips. Man, if I didn't know better, I'd say we were in Boston. :-)
Well, until the Reds, Astros and/or Cards put together a 10-12 game winning streak and get about a 8 game lead, I'm not too worried. As banged up as they've been, the Cubs are still hanging in there with the rest of the division. And now, in the course of 3-5 weeks they are going to be adding to their lineup arguably three of the best players in the division, if not in baseball (Prior, Sosa, Wood). With more than a 100 games left in the season, there's plenty of time to take command of the Central Division.
Friday, June 4: BP-9 [W-4,S-5], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-316 [W-206,S-110], Roof-12 [A-10,C-2], Foul-1 [W-0,S-1], HR-26 [W-24,S-2]