Monday, May 02, 2005


Looking back on the first month of the season, I am surprised the Cubs are even at .500. The injuries have been devastating, the bullpen awful and the starting staff has been below mediocre.

The Cubs have not played good ball. If DLee had started out with his normal awful April this team would probably be 9-15 or worse. The good news is Lee had a terrific offensive month and somehow the Cubs were able to escape the monthof April 12-12.

The Cubs enter May in second place 3-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. Many media members are already predicting that the Cardinals will run away and hide in the central. If that happens the Cubs are gonna really have their work cut out for them in the Wild Card chase. The Marlins and Braves are gonna win a bunch of games and the NL West is improved. I'd bet the Wild Card comes from the East.

If the Cubs can keep themselves afloat until Jim Hendry makes a deal or two that might be the best realistic Cub fans can wish for. I don't see this Cardinal team putting up the wins they did last year, but I always underestimate the Redbirds. As much as I hate to say it, The Genius does a pretty good job with the talent he has. It is possible St. Louis runs away with it, but I don't think they will.

If the Cubs can just stick between 2 and 5 games back until the break, I expect some small market teams will be ready to start dumping players. Hendry can make his deals and the Cubs can try to make a run similar to 2003. It won't be pretty, but the Cubs never are pretty.

As for May, the Cubs just need to stay afloat and not get buried. Dusty needs to figure out the right roles for his bullpen. The starters need to start eating up some innings so the bullpen is not dead by July 15. Baker also needs to figure out what the deal is with Hollandsworth and Barrett. The Cubs expected offensive help from these two and have gotten very little.

The Cubs goal for May is simple, stay within shouting distance of the Cardinals before help arrives in June and July.

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