Sunday, October 5th, 2008
11:58 am - Sweep!  
For the Cub fans out there, one of the finest baseball songs ever written, Steve Goodman's "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request":



The Dodgers polished off the Cubs last night, 3-1, sweeping the series. Because the media was so invested in the Cubs as a team with a hundred year-old destiny, most of the stories about the series are going to be about how the Cubs choked, but if the Cubs choked on anything it was the pitches the Dodgers pitching staff were shoving down their collective throat. Just a tremendous performance by the team as a whole and the pitchers in particular.

And it was not really as much of a surprise as some in the media are making it out to be. Yes, the Dodgers were mediocre (or worse) for much of the season. But this is a much different team than the one that limped along through May, June, and July. Much has been said about the trades that brought Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake to the team, but there were a lot of other differences, as well. For one, Andruw Jones was finally shown the bench after posting one of the ten worst performances by a batter in the history of baseball. Juan Pierre was likewise shunted aside in favor of Kemp and/or Ethier. The return of Rafael Furcal, on the DL with back surgery from the beginning of May until just last week, finally plugs the enormous sucking offensive hole at shortstop that opened up in his absence.

Meanwhile, the pitching has been the best in the National League, something the media seems to keep missing in all the caterwauling about the collapse of the Cubs. This excellence has been especially so since Brad Penny finally admitted that he'd been hiding shoulder problems all season so as not to hurt his chances at a contract extension. He was unceremoniously dumped onto the 60 day DL to make room for Furcal.

All this leaves the roster the strongest its been all season. The season was incredibly frustrating until about a month ago, But right now it's a fun time to be a Dodger fan.