Okay, gotta start with that impossible catch in yesterday''s game in the afternoon sun. High fly, too much sun, he turns his back, sticks out is glove and POOF! it lands. Pretty sure if I was a Nat fan, I'd have been disgusted with Marlon Byrd's luck. But I'm not and I wasn't even if it was.
But anyway... QUICK: who was the last Cubs starting center fielder you remember as being an everyday stud? A mainstay guy who roamed out there a couple years at least? Corey Patterson? Juan PIerre? Bob Dernier? Rick Monday? (Although we loved him, Reed Johnson doesn't count because he wasn't really every day.)
Center field for the Cubs, if you think about it, has pretty much been a position where somebody passing through Chicago plays for a season and never makes a real impression on our Cub consciousness. I even found an article on it here.
This year, we may be seeing a guy with a chance to change all that in Marlon, who was the biggest yet sort of a ho-hum pick up for the Cubs this last off-season (the bigger news of course was getting rid of that other guy who went to Seattle).
I don't believe he'll be this good all summer, but so far he's been an unexpected monster.
.333 with 15 RBIs, 9 doubles, 12 runs, 3 homers (he doubled his career best season hr total last year with 20, but we shouldn't expect that again this year). With Aramis Ramirez off to such a rotten, sputtering start, Marlon has looked pretty damn good in the middle of the line-up.
The other night Lou sat him so he could rotate in Tyler Colvin, and Colvin hit one out. Either Len or Bob said later that Marlon was on the top of the dugout steps - the first to congratulate him - and that Marlon had taken him under his wing.
Numbers aside, Marlon is like the Anti-Bradley when it comes to clubhouse stuff.
So... welcome to Chicago, Marlon Byrd, and may you just keep doing what you're doing.
In the not-so-good news yesterday, even with the amazing catch, the Cubs drop their second in a row to the Nats despite Ryan Dempster pitching like a God for 8 innings. That little streak the Cubs had was filled with hits. They need to figure out how to make that happen more.
This afternoon it'll be Ted Lilly with his second start since coming off the dl vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks and Ian Kennedy (0-1, 4.43).