How the Cubs could bring the NLDS back to Wrigley
Forget about a performance so egregiously terrible it might inspire Franklin Pierce Adams to rise from the grave and pen a poem with the refrain "The stinkers had never a chance." Look instead to Chavez Ravine and the hopeful prospect of Rich Harden and (I must admit) the surprisingly successful Ted Lilly primed to pitch the Cubs back to their not-so-sweet home for a dramatic Game 5. I'm not saying it's likely; I am saying it's do-able. Remember, if Harden wasn't so fragile, he'd be the staff ace. Look for him to pull a Sabathia tomorrow (although almost certainly for fewer innings).
That just leaves the hitters and fielders to get their jobs done. And if you watched those 97 regular-season wins, you know they can. Sweet Lou, having soured on Kosuke, is taking the critical first step toward setting the Cubs up for some actual post-season success by moving Mark DeRosa into the outfield and starting Mike Fontenot at second. That's something he should have done in Game 2, at the latest, but (perhaps) better late than never.
You know what else Lou should do? He should bench Soriano and give Reed Johnson a start to really shake things up. Soriano looks completely lost at the plate, and that stupid hop he makes before every catch is even more annoying in the playoffs.
Finally, if I were manager for the day, I'd give Henry Blanco a start behind the dish. He broke in with the Dodgers, he served a stint as Greg Maddux's "personal catcher" in Atlanta, he's a good fielder and he has playoff experience. He's also 8 for 23 at the plate in his last 10 games. Meanwhile, Soto's been playing really tight. There's a reason why managers tend to go with their experienced hands in the postseason. They tend to be able to focus on the game.
And if Lou were to make those two dramatic moves, he'd have Soriano and the probable NL Rookie of the Year off the bench.
Maybe I'm crazy, but why not go down swinging?