Earlier today, I posted a piece at The Cub Reporter comparing the 1990 Cincinnati Reds' "Nasty Boys"—Randy Myers, Rob Dibble, and Norm Charlton—to the 2008 Cubs relief trio of Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol, and Bob Howry. (That Reds team, too, was managed by Lou Piniella.)
Doing the research reminded me how devastating Myers and Dibble were that season. It also underscored for me how much Wood, Marmol, and Howry are pitching. Through Sunday's game at Los Angeles, Wood and Marmol are on pace to throw in 84 games; Howry is on pace for 76.
If Wood and Marmol match the 84-game projections, they will tie the Cubs' all-time single season record, a mark currently held by Dick Tidrow (1983), Ted Abernathy (1965), and—did you see this one coming?—Bob Howry (2006).
If the 34-year-old Howry maintains his 76-game pace, his three-season career with the Cubs would include the 1st, 5th, and 7th-highest single-season appearance totals by a Cubs hurler.
I was glad to see the Cubs rally for four runs in the last of the eighth inning Tuesday night to turn a one-run game against the Braves into a five-run game. That meant both Marmol and Wood got a night off, though Wood was poised to enter the game in the middle of the ninth inning before Jon Lieber induced Jeff Francoeur to hit into a game-ending double play with two men on base.
All of this is somewhat beside the point, of course. As this site, flagged by The Hardball Times, makes crystal clear, we already know who is going to triumph in the 2008 World Series—I can't believe it's finally going to happen!—and who is going to crumble in defeat. (Tough luck, Ozzie!)