I’ll tell you who he wasn’t. He certainly wasn’t the sinker ball pitcher who was guaranteed to have tons of success in Wrigley Field.
As nice as ground ball pitchers in Wrigley Field are, sometimes you have to get a strikeout or two. And often times you cannot walk guys. Mitre did far too little of the former and far too much of the latter to survive at Wrigley Field.
Mitre was drafted by the Cubs in the 2001 draft, and he made his Major League debut in 2003, in an emergency start in Atlanta. Remember that one? The Braves hitters were tripping all over themselves to get to the plate as Mitre served up 8 earned runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in less than 4 innings of work. Mitre also got the start for the hungover squad on the last day of the 2003 season after they had clinched the NL Central the day before.
Mitre entered the 2004 season in the Cubs’ starting rotation because one of the Cubs’ regular starters was hurt. I forget who was on the DL, but for some reason the phrases “enormous calves” and “enormous pussy” come to mind. Mitre had a chance to pitch himself into a permanent spot in the starting rotation, but he sort of got lit up.
More of the same happened in 2005, when Mitre was called up to replace another injured starter. I don’t have time to be bothered with who was injured at exactly what time, but suffice it to say- ah, f@#$ it. It was Mark Prior again. Mitre again got beat like a drum, although he did have two starts great enough to make idiots like me think that the kid might be worth keeping around.
After the 2005 season, Mitre committed a greater crime than continuing to pitch poorly for the Cubs. He was traded to the Florida Marlins for the absolutely horrendous Juan Pierre. Thanks, Sergio!
Low Point: May 21, 2004. It’s bad when the Cubs take it on the chin from the Cardinals. It’s worse when the Cubs do it in Wrigley Field. It’s unbearable when they do it on the strength of back-to-back home runs from the loathsome Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds. That’s exactly what Mitre allowed, though, in the 5th inning of this May game in 2004, an eventual 7-6 Cubs loss. Oh, the four runs on four hits, a walk, and two wild pitches in the 2nd inning helped sink the Cubs, as well.
Did You Know? Mitre’s first Major League complete game and shutout came against his eventual team, the Florida Marlins. Also, Verbal Kint was actually Keyser Soze.