The Pirates defeated the Cubs 10-8 on Monday night at Wrigley Field, handing the Cubs their 8th straight loss. The Cubs have not lost 8 games in a row since the 2002 MLB schedule.
The Cubs should have been jumping for joy that they scored 8 runs in Monday night’s game. To put that in perspective, in the Cubs previous 6 games – all losses – the Cubs scored a total of 5 runs while being shut out twice. Unfortunately, the Cubs pitching deserted the team on the cool Memorial Day night at the Friendly Confines. Starter Ryan Dempster lasted just 4 innings – 7 hits, 3 walks and 6 earned runs – even walking in back to back runs in the 3rd inning. Dempster let a 4-3 lead slip away in the 4th inning and then after the Cubs re-gained the lead in the bottom of the inning 7-6, the bullpen blew it the rest of the way. Neal Cotts took the loss – pitching only 1 inning but giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits. Aaron Heilman gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 7th inning. Even the 2 pitchers that didn’t give up any runs struggled – Jose Ascansio gave up 3 hits in his 1 inning of work, while David Patton gave up 2 hits and a walk in his 2 innings of work.
3 Cubs players had good hitting nights – Milton Bradley broke out of his funk with a 2 for 5 night. Bradley had a double and a home run and had 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Ryan Theriot was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. And Geovany Soto was 2 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI.
You’d like to think that once the Cubs get some consistent hitting, they should be able to start winning some games. But the starting pitching has been inconsistent and the bullpen has been downright awful. At this point, if the Cubs are to stay in it in the short-term, they are going to need a lot of luck and a lot of poor play from the Cards, Brewers and Reds. If not, we should see Volcano Lou erupt very very soon.
Sean Marshall faces off against Ian Snell Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have had recent success against Snell, so maybe this is the night that the Cubs break the atrocious losing streak.