The Cubs have one more game left in a dreadful month of August – it’s about time. Let’s take a look back at what transpired. On August 1st, the Cubs were 7 games over .500 with a 54-47 record. The Cardinals were just 8 games over .500 with a 57-49 record. The Cubs only trailed the Cards by 1/2 game in the NL Central race!
The Cubs split the first 4 games of the month, but then fell into a downward spiral quickly and painfully. Heading into tonight’s game against the Astros in what will be the final game of August, the Cubs have an 11-16 record. The Cubs are just 2 games over .500 and at 65-63, they trail the Cardinals by 10 games in the NL Central race. While the Cubs were floundering away, the Cards were riding Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday on a 4-man wrecking crew, annhilating anything that stood in their path. The Cards finished the month with a 20-6 record, and are 22 games over .500 with a 77-55 record. During the month of August, the Cards never had a 2-game losing streak and lost twice in a week only once. They are just a 1/2 game behind the Dodgers for the best record in the NL. Talk about 2 teams heading in different directions.
Bad, bad, bad on the north side.
Carlos Zambrano suffered his 2nd straight loss since coming off the DL with a sore back. He looked awful early and often – laboring through 75 pitches in just 3 1/3 innings of work. Big Z gave up 3 ER (4 total) on 11 hits. The one positive – he didn’t walk anyone.
The Cubs bullpen actually pitched well, and kept the Cubs in the 4-a game from the 4th through the 9th innings. Tom Gorzelanny pitched 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief. Sean Marshall retired 6 of the 7 batters that he faced, giving up just a lone single. John Grabow pitched a perfect 8th inning and Angel Guzman did the same in the 9th inning. With the year all but hopeless – in terms of playoffs – it’s nice to see guys still putting forth a solid effort, trying to build some momentum for 2010. But that is certainly hard to do when you start a big 10-game home stand by losing 3 of 6 games to the 2 worst teams in the National League – the Nationals and Mets. Bad, bad, bad.
Oh yeah, the Cubs managed just 7 hits and 2 walks off of Nelson Figueroa (1.66 WHIP and 4.50 ERA after the game) and 2 Mets relievers. Bad, bad, bad…