The Cubs struggles continued in the Big Apple as the Cubs dropped the opener of a 4-game set at Citi Field in New York 6-1. Randy Wells pitched another solid game – 6 innings of 1-run ball scattering 6 hits and 2 walks during his outing. He also had 5 strike outs and lowered his ERA to 2.45. But with the game tied at 1 in the 7th inning, the bullpen had another atrocious showing as the Mets opened up the game with a 5-run 7th. James Russell hit Jose Reyes and then gave up Angel Pagan’s game winning 2-run home run 1 batter later. Jeff Samardzija tried to keep the game close, but he faced 3 batters and didn’t even retire one of them. Sure Aramis Ramirez’ error kept the inning alive, but these guys have to do better. Then Sean Marshall came in and allowed 2 of Samardzija’s runs to score on a base hit and a wild pitch. Not good, not good at all…
The Cubs offense wasn’t much better. The Cubs had 9 hits, 5 walks and 1 hit batsman, but still only scored 1 lousy run. How bad is that? Ramirez’s batting average is down to an awful .157?! They don’t even have one regular starter hitting above .300 anymore. Ouch. It is last year all over again. No clutch hitting and no patient hitting.
Manager Lou Pinella is reaching his limits and tinkering with his lineup just about every day. He had this to say about his team’s performance: “The last three ballgames have been the same story. We don’t score many, and we have to go to our bullpen, and we don’t get it done… We’d like to see a nice double in the gap or something. They’re trying. Nobody’s trying to make outs. You have to score runs. When you don’t, you have to hold the opposition.” Despite the negative attitude right now, I’ve never seen Pinella panic this much. He’s already dropped Ryan Theriot from the lead-off spot after just 2 weeks into the season — he went with Marlon Byrd there last night against lefty Niese. Tonight, he’s tinkered with his lineup again, entirely removing Theriot from the lineup and putting Mike Fontenot at shortstop against the righty Mike Pelfrey. The lineup looks like this — Kosuke Fukudome, Jeff Baker, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramrez, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill and Carlos Zambrano. Crazy – and why even keep Soriano in there? Not only is he a defensive liability, he doesn’t even hussle anymore. Why not throw the lefty Tyler Colvin in there?
Guess we’ll see how it all plays out. But if Zambrano has another bad outing and the Cubs fail to swing the bat in a productive way, look for Lou to lose it really really soon.