It was a different day on the calendar for the Cubs, but the results were the same – another close loss as the Cubs offense could not deliver any clutch hits. Randy Wells was the tough-luck loser this time around as the Cubs fell to the Marlins for a 2nd straight night, this time by just 1 run.
Let’s look at the numbers:
The Cubs have lost 7 of their last 8 games. In 1 of the losses, the Cubs scored just 1 run. In 5 of the losses, the Cubs managed to score 2 runs. And in the 7th loss, the Cubs broke out and scored a whopping 3 runs. What is going on with this team. Right now, the Cubs have 5 starters who are hitting above the .300 mark — Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Starlin Castro. But no one ever seems to come through with the clutch hit that breaks a game open. The last time that happened was in the Cubs 14-7 win over the Reds 5 days ago when the rookie Castro had 2 big hits – a 3-run HR and a 3-run triple – to spark the win. What makes it worse, the Cubs have been getting good pitching, but it seems like the starters and relievers have to be perfect or else the team will lose. In the 7 losses, 2 have come by 1 run and 3 have come by just 2 runs. That means a play here or a bounce that goes another way could result in a Cubs win instead of a Cubs loss.
But back to last night’s debacle. Although Randy Wells served up early home runs to Cody Ross and Gaby Sanchez that gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead by the end of the 3rd inning, he rallied to keep his club in the game. He ended up pitching 8 solid innings (save for the 2 home runs) and allowed just 1 walk and 1 hit from the 4th through the 8th innings. He racked up 8 K’s and actually lowered his WHIP to 1.33 and his ERA to 4.57.
But for the 2nd straight night, the Cubs racked up more hits than the Marlins but couldn’t push across more runs as the Cubs didn’t score until the 6th inning. Derrek Lee finally “broke out” with 2 doubles which drove in the Cubs first run in the 6th. Marlon Byrd didn’t get a hit, but he did drive in the Cubs 2nd run in the 8th inning to pull the Cubs within 1 run of the lead. Starlin Castro had 2 more hits in the loss and is still hitting .333.
Carlos Silva takes the bump today in the series finale hoping that he can do enough to help avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Marlins.
I’m at a loss right now. I feel like I’ve written this type of post a thousand times already this year. Couple that with the thousand times I wrote this similar post last year, and I’m starting to get a little sick of it. Some teams know how to win. Other teams don’t. Until this team gets some confidence to know that they can win close games, we’re going to have a lot of these frustrating 1 and 2 run losses this year as the Cardinals continue to expand their lead in the NL Central. Let’s just hope that Marlon Byrd and Castro keep up their good seasons so that we have something to cheer about…