Although the Cubs avoided the sweep with Sunday night’s 1-0 win over the White Sox, the team dropped their 5th straight series over the weekend. The Cubs have now lost 2 of 3 games in each of their last 5 series and are heading in the wrong direction. The Cubs are now 28-35 (just 15-15 at home) and they trail the Reds by 7.5 games and the Cards by 6 games in the NL Central race.
Sunday night’s game pretty much summed up the Cubs entire season thus far – mostly good starting pitching; awful hitting; and awful bullpen work.
Ted Lilly pitched 8 no-hit innings, giving up just 1 walk along the way. You would think it would be a fun affair for the Cubs players and fans, but it was so tense because the Cubs themselves were being no-hit by Gavin Floyd of the White Sox through6 innings. The Cubs eventually got their first hit with 2 outs in the 7th inning – a double by Alfonso Soriano – and Chad Tracy followed that up with an RBI single on the very next pitch to put the Cubs ahead 1-0. But at the end of the day, the Cubs offense managed just 3 total hits in the ball game.
When Lilly served up pinch-hitter Juan Pierre’s single to center field to lead off the 9th inning, Manager Lou Pinella immediately turned to Closer Carlos Marmol to end the threat and preserve the 1-run lead. But that almost backfired in a hurry. Marmol quickly walked Andruw Jones and then balked Pierre and Jones over to 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Disaster again for the Cubs in the late innings. But Marmol buckled down – he struck out Alexei Ramirez and then intentionally walked Alex Rios to load the bases and set up a force play. Paul Konerko obliged by hitting a weak grounder that forced Pierre out at home. Marmol then got Carlos Quentin to pop out to shallow center field and the Cubs fans at Wrigley Field let out a collective sigh of relief.
Ted Lilly has gotta be the game’s most tough-luck pitcher this year. After his 8 scoreless innings last night, Lilly has now has a 2-5 record in 10 starts with a 1.00 WHIP and a 2.90 ERA – hello trade bait?!
But back to the Cubs offense. The Cubs hitters made the White Sox starters look like all-stars in all 3 games over the weekend. In Friday’s 10-5 loss, Jake Peavy had 4 wins and a 5.90 ERA coming into the game and he held the Cubs to just 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings. In Saturday’s 2-1 loss, Mark Buerhle had 3 wins and a 5.40 ERA coming into the game (no road wins) and he held the Cubs to just 0 runs on 8 hits through 6 2/3 innings. And on Sunday night, Floyd had 2 wins and a 6.18 ERA coming into the game and he held the Cubs to just 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings. Unbelievable.
Well enough of my ranting and raving. This team is not good and just to give you a little preview of what’s to come, get ready for my post about the Top 10 reasons why the Ricketts Family should “blow up” the “Hendry Monster Misfits” sooner rather than later…