7 straight losses for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, including 4 in a row this week to the NL-West leading San Diego Padres. The Padres really made it look easy this week against the “Major League Team called the Cubs”. Not really sure what that means, but since the players that the Cubs trot out each day collectively play like a top notch high school team instead of a real major league team, I feel like we should put the “Cubs” name in quotes whenever we use it for the rest of this atrocious 2010 MLB schedule.
Carlos Zambrano still didn’t have the best control, but he did just enough in his 6 innings of work to give the Cubs a chance to win. He limited the Padres to just 1 run over his 6 innings – 4 hits, 1 walk and 6 K’s. The Cubs trailed 1-0 when his pitching day was done, but the Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the inning on RBI doubles from Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez. He could have gotten the win.
But then the wheels came off as Sean Marshall – the Cubs most consistent reliever all season long – ended up giving up 4 runs in the 7th inning as the Braves regained the lead for good at 5-2. The inning took a turn for the worse when Koyie Hill made an embarrassing play to cap-off the Braves’ 4-run inning. Will Venable’s 2-run single put the Braves up -2, but it was his heads-up base running that captured the moment. When the Cubs and Koyie Hill caught Chase Headley in a run down between 3rd base and home plate. Venable astutely ran over to 3rd base during the action. Hill made an attempt to tag Venable at 3rd base after he tagged out Headley, but he never actually called time out. Hill then went over to the mound to talk to reliever Justin Berg. Since no one officially called time out, Venable darted home to score the 4th run of the inning. His run really didn’t matter – whether the score was 4-2 or 5-2, the Cubs were still going to lose the game. But it just goes to show how out-of-touch this Cubs team is with the concept of “baseball”. I know that sounds weird, but there is something off with the players that GM Jim Hendry has assembled to play on the “Major League Team called the Cubs” (sorry, forgot use the ” ” a few times up there). It’s almost as if they regressed and forgot how to play the game. They continue to make mental mistakes, they continue to make physical fielding and running mistakes and they clearly lack the confidence to win ballgames on a consistent basis. I’m not sure how it is even possible to spend over $140 million and not put together a winning team, but Hendry seems to have pulled off the impossible with the ludicrous deals and trades that he has made over the last 3-4 seasons. And not only are they NOT a WINNING team, they somehow managed to form one of the WORST teams in all of baseball this season.
Were there any positives from the game? I guess. Blake DeWitt had 2 more hits, but also struck out twice. In fact, every Cubs starter struck out at least once during the game as the Padres racked up 12 K’s. You also like to see the Cubs hang tough until Byrd and Ramirez drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the 6th inning with the game on the line. Marcos Mateo and Andrew Cashner – both of whom I really criticized the other day for their ineffectiveness – each threw scoreless innings with 2 K’s apiece. But other than that, there wasn’t too much to like about the Cubs as usual.
This just in – looks like we can call it 5 losses in a row this week at Wrigley Field. After Ryan Dempster worked the Braves for just 2 runs over 8 great innings on a hot and humid day at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field today, closer Carlos Marmol quickly ruined that with an inning from hell. 3 walks to load the bases and then a bases-clearing triple to Rick Ankiel that changed a 3-2 Cubs lead to a 5-3 Cubs deficit. Beautiful…