Monday, August 10, 2009

Hit and no run; Cubs get 17 hits but find themselves on the wrong end of a blowout

Sunday: Rockies 11, Cubs 5

Have you ever seen a team get 17 hits and score only five runs?

Sunday's game was something of a microcosm of what's been wrong with the Cubs this year. They were unable to get the big hit (5-for-19 with runners in scoring position), struggled in the field (three errors, which they spread around among the catcher's position, the infield, and the outfield), and the bullpen couldn't get anyone out.

The problems, though, started with the starter, as Randy Wells had one of his worst outings of the year. In fact, the seven runs he allowed are the most he's ever allowed in the majors, and the four earned runs are tied for the most he's ever allowed. He just wasn't sharp, as he fell behind hitters all day and needed 100 pitches to get through 5.1 innings. His ERA rose to 3.01, and he came just 1.1 innings shy of qualifying for the ERA leaderboard. He will almost certainly qualify after his next start Friday against the Pirates.

The Cubs are entering a dangerous stretch. The Cardinals used a five-run 8th to sweep the Pirates, pushing the Cubs two games back in the Central, and they're also two games out in the Wild Card. After one more with the Rockies, the Cubs will battle the Phillies (though perhaps they're catching them at the right time--they were just swept by the Marlins) while the Cardinals come home to face the Reds and Padres, two of the four worst teams in the league.

The Cubs offense was locked in Sunday, except when it came to scoring runs. They had at least two hits in each of the first four innings, but tallied just two runs. Second base umpire Chris Guccione cost them one run with an absolutely awful call at second (after which Piniella was ejected for the second time this season), and Jake Fox should have had an RBI were it not for his gapper bouncing over the wall for a ground-rule double. The Cubs finished with a season-high 17 hits overall, but just couldn't figure out ways to plate enough of those baserunners. They stranded 13 in all.

The bottom of the order, which consisted of Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill, really had it going. Baker had a double and a triple against his former team, and Hill had three hits and an RBI.

A win tonight would give the Cubs a 5-5 road trip, which to me is perfectly acceptable. Tom Gorzelanny will try to follow up a very successful start against the Reds, going up against Jorge De La Rosa who has a 5.00 ERA and is coming off a very poor start against the Phillies.

By the way, if you're feeling down about the Cubs at all, just tell yourself, "At least we're not the Red Sox." Boston went into the Bronx down 2 1/2 games in the AL East, and proceeded to get swept in a four-game series. At one point, they went over 30 innings without scoring a run. They finally scored two in the 8th last night to take a 2-1 lead, and promptly allowed four runs in the bottom of the inning on their way to a loss. So the Red Sox suddenly find themselves 6 1/2 games out of first.

Kane it be true?

I sincerely hope the allegations about Patrick Kane aren't true. I don't care about hockey, but for any superstar athlete (or any person, for that matter) to beat up a cab driver over any amount of money, let alone 20 freakin' cents, is unconscionable. If it's true, this will be quite the scar on the face of the Blackhawks organization.

Major momentum

Tiger Woods won for the second straight week, conquering the Bridgestone Invitational for the seventh time. It was the 70th win of his career, bringing him within 12 of Sam Snead's all-time record. Tiger's surely glad to have some momentum heading into this week's PGA Championship, the year's final major.


  1. I'm getting ahead of the blog, but as I sit and watch yet another lackluster performance by the Cubs as they are being blown out by the Rockies, I would like to request you don't even give them the time of day on your blog tomorrow. Can you just give us a Humor Vault please? Really (really) need it!

  2. The score was the same .. nobody may have noticed.