Monday, June 7, 2010

Week nine awards: Cubs, we need to talk

Dear Cubs,

This isn't really working for me right now. It hurts me more than you to say this, but I'm just not really enjoying our time together. I mean, 1-4 against the Pirates and Astros? Those are two of the four National League teams that are worse than you. That's right, there are only four teams worse than you. Your 25-31 record would put you last in the NL East and ahead of only the Diamondbacks in the NL West. Sure, you've wedged your way into third in the crappy NL Central, but you're 7.5 games out of first while being just 3.5 games ahead of last-place Houston.

But honestly, Cubs, it's your offense that really got me to thinking. You're on pace to score 677 runs, 30 fewer than last year. You're 13th in the league in runs scored, ahead of only the Giants, Astros and Pirates. And let me again remind you that you are 3-11 against the Astros and Pirates. Watching your offense through an entire game is like watching Britney Spears's career arc: it's painfully long and drawn out, and you know it's not going to end well.

Sorry, now I'm just being mean. What I'm trying to say is that our relationship isn't fun like it used to be. Do you know how it makes me feel to see Aramis Ramirez batting .169? Do you know what it's like to see that Geovany Soto has just one more RBI than he did on June 7 of last year? Can you possibly understand the pain that comes with knowing there's one bad Carlos on your team, and his last name isn't Silva?

But I digress. Look, you know that I'll always watch you. I've watched you ever since we first met, and I'll keep watching you no matter what. But you're driving me into the arms of TiVo, and you're starting to make me think that we need to make some serious changes. I'm talking about trading Lilly, Lee, and any other veterans that other teams will take off your hands. It's just that I think this version of you might be bad for me. In fact, I think you might just be a bad team, plain and simple.

There, I said it.

I'm sorry if that hurts, but it's how I feel. I needed to get some things off my chest, and I hope you understand where I'm coming from. Hopefully we can still make this work.

Ryno of the Week: Per usual, there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about on the offensive side. Nady is heating up as he went 5-for-7 with a homer and three RBI; Byrd was on fire in Houston and went 7-for-16 on the week; and Koyie Hill had two big hits in Houston and was 4-for-10 on the week with three RBI.

On the mound, both Jeff Stevens and Bob Howry threw 2.1 scoreless innings--neither pitcher has allowed an earned run as a Cub this season. And the Cubs' bullpen overall was a bright spot last week: they allowed just one earned run in five games. The award goes to the newest member of the 'pen, Andrew Cashner. He tossed three scoreless innings of relief in three appearances, and his considerable talent was readily evident in his smooth delivery and mid- to high-90s velocity.

Honorable mention: Ryan Dempster

Goat of the Week: I'm going to go with Randy Wells. He made two starts last week because he failed to get out of the first inning against the Cardinals on May 28. He did not go more than 5.1 innings in either start and had more first inning trouble on Sunday. Through 12 starts, Wells sports a 4.86 ERA. Through 12 starts last year, he had a 2.72 ERA. Would you like fries with your sophomore slump?

Dishonorable mentions: Ryan Theriot, Geovany Soto, Carlos Zambrano

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