The Chicago Cubs found another way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory tonite. Despite another poor outing from the Cubs so-called ace Carlos Zambrano (5 more walks--1 intentional), the Cubs offense rallied to take the lead 6-5 in the top of the seventh.
With 9 outs to go Lou Piniella had the game in the hands of his bullpen. With two outs in the seventh Scott Eyre looked to be cruising on the mound. He just missed getting a called strikeout on Scott Thorman. Next Matt Diaz hits a ball to Cesar Izturis who takes his jolly time getting the ball to first and Diaz beats the play. At that point the walls again fell in for the Cubs. Chris Woodward walks to load the bases and Kelly Johnson hits a two run single off of Eyre. I'm still not sure why Piniella left him in the game.
In the bottom of the eighth the Cubs had chances. The Cubs had first and third with nobody out. Jones grounds out to Chipper. With Ward pinch hitting Pete Moylan threw one to the backstop. I'm not sure what happened but Matt Murton didn't score. You know the rest. Ward walks and Theriot grounds into a twin killing (a great turn by the Braves combo of Renteria and Johnson).
The last week has been especially frustrating. After a monumental collapse last Friday, the Cubs were shutout by a poor starting pitcher Sunday, they lost yesterday in a 14 inning game where they didn't hit worth a damn and tonite. If they could have just taken two of these games they'd be at .500. Instead their record now stands at 5-9 dead last in the NL Central.
What Lou Piniella has to be realizing is he has taken over a team that is just not very good. Although we were repeatedly told the Cubs would be better at the fundamentals, not much has really changed. The Cubs outfield defense has been amateur and the base running blunders have been routine. While there is a long way to go, the early season signs are not good.