--I apologize 1060westers for sounding like a broken record.--
In the sixth inning of tonite's game the Cubs trailed 2 to 1. They had runners at first and third with only one out. Burnitz came up and swung at the first pitch and popped up to second. Ramirez (now batting .226) came up and swung at the first pitch and flew out to center. The Cub hitters had Brandon Backe as close to ropes as he would get all night. The 4th and 5th place hitters didn't take a single pitch.
When Ron Santo's talking about it you know it's bad. Cubs patience at the plate has finally reached rock bottom in the National League. The Cubs now rank dead last in Walks and pitches per at bat in the NL. I thought this was why the Cubs got rid of Sammy!
Looking at the lack of patience a little deeper, the trend is quite apparent. In 2002 the Cubs were sixth in the NL in walks. Following 2002 Dusty Baker came to town. Along with Dusty came Sarge Matthews and Gene Clines. In 2003 the Cubs finished 14th in walks. They did the same in 2004. Today they are last in the NL in walks.
Pitches per A/B shows much of the same. In 2002 the Cub hitters saw 3.72 pitches per at bat (7th in the NL). In 2003 Dusty came to town and the Cub hitters saw 3.68 pitches per at bat (10th in the NL). In 2004 Cub hitters saw 3.63 pitches per at bat (15th in the NL). This year the Cubs are seeing 3.53 pitches per at bat (dead last in the NL).
Dusty wants his hitters to be aggresive, but the current situation is just plain stupid. Teams with lesser talent like the A's have built division winners playing Money Ball. The talented 2004 Boston Red Sox won a World Series seeing pitches and taking walks. Jim Hendry and Dusty Baker have decided to ignore this style of play, as long as they do the Cubs will be destined to lose.