You have to hand it to the Cubs. When they collapse in these ballgames it's a team effort. It would be plain easy to point fingers at one part of the team or one player. The truth is every aspect has been poor. Another example of that came on Monday night when Prince Fielder hit two late game homeruns into the wind. The first homer tied the game off of Scott Eyre. The next one would be the game winner off of Rocky Cherry into the basket in the 12th. Welcome to the big leagues Rocky.
It would be easy to blame the bullpen for the loss. But the Cubs offense couldn't come up with the big hit all night. They never added onto their early 4-0 lead. They had chances all night to add to that lead. Yet they didn't score a single run after the third inning. Cub hitters left 11 runners on base. (After leaving 10 on base Sunday).
Next we can look at the misadventures of the Cubs "so-called ace". The self proclaimed 2007 Cy Young winner once again was eratic. He only pitched 5.1 innings for a team that had a depleted bullpen coming off of a 10 inning loss on Sunday (in a game where Wade Miller only went 4.2 innings). The issue with Z continues to be his control. He walked 3 and threw 103 pitches in his outing. Something's starting to tell me the Cubs were lucky not to extend this guy.
So what does it all mean? Yes it is early. But the Cubs had better put together some sort of a streak and they had better do it quickly. Otherwise when they finally awake from their slumber they are going to find themselves playing out the season. Here are the standings as of this morning:
Central W-L Pct GB
Milwaukee 12-7 .632 --
Houston 9-9 .500 2.5
Cincinnati 9-10 .474
St. Louis 8-10 .444
Pittsburgh 7-10 .412
CUBS 7-12 .368 5.0
Ned Yost and his young Milwaukee Brewers have already opened up a 2.5 game lead in the NL Central. The largest lead in the big leagues. Everyone said that this was a weak division. It looks that way early, it also looks like the young Brewers may be poised to take the next step people have been predicting the last few seasons. If they do that, they just might run away and hide in this division.
As for the Cubs. They are now 5 games under .500 and 5 games behind the front running Brewers. 1060west's very own gaius marius has told us what 5.0 games back means (I can't wait for the refresher course). In the meantime this team is gonna have to find their way to .500, if they want to get back in this thing.
I hope the manager quits managing this thing like it's legion ball. Playing the RF in LF, the 2B in RF, or the 2B at 3B, what about using every position player everyday. Find a lineup, get your guys into positions and let them play. If the manager is waiting for help from the general manager he should get on the phone with the ex-manager working these days in Bristol, CT. Lou, you're stuck with the team you have.
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