The Cubs lost their 5th straight to fall to 3-10 on the year. Jeff Samardzija lacked the fine command he's shown all spring. He walked 4 batters, gave up all 5 runs, and didn't make it out of the 4th inning as the Cubs lost their 5th straight 5-3. There isn't much to be optimistic about right now, unless you're looking forward to the 2013 draft.
But that's really the point, isn't it? Looking forward.
Still, as a fan, even though I didn't expect the Cubs to win in 2012, it's frustrating. If you're looking for a silver lining in this game, you could take solace in that the bullpen pitched 4.1 innings of one hit, one walk, scoreless baseball. The cruel irony here is that the Cubs starter, Jeff Samardzija, didn't hold up his end of the bargain. After great starting pitching from the top 3 and poor bullpen work, today the scenario was reversed.
Those are the things that make these kinds of seasons tough. Your team hits well, gets solid defense, gets good starting pitching..or good bullpen performances...but seemingly never at the same time.
The Cubs are a team in transition right now and perhaps they're still looking for an identity. Any illusion that Theo Epstein was going to wave a magic wand and instantly transform this team is gone.
The other side of this is that it's only been 13 games. The season is just two weeks old. It isn't time to panic. The Cubs don't need to throw everything out the window and start over.
Everyone benefits if the Cubs stay the course. The Cubs need to evaluate which of these players are going to stick in their current roles for the long haul and you cannot do this at this point in the season. They need to protect their assets - and that includes both veteran players and prospects. You need to know which assets to keep and which can bring you long term value via trade.
Benching Marlon Byrd or Geo Soto after 2 weeks of substandard play would be a mistake. How many extra wins will you get from Reed Johnson, or Joe Mather or Tony Campana, or Steve Clevenger? Realistically, over the course of the season, the answer is none -- and you'll probably lose some. Moreover, none of those players are projected to be starters, so why completely destroy the value of two players just to play future backups? It's a plan that is unlikely to help either in the short term or the long term.
Yes, I'm as frustrated as all of you are, but we all know what we signed up for. The majority of fans, at least on this site, were in favor of rebuilding.
Well, this is what it looks like...
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