Good starting pitchers
Need a bullpen and offense
To win baseball games
Jeff Samardzija made just one mistake on Wednesday. He
pitched for one of the worst offenses in baseball gave up a solo home run to Todd Frazier with 2 outs in the sixth inning. Despite cutting his finger trying to grab a hit in the first inning, the Cubs putative ace struck out 8 while walking only 3 through 6 innings. Talk about tough ... he played through the pain like a football player.
Who could have predicted that the Cubs starting rotation would be doing so well? They're the 3rd best in the National League (3.04 ERA). But that's where the good news ends. The bullpen is the 4th worst in baseball with more blown saves (6) than any other team. And Matt Garza has a "dead arm". And the team is "on pace" to lose 108 games. And the team batting average (.229) is 2nd worst in the National League (only the Marlins are worse).
And ... sigh ...
That terrible offense was on display yesterday, managing 5 hits, 0-for-6 RISP and 5 runners left on base. It wasn't until Julio Bourbon doubled (and was stranded) in the 4th that the Cubs had a base runner. And the only time the north siders threatened to score was when Dioner Navarro walked and Luis Valbuena reached base on an infield single to start the 8th. They advanced to scoring position on Cody Ransom's sac bunt, but, of course, were stranded after Alfonso Soriano struck out and David DeJesus was (at least according to Pat and Keith) robbed of a single to end the inning. By the time Anthony Rizzo singled with 2 out in the 9th it was too little, too late, and the Reds lone run was enough to hand the Cubs their 14th loss of the season.
The good news is that the Cubs' next two series are against the worst teams in the National League. The bad news is that if the Cubs can't take those series, they'll be the worst team in the National League.
And by the time the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup, the Cubs might be mathematically eliminated.
If you like haiku / Of if you just like the Cubs / Join my mailing list ... type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.