Monday Morning News-Blitz

The Cubs split a weekend series with the Giants, thanks in large part to the rain on Sunday. I highly doubt the Cubs were going to beat Tim Linecum, but I guess stranger things have happened.

As always, lets look around the newspaper/online world to see what our favorite writers are staying about the Cubs. .......

The Sun-Times

Gordan Wittenmeyer tells us that the Cubs are heading in the right direction despite the 3-5 homestand. In this story we get this quote from Q:

"We're a game short of the two teams in our division,'' he said Sunday after the homestand finale against the San Francisco Giants was rained out. "We were in both [series] in the games we lost [except the 9-1 loss to the Cardinals]. If you win two out of three, it's a huge ­difference, but you have to take them. We still have a long way to go. But I absolutely feel we can compete with them.

"There were some missed opportunities to score runs. Then when you do make mistakes, it's more missed opportunity. If run production is going to be an issue, then you have to be stronger in other areas.''

Being able to compete and winning are two very different things. The Cubs are just an average team with little chance of actually winning this year. They will probably win between 74 and 81 games, because they do have some talent. His comment about being a game short is kind of like horses and handgernades. Almost only counts in those types of events, but in baseball almost just gets you a higher draft pick in June.

The Daily Herald

Bruce Miles took at look at the distrubing trend the Cubs offense is taking.

The Cubs rank third in the NL in on-base percentage, but they're dead last in walks and 11th run runs scored. They've also fallen to 13th in home runs.

They have four players in the bottom 13 in walk rate:
4th from worst: Barney (2.8 percent)
6th: Castro (3 percent)
7th: Byrd (3.1 percent)
13th: Soriano (3.6 percent)

As far as the BABIPs go, Barney is at .358; Castro is at .361 and Byrd is at .373. The speed of the two kids should help their BABIPs from crashing.

I haven't looked at the numbers too closely in the past few weeks, but these are very distrubing. It would be one thing if the Cubs were winning a bunch, but when you are not walking and already losing, it only means there are worse days ahead. I also tend to believe that Barney will come crashing down any day now. I'm no athlete, but a 2.8 percent walk rate spells disaster for the rookie Cub.

There was a quick story about the Cubs in the tribune, but we all know that Casey Coleman's time is probably coming to a close.


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