Last Tuesday, the Cubs racked up 13 hits but scored just four runs. How is that possible? Because all 13 hits were singles. And when it comes to this brand of baseball injustice, this was not the Cubs' first offense. In fact, from last Saturday through the early part of Wednesday's game, the Cubs had a stretch of 25 straight hits without one extra base hit. Twenty-five straight singles! The Cubs have more singles than Match.com.
After a rain delay, they broke out the lumber in that Wednesday game against the Cardinals, but reverted to form on Thursday as all eight of their hits were singles.
The 2011 Cubs can hit ... as long as "hitting" is defined solely as hitting weak grounders through the left side of the infield and blooping singles in front of outfielders. If "hitting" also means roping one into the fucking gap every now and then, or getting a goddamn knock with a runner in scoring position once in a while, or hitting a home run with one or more teammates standing on base, then no, the Cubs cannot hit.
You've heard some of these before, but let's revisit a few of the Cubs' pathetic batting statistics to see if we can't replicate the feeling of getting kicked in the testicles by a gigantic kangaroo:
Only 27 percent of the Cubs' hits this season have gone for extra bases; the major league average is 32 percent. The Cubs have almost as many singles (279) as the National have hits (302), yet they've scored just one more run on the season.
So, yeah, the Cubs are atrociously horrendous when it comes to getting extra base hits. Somehow, Jim Hendry managed to put together a roster chock full of Juan Pierres, only without the speed or the tiny head. Some of the worst offenders:
Fukudome: 27 singles, 4 XBH (extra-base hits)
Pena: 17 singles, 6 XBH
Castro: 42 singles, 12 XBH
Ramirez: 30 singles, 9 XBH
Is this what it's come to, then? A bunch of overpaid singles hitters clogging up the bases until someone ends the misery with a double play ball? Are the Cubs even aware that you're allowed to run past first base when you get a hit? Should we drop them a polite note on the topic? Or perhaps submit this critical information to Carrie Muskat's mailbag? Is there a limit to the number of rhetorical questions you can have in one paragraph?
The Cubs have quite the strange problem on their hands. It's not that they need to start hitting, it's that they need to start hitting it farther, or harder, or at more productive times. Otherwise, they'll continue to hit and hit and hit ... and not score shit.