First of all, happy birthday to my mom. She turns 29 again today, which is strange.
Those were the scores of the Cubs' first three losses this week. This hasn't been a huge problem all season--the Cubs were 9-10 in one-run games before the week began. But this week, they let a few winnable games slip into the loss column mostly due to a lack of offense, putting up 22 runs in six games.
With these close scores in mind, you'd like to say the Cubs are playing "better baseball," but a 2-4 record against the White Sox and lowly Royals certainly doesn't make you feel any better, and the fact that the Cubs are now a season-worst 15 games under .500 would suggest that they're actually getting, well, worse. The Cubs have not won a road series since mid-May.
Ryno of the Week: You won't hear me say this very often, but Carlos Zambrano was very ace-like (acey?) this week. After allowing three runs in the first inning in his start against the White Sox, he suddenly shifted into shutdown mode, putting up zero after zero all the way through the eighth. I describe this performance as ace-like because when you're facing someone like Roy Halladay, you might have an early inning where the breaks go your way and you get a couple runs. You start to think, "Holy cow! We're actually going to knock around Roy Halladay? Could we hang five or six runs on him?" But no. He'll recover and start mowing guys down and all of a sudden you'll look up and it'll be the eighth inning and--shit, still just those two runs.
Similarly, Z had just one bad inning in Kansas City on Saturday and six scoreless ones. Strangely, Zambrano's ERA is much higher on the road but five of his six wins have come away from Wrigley.
Honorable mention: The ridiculous Starlin Castro, who had 10 more hits, his second home run of the year and five RBI. He's .007 behind Jose Reyes for the league's best batting average.
Goat of the Week: Six innings. That's as deep as Randy Wells has gone into a game this year, doing it for the fourth time yesterday. He's done nothing but sort of muddle along all season. Yesterday he struggled through the first, settled down from thereon but still gave up six runs overall. His ERA is now over six and he has just one win on the season.
Dishonorable mention: Kosuke Fukudome, who went 4-for-20 on the week to drop his average to .282.