Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cubs Just Don't Have It

There are some losses that break your heart because of the shock, some break your heart because of the lack of effort, and then there is a loss like today when you see a team that just doesn't have it. The 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals not only meant the Cubs lost a home series to the worst team in baseball, but it serves as the final nail in the coffin for even the most optimistic Cub fan.

Randy Wells day was a disaster from the beginning, one could even call it a Dumpster-like start. He gave up a walk, double, homer, walk to start the game before ending the first down 3-0. He have up two more runs on the day- one the Adam Dunn homer we have all been waiting for, the other a Cristian Guzman ground out in the second inning. Wells mowed down the Nationals after that, but the damage had already been done. 

Watching him pitch today confirmed in my mind that he should have his season innings capped off pretty soon. He has a solid arm that is going to be needed next season and exposing him to too many innings is going to put him in serious injury range. Let him start maybe three or four more times, but spread them out giving him plenty of rest. Limit his pitch count in those games, and make sure he gets babied as much as possible. 

The offense was the upsetting thing yet again. Of course whenever I hear that a pitcher is a "strike-thrower" I know the Cubs are in for a long day anyway. The offense has a hard time hitting a pitcher if they can't work the count and take some walks. Ryan Theriot has been miserable in the leadoff spot recently, why Fukudome isn't hitting there makes no sense to me. Bradley is in a no-win situation at this point, and the bottom of the order is brutal. Why Mike Fontenot gets to start any game is the most questionable thing Lou has done.

Kudos to Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez today, they were the offense hitting a homer each and Ramirez drove in the fourth run with an eighth inning single. Those two are really solid 3-4 hitters, and with Fukudome-Bradley leading off the Cubs should have a potent top 4. The missing piece is really the fifth spot, Fukudome has had to bat there in Lou's mind, but the missing link is Geovany Soto. Soto playing up to his ability would be a great addition to this lineup, and would allow everybody to hit in their ideal spot.

The Mets come in town next, a series I can't fathom the Cubs not winning. There are going to be a lot of dark days ahead in September and a lot of days like today where the Cubs should win the game, but just don't. Given the expectations coming into the season it really is too bad. 

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