Monday, August 17, 2009

Cubs return to sour place

Hello there San Diego. Petco Park was not kind to the Cubs earlier this year as they got swept by the Padres. The sweep came during that 8 game losing streak that provided us Cub fans with so much fun. In all seriousness though, that losing streak and the lack of offense for those 8 games may be what crippled the Cubs season.

After the losing the streak the Cubs went on to fight the .500 mark for over 2 months, not getting to more than 3 over until July 24. How different now is the team that opens up the series tonight than the one on May 22?

First off this Cubs team is not coming off 4 straight losses, instead they have a modest 2-game winning streak. They are also standing at 5 over, where the May 22 version stood at 2 games. Obvious point: maybe coming in with better vibes will lead to better play.

At this point of the season it is pointless to label anything do-or-die; stringing together wins is crucial from here on out. A single win isn't going to vault the Cubs over the Cardinals (or more realistically the Rockies, Giants, Braves, Marlins...geez) but if they lose a few they'll be in a bigger hole than they already are.

A lot of simple-baseball logic tonight, but the Padres are presenting the Cubs with a great chance to do exactly what they need to do. Here are some numbers: 4.51, 30.86, 4.01, 8. The first three are the ERA's of the Padres starters these series, the last is the combined number of starts between the Cesar Carillo and Mat Latos (who are the 2nd and 3rd games of the series respectively).

With D-Lee and Milton swinging well lately and Aramis getting an extra day off with yesterday's rainout, you would have to figure the offense is ready to go. 2/3 (hopefully a sweep) should let the Cubs pick up a game or two with the Cardinals in LA.

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