Sunday, August 30, 2009

Now That is the Cubs I Know

Enough of the silly winning thing, the real 2009 Cubs are back. After two days of winning baseball games and looking like a good major league team, the Cubs scored one run against Nelson Figueroa. It was a sobering 4-1 loss that reminded all of us why the Cubs will not be participating in this year's playoffs.

The game started out promising enough when Big Z worked a quick 1-2-3 first and then Milton Bradley scored on a single from Aramis Ramirez. I thought that would be the start of a pretty easy Cubs win, little did I know that would be the only real threat the Cubs offense would give Figueroa the whole game. 

Meanwhile Big Z's first inning was just a mirage. He got hit around quite a bit in the third inning when the Mets took a 2-1 lead. They scored after getting two singles, a throwing error from Z, and then two more singles. Z's next and final inning would be the fourth where he gave up five straight singles that scored two runs before being removed from the game for Tom Gorzelanny

Give Gorzelanny and the rest of the Cubs bullpen credit because they came in and shut the Mets down. Gorzo worked 1 2/3 perfect innings before giving way to Sean Marshall who worked two innings of one-hit ball himself. John Grabow and Angel Guzman finished with an inning each both of which were perfect. Without question the bullpen gave the Cubs a great chance to win the game despite not getting a very good effort from their starter.

Big Z's struggles are a bit concerning, but I won't panic quite yet. Perhaps I need to write a post blasting Z (turned Derrek Lee's season around) or perhaps Z just needs to get back in the grind of pitching again. I'm giving it one more start before I start to get worried about Z.

I don't need to wait to panic about the offense. To be honest the Cubs lineup isn't any better than the Washington Nationals (it might be worse). Theriot needs to hit at the bottom of the lineup or needs to learn how to take walks again. We are basically back to having Soriano like at-bats in the leadoff spot. Theriot is striking out at a disturbing rate, something to watch for as the season goes on.

What happens at the bottom of the lineup is something I hope to not see next season. Mike Fontenot is a complete disaster (though his BABIP isn't the greatest) and Geovany Soto (also very unlucky) remains an overweight shell of the 2008 ROY. Soto is obviously still the future at catcher, but man is he bad this season. When Koyie Hill is a bigger threat at the plate you have issues. 

This team remains exactly what it was two days ago. Flawed, bad, and incapable of going on the winning streak needed to really get back into the wild card race. 


  1. The worst part? Where can we improve? We are locked in at almost every position on the field. We could go out and get a 2B or maybe a SS... but will that make the difference? Do we try to trade Lee or A-Ram? No... so, I have no idea how we can improve this team.

  2. Honestly I think it's hard to make outside moves to improve the team. As sad as it is, I think we have to go into next season with the same basic team and see what happens.

    If they play like crap then the fire sale can begin in July 2010. It's a very upsetting position from a fans standpoint, but we may have no other choice based on how the team is built.

  3. It is just frustrating when the only players that come off the books to the give team any type of financial flexibility are Lee and Ted in 2011. Being that those are two of the more dependable players on the team just adds to the frustration.