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  #1  
Old Apr 23rd 2009, 7:10 pm
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TheBenjamin TheBenjamin is offline
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My disgusted thoughts after a series loss vs Reds

Fort the first time this season, the Chicago Cubs failed to win a series in this young season, as the Cincinnati Reds came to town winning the final two of a three game series. There are many different things that can be taken from these past few games, and they will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Well, get ready, because I am going to throw them out at you, clearing my head and making my frustrations known. Who knows, perhaps you have the same frustrations that I do, or perhaps you have frustrations which I am not going to cover. If that is the case, feel free to add them on. Quite frankly, this series has raised a few red flags, and has left me upset with the ball club.

When looking back at this series, the first stat that jumps to mind is how bad our offense has looked. Outside of Tuesday’s game, where we scored seven runs, our offense was in a deep slumber. They went 18 innings without scoring a single run, I know there was a shut out in game two, but add on nine more innings to that. An 18 inning stretch without a run scored is unacceptable, especially if you are supposed to be the favorites to not only win the National League Central, but also the National League as a whole. The middle of our lineup, with the exception of Aramis Ramirez, is slumping bad. Derrek Lee is over to a very slow start, and Milton Bradley can’t buy a hit when he sees playing time. Geovany Soto is also falling off the high shelf that he was placed on by Cub fans, and the team. Mike Fontenot, after the hot start that he got off to, has seemingly hit a wall. His average has dropped to the low .200s which is about where Lee’s average is. Soto is under the Mendoza line and Bradley… lets just say if batting averages where money, he couldn’t afford a can of pop. Half of our batters are putting on an offensive showcase that would embarrass Little Leaguers. From here on out, you will not hear me say the over used phrase “Its early” because the whole that these guys are digging themselves into, is starting to get too hard to dig themselves out of.

The only batters who are carrying their weight, are Ramirez, Ryan Theriot, Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome. These four are driving the ball, getting hits and knocking in runs, but sadly they can not do it all by themselves. Baseball is a team game, and you can not win if you don’t have more then half of your hitters contributing on a consistent basis. The efforts of these guys is all going to go to waste if the rest of the team does not pick up their game.

The bullpen has looked half way decent these past few games, with a few exceptions obviously. Neal Cotts continues to suck, however he surprisingly made it through an inning without walking anyone in the series finale. However he did give up a leadoff homerun, which helped burry the team even further. Kevin Gregg continues to make Cub fans very nervous every time he takes the mound, because with him, you never fully know what to expect. Angel Guzman, while he has looked better as of late, is also a question mark to fans, as well as a target to be lumped in with a lot of the other pitchers in the pen. David Patton, better known to Cubs Manager Lou Piniella as “that rule 5 kid” doesn’t get used enough for anyone to make a decent judgment on, Aaron Heilman and Carlos Marmol are seemingly the only two pitchers that Cub fans are comfortable with in a tight game, but if they continue to be used as much as then have been, their arms will fall off. I noted in an earlier blog that Heilman and Marmol were the two most used and abused pitchers in all of baseball last year. Today (Thursday) the Cubs recalled reliever Jeff Samardzija to help out in the bullpen, and to make room, they designated Luis Vizcaino for assignment. This is still a move that puzzles me, as I think that the reliever they should have cut ties with is Cotts. You could easily do this by throwing Samardzija into the rotation and moving Sean Marshall back into the bullpen, then its bye bye Cotts. While no one will shed a tear that Vizcaino is gone, they wont shed one when Cotts is finally given his walking papers either.

Our starting pitching has pitched games that should have given us two wins, but the offense failed to show up to support them, and we lost the final two games of the series. Ted Lilly twirled a gem in game number two, going seven innings allowing only one unearned run, and Zambrano followed that up by pitching a decent game that should have been well within reach. The lack of offense is wasting some really nice pitching performances, and taking wins off the board. Our pitching has been strong enough in most of their starts that we should not have lost as many games as we did. They are keeping us in ballgames, but the offense is not helping one bit. I know that pitching and defense win championships, but if you can barely scratch out one run a game, you will not win anything unless you get shutouts every night. As good as our pitching staff can be, they can not deliver a shutout in every game.

I know that our offense is going to pick up eventually, we cant keep leaving runners on base like we have been. Eventually the hits will fall, the grounders will find a hole, and we will begin scoring in bunches. We have too many talented players on this club for things not to turn around for the better sooner rather then later. I am sorry for the negative post, but after two ugly losses, there is no way to sugarcoat things when they look this bad. Hopefully in the next series against the St. Louis Cardinals the Cubs give me something to be positive about in my next post. Hell, if push comes to shove, I will write up an article that I had planned on writing a few months down the line.
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 9:11 pm
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What's most disgusting? I just looked at the standings (yes, I know it's early), but still, we are now in 4th place...Behind the Cardinals, Reds, and THE FREAKING PIRATES!!!!!
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 9:33 pm
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OMG THE CUBS ARE ON PACE FOR A 91-71 RECORD


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 10:27 pm
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Another great post, Ben. The last two games have been disgusting and even sugarcoating it, wouldn't make it look good. I'm still trying to be patient, but some of the things we saw in this last series make me nervous. It is alarming seeing that we're 4th in the standings! Looking at that doesn't even seem real to me.
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 10:36 pm
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On pace to win 91 games........

Even if the Cubs do keep pace I'm not sure 91 games is going to secure even a wild card playoff spot.
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 10:47 pm
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It's just so darn frustrating!
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 10:52 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doba View Post
On pace to win 91 games........

Even if the Cubs do keep pace I'm not sure 91 games is going to secure even a wild card playoff spot.
Very true..... if we are on pace to win 91, just think what the Cardinal/Reds/and even Pirates fans saying? Most of them are playing way over their potential, and the Cubs are playing way under.... but with us playing so many divisional teams in April, it could be a long climb back to the top if they fall too far behind early. It's just frustrating.... this team is better than this....and it just feels like this team has carried over from October.
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Old Apr 24th 2009, 7:11 am
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The phillies were 7-7 and there was talk of firing this manager at this time last year

I'm sure they're glad they didn't freak out and do anything drastic.
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Old Apr 24th 2009, 9:46 am
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You knew the CUBS were going to go through a suck phase , may as well get it over with early in the season.
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Old Apr 24th 2009, 9:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bockstock View Post
OMG THE CUBS ARE ON PACE FOR A 91-71 RECORD


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doba View Post
On pace to win 91 games........

Even if the Cubs do keep pace I'm not sure 91 games is going to secure even a wild card playoff spot.
Cards are on pace to win 110

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARamfan View Post
Another great post, Ben. The last two games have been disgusting and even sugarcoating it, wouldn't make it look good. I'm still trying to be patient, but some of the things we saw in this last series make me nervous. It is alarming seeing that we're 4th in the standings! Looking at that doesn't even seem real to me.
thanks for the kind words
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