A huge series against our biggest division rival and all we can muster is two stinkin’ runs? No one to my knowledge as figured out a way to win a baseball game without scoring a run, so it really doesn’t matter how good your pitching is. The Cubs wasted three very strong outings by Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster, and Sean Marshall. If you give up only eight runs over three games, you should expect to at least win one of them. A maddening thing I’ve noticed about the Cubs over the past five years or so is that they are prone to long streaks when absolutely no one is hitting. Sometimes one or two guys are slumping, but a couple of other guys will step up and pick up the slack. With the Cubs, the whole team slumps together. I did notice a few other things about the Cubs while watching this painful three game sweep at the hands of the Cardinals.
Randy Wells has had a pretty remarkable start to his career as a starter. In two starts this year, he has pitched 11 shutout innings. He actually has pitched 16 and a third shutout innings if you go back to his relief appearances last year.
e a series shortened sweep of the Astros. I’m thinking that Alfonso Soriano may be secretly hoping that Kevin Gregg gets to pitch the ninth inning again.
April has come to an end. Twenty-one games are in the books. Being a teacher, I’m used to grading my students’ performance. I’m going to take this opportunity to grade the Cubs players’ April performance.
Yesterday, the Cubs played one of their most lackluster games of the year. They could not solve Doug Davis, managing just two hits in a 10-0 loss to the Arizona D-Backs. The Cubs dropped the midweek series two games to one and ended their most recent road trip at two wins and four losses. Theriot and Miles were the only Cubs to record hits.
Derrek Lee returned to the Cubs lineup. Lee went 0-3 with a walk. He’s now hitting .200. Lou had him hitting cleanup.
Carlos Marmol also returned to action yesterday. Marmol came in during the five run seventh when Arizona put the game away. Marmol faced five hitters and walked four of them, one intentionally. The one batter he did retire sacrificed runners to second and third. Marmol looked rusty, not able to find the strikezone. Ron Santo, on WGN radio, said he expected Marmol to be rusty because of his layoff. We all hope he gets going again. He is the key to the Cubs bullpen this year.
Im worried about Geovany Soto. Not only is he not hitting, as evidenced by his .111 batting average, but his defense has been lacking. When was the last time Soto threw out a would be base stealer? Arizona swiped two more bases on Geo. Teams have thirteen stolen bases against Soto, while only being caught three times. He also had a passed ball yesterday as well. A sophomore slump? Is his shoulder still not right? Let’s hope he can get it going.
Aramis Ramirez was said to have gone for an MRI today on his left calf. If he should be sent to the DL, then the Cubs will call up 31 year old Bobby Scales from Iowa to replace him.
Next up for the Cubs, a big four game weekend series at Wrigley vs. the tough, 13-8 Florida Marlins. The Marlins are 8-4 on the road this year. Tonight, it will be Sean Marshall vs. Chris Volstad. The Cubs have several players who have hit Volstad well, including Mike Fontenot (.600), Reed Johnson (.667), and Derrek Lee (.400).