Part II-What Went Wrong?

{Part II in a series that looks back at the 2007 playoffs}

Soriano_watches_1 I belive the proper question would be what didn’t go wrong?  The 2007 Cubs spent the whole season being consistent at one thing; being inconsistent.  In April, May, they could do no right.  No clutch hits, bullpen blowing saves, no power, stupid mistakes.  In June and July, it was the opposite. They looked like a team of destiny, roaring back from an 8 1/2 game deficit to catch up to the Milwaukee Brewers.  August and September were somewhere inbetween.  Unfortunately, the Cubs played like they did in April and May, instead of how they played in June and July.

Starting Pitching

Zambrano_104_1 The Cubs entered the series as the second best team as far as pitching was concerned.  The Dbacks were the fourth best team.  The Cubs had 4 starters with double digit wins-Zambrano had 18, Lilly had 15 Marquis had 12, and Hill had 11.  Before the series, you had to give the advantage to the Cubs.  Zambrano did his part as the ace of the staff.  Zambrano pitched game one, going six innings, giving up only four hits and one run, striking out eight and only walking one batter, but that wasn’t enought to help the Cubs win game 1 against Brandon Webb.  Many people thought that if the Dbacks would win one game, it would be the one that Webb started.  The big shock of the series was the Game 2 meltdown of Ted Lilly.  While Cubs fans spent the whole season wondering how Zambrano would do physically and mentally, Lilly was the rock of the staff the whole season. Unlike Zambrano, Lilly had a calm demeanor, and no matter how bad he started, he would always straighten out and put the Cubs in a postition to win.  That’s why Game 2 was so disturbing; because it was so Lilly_slams_hsi_glove unexpected.  Ted Lilly went only 3.1 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, four walks, with four strike outs.  He gave up the huge 3 run homer to Chris Young to give the Dbacks a 3-2 lead after Geovany Soto’s home run.  Lilly shook off Soto’s call for a curve ball, threw a fast ball, and Lilly slammed his glove in disgrace.  Lilly’s postseason ERA-16.20.  Finally came Rich Hill.  Hill had to stop the Arizona offense, but on the first pitch of the ballgame, he gave Chris Young another fastball that went into left field and drained the crowd of any energy it had.  Hill only lasted three innings, giving up three runs, on six hits, two walks, three strike outs, one home run, and an ERA of 9.00


Before the series, the Dbacks probably had the edge over the Cubs.  In game 1, Lou had it set up just like he had all season; Pitcher goes six innings, then Marmol-Howry-Dempser.  Only problem was Marmol_dugout_104_1 that Mamrol immediately gave up a lead off home run to Mark Reynolds, giving the Dbacks a 2-1 lead.  He walked the next batter, Chris Snyder, then gave up a double to Augie Ojeda, putting runners at second and third.  Conor Jackson hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Snyder, and the Dbacks bullpen of Brandon Lyons and Jose Valverde did not give up a hit.  In Game 2, Ted Lilly was pulled with one out in the fourth and a runner on third, but Kevin Hart came in and got Eric Byrnes and Conor Jackson to strike out  But in the fifth, Hart walked two batters, threw a wild pitch, and was pulled from the game.  Augie Ojeda then singled off reliever Scott Eyre, scoring two more runs that were charged to Hart.  Michael Wuertz came in and the Dbacks scored one more on a squeeze play before Wuertz got out of the inning.  Wood also came in and gave up one hit and Ryan Dempster didn’t give up any.  The Cubs got two runs off the Dbacks bullpen in the fifth, after starter Doug Davis got pulled after getting the first two outs, and then walking the next two batters.  Juan Cruz relieved him and Daryl Ward hit a two run double.  The runs were charged to Davis, but the Cubs actually hit it off a reliever.  Unfortunately, Tony Pena, Lyons, and Valverde, only gave up two more hits and zero runs.  In Game 3, after Hill only lasted 3, Wuertz worked ann inning of scoreless baseball, Kerry_wood_hr Marmol worked 2 but gave up another home run, Howry worked a scoreless inning, and Kerry Wood gave up a home run also.  Pena, Lyon, and Valverde gave up two hits and no runs.  So the Cubs only scored 2 runs in three games off Arizona’s bullpen, both off the bat of Daryl Ward in game 2. 


This was obviously the area that hurt the Cubs the most.  If anyone told you the Dbacks were going to outhit the Cubs, you would laugh.  The Cubs finished seventh in the league in hitting, while the Dbacks finished last in the league in hitting.  Not only that, but the Cubs were coming off a September when they were hitting home runs at a record pace, led by Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez.  Not so in Lee_stirkes_out_104_1 the playoffs.  In game 1, the Cubs had 4 hits in 32 at bats, 4 walks, and 10 strike outs.  The only player to have an extra base hit was the pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, who hit a double.  Theriot drove in the  Cubs lone RBI, and the team left 9 on base.  Soriano went 0-5, Lee went 1-4 (single), and Ramirez went 0-4.  The Dbacks had 6 hits and 3 runs in 28 at bats, with 2 walks and 12 strikeouts.  Augie Ojeda hit a home run and Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds had home runs.  Game 2 was even worse.  The Cubs had four runs on eight hits in 35 at bats, with 5 walks and 13 strike outs.  All four runs and the only two extra base hits came from two bench players, Geovany Soto’s two run homer and Ward’s two run double.  The Cubs left a Ramriez_stupid_1 ******** 18 men left on base, six by Aramis Ramirez.  Soriano went 2-5 (both singles), Lee went 1-4 (single), and Ramierz went 0-5.  Both Ramirez and Soriano struck out three times.  The Dbacks on the the other hand scored 8 runs on 9 hits in 30 at bats, with six walks and 10 strike outs.  Eric Byrnes and Stephen Drew both hit triples and Chris Young hit a 3 run homer.  The Dbacks left 6 men on base.  Game 3 was obviously the end.  The Cubs had only 1 run on 7 hits in 31 at bats, with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts.  The Cubs only had one extra base hit, Jacque Jones, the Cubs left 9 men on base, and Theriot, Ramierz, Lee, and DeRosa all grounded into double plays, DeRosa’s was with the bases loaded and one out.  Jason Kendall had the only RBI for the Cubs.  The Dbacks had 5 runs on 10 hits in 36 at bats, walking 5 times and 13 strikeouts.  Drew and Jackson had doubles, and Young, Byrnes, and Drew all hit home runs.  Soriano went 0-4, Lee went 2-4 (both singles), and Ramirez went 0-3.


The Cubs hitters, especially the big three, Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez, disappeared at the worst possible time.  In three games, the Cubs scored 6 runs on 19 hits.  They had three doubles and one home run. Jones was the only everyday starter to have an extra base hit, a double in game 3, while Zambrano and Ward had the other two doubles, while Soto had the teams only home run. Only two everyday players, Theriot and Kendall, had RBI’s, and both RBI’s never left the infield.  The Cubs slugging percentage was an Soriano_dugoout embarassing .255 and their team batting average was .194.  The blame lies entirely with Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez.  Between the three of them, they went 6 for 38, with no extra base hits, no home runs, and no RBI’s.  Just six singles in 38 at bats.  Augie Ojeda had more RBI’s then the three of them combined. 

That’s all you need to know.


One comment


    It’s sad to see the team you dream about seeing in the World Series getting swept by a bunch of kids… What happen out there guys??? Alot of us Cub Fans felt that we were let down… But it’s all good. They put on a magnificent display during the whole season taking us to the playoffs and that is appreciated, but we would’ve wanted to have a longer stay in the series, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. As for Uncle Lou, now you know where we need fixing…. and please don’t toggle the batting lineup so much!!! This spring work on the one thing that hurt us the most… BATTING!!!!! LOTS OF BATTING PRACTICE FOR THESE GUYS!!!!! You guys are great, but they were just victims of cold feet… next time don’t give up so easy… and for last, Zambrano needs to get his **** together for next season and prove that he is our number 1 ace and take the Cy Young Award home along with the rest of the bullpen. Ted Lilly, maybe if you smile now and then things can work even better for you. You had a great season but at the end you just ran out of gas…. and do us Cub fans all a favor……..GET RID OF RYAN DEMPSTER AND MARK PRIOR!!!!!! WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY!!!!!! BRING HOME A-ROD TO HIS MENTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And for the record, to me, Mark Cuban or Jerry Colangelo will be the best prospects to own one of the best baseball team franchises…THE CHICAGO CUBS. GO CUBBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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