I have heard a lot of people wondering what Cubs fans are complaining about. They say that it is only the first week of the season, not to worry, get off the ledge, blah, blah, blah. So for all the people that don’t understand why Cubs fans complain even though the first week isn’t over yet, let me explain.
It’s not the fact that we lose games, it’s how we lose them. Take today’s game for example. The Cubs lost 4-3. No big deal right? Except when you look a bit closer. The Cubs outhit the Astros 9-5. What does that mean? No clutch hitting, especially when your big money players can’t hit the ball. D-Lee is hitting .222, the same with Theriot. Aramis Ramirez is hitting .154. Alfonso “Mr. Leadoff” is batting a robust .059. Not only that, but the Cubs did not draw a single walk today. In one of the biggest understatements of the year, Lou Pinella said
“We’re not the most patient-hitting team in the world , let’s be honest. You have to pitch well and not make any mistakes if you only score two runs. We have to start scoring more runs.”
And that’s another thing that drives Cubs fans nuts. Who was this stud that baffeled the Cubs and their 118 million dollar roster. A scrub named Chris Sampson who retired 13 of the first 14 batters and did not allow a runner past first until the sixth inning. He threw just 71 pitches and allowed six hits, struck out one and did not walk a batter in 6 2/3 innings. This is the same guy who had a 9.17 ERA in spring training.
Meanwhile, Rich Hill did decent, but is still giving up walks. In six innings work, Hill gave up only four hits, which is good, but he walked three batters and hit another. That’s four extra bases that were given up. Hill struck out the first two batters in the fourth before walking Mark Loretta. He then gave up a home run to J.R. Towels to put the Cubs behind 2-0. I can understand giving up home runs to Carlos Lee or Lance Berkman, but Towels?? Now the Cubs did comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Ramirez and Fukudome hit back to back singles, and moved to second and third on a ground out by DeRosa. Geovany Soto was able to hit a two out single to drive them in, tying the game.
Then, comes the hearbreak. In the top of the eighth, with Jon Lieber on the mound, Lance Berkman hits a ball straight to DeRosa, who kicks it.
I just botched it, period,” DeRosa said. “I overcharged a baseball I probably shouldn’t have. I probably should’ve stayed back and realized who was running. Dealing with a new infield — no excuses, though. That’s a normal hop and a play I should make nine times out of 10.”
Then, after getting Cubs killer Carlos Lee to pop out, Miguel Tejada hits a ball of the wall on the third base side that Alfonso Soriano terribly misplayed, allowing Berkman to score and Tejada to move to third. He would later score on a sac fly.
“It took a very quick bounce,” Soriano said. “I didn’t think it would bounce that way. Now, I’m ready for the next one,”
Oh goody. DeRosa hits a homer in the ninth, but go figure, a solo home run. Cubs lose 4-3 and fall to 1-3 on the year. Now, instead of beating a mediocre pitcher in Sampson, they have to face Houston stud Roy Oswalt. That ought to really help those quiet bats.
Lately, it seems like Lou is getting mrore angry with the media. He seems to be upset that reporters are questioning his choices for the lineup.
Now look Lou, didn’t you manage the Yankees. And you get irritated when some reporters ask you questions about the lineup? Let me give you a clue Lou. It’s because it’s obvious to anyone with half a baseball IQ that this lineup has some better options. We know Soriano hits best in leadoff, but Theriot hitting behind him? Come on. Here is a line up that I created that would work much better, and still spread the left handed bats out.
How’s that look? With Fukudome hitting the way he is, batting average of .500, on base percentage of .625, and slugging percentage of .917, you have to get him out of the fifth spot. Soto has been making solid contact, then move Pie up so he is not hitting in front of the pitcher. Makes sense to me, but what do I know. Good luck with Oswalt
|Hill, R, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
a-Doubled for Hill, R in the 6th. b-Batted for Lieber in the 8th. c-Grounded out for Cedeno in the 8th.