The Cubs are six games under .500 on the road.
Obviously, it’s not the pitching that’s put them at 13-19 away from Wrigley, but the lack of run scoring.
Entering Monday’s game, Chicago was batting 24 points lower on the road than at home.
Whatever the reasons are for not scoring, the Cubs won’t win the Central without an improved road record.
Credit Javier Vazquez all you want, but the right-hander wasn’t the reason the Cubs failed to plate a single run.
Nine hits against a starting pitcher means there was ample opportunity to score, the Cubs simply couldn’t finish what they started.
There’s already some finger pointing about Soriano and Bradley getting the day off, but that shouldn’t be an issue when there’s a Micah Hoffpauir and Jake Fox to replace them.
It wasn’t as if the Cubs needed six plus runs to win the game, Dempster allowed just a single run through his first six innings, and two total for the game.
Hoffpauir has no business playing the outfield. Yes, he’s making a strong effort, but he also looks like a beer league softball player in right field.
However, what other choice did Lou have with Reed Johnson nursing a stiff back and the feeble duo of Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley needing an off day?
Without question, asking Hoffpauir to play out of position puts extra pressure on him to perform at the plate. But that’s the life of a bench player; the good ones learn to adjust.
Knowing both Soriano and Bradley will need more time off; Hoffpauir will have his chance at redemption in right field.
Driving in runs is the only thing Hoffpauir can do to insure more playing time over a healthy Reed Johnson, whose natural position is the outfield.
Three games at Detroit is a scary proposition. The Tigers’ excellent starting pitching has them atop the AL Central standings and riding a four-game winning streak.
Without some clutch hitting, the Cubs’ road record is in serious danger.
- The Cubs (34-32) are in third place.
- W: Vazquez (5-6) L: Dempster (4-5) S: Soriano (6)
- Chicago is 21-30 all time at Turner Field (1997).
- Prior to Monday’s shutout, Chicago had scored 26 runs in its last four games.
- Derek Lee’s 19-game hitting streak sets a new career high.
- Milton Bradley’s 10-game hit streak ended after his pinch-hit strikeout in the ninth.
- Including Monday’s game, Dempster has posted 10 quality starts in 15 outings.
- He’s now (1-4) in eight road starts, and (0-4) overall when receiving three or fewer runs of support.