The Cubs are toast without Aramis Ramirez.
They can’t seem to score without him, and it’s costing them dearly in the standings.
Doesn’t matter that Ramirez won’t be fully healthy for the remainder of the season, the Cubs just need whatever he can give.
D-Lee could use the protection, Fukudome could use the leadoff spot and the starting pitching could use the support that was present with Aramis batting fifth.
Until Aramis’ return, however, we’re subject to watching the Cubs’ offense repeat its struggles from the season’s first half.
This aint May or June, mind you, so what you see is what you get…and I see the Cubs slipping worse than a rusty bicycle chain.
I’m lost on Marmol. Is it that he can’t throw strikes or won’t throw strikes? Either way, he’s far from his old self as the NL’s best set-up man.
Marmol is to the bullpen what Aramis means to the lineup. Without a sharp Carlos Marmol the Cubs are merely burnt toast.
I’d tell Gregg he’s at the end of the line with blown save opportunities, too. All closers hit rough patches, but you can’t give up home runs with the frequency Gregg has the past two weeks, especially this time of year.
There’s not a better option for closer on the roster, but there needs to be if Gregg can’t get straightened out. That means Hendry will have to look outside the organization (John Smoltz?).
Harden pitched arguably his best outing of the season needing just 87 pitches over seven innings. That’s huge because we can’t be sure what to expect when both Lilly and Zambrano return from injuries.
Although, if Harden, Dempster and Wells stay healthy it’s likely the starting pitching will keep the Cubs in the race through August, but without Aramis and the Marmol of old, you can butter this toast come September.