On vacation in south Florida this week. What Cubs fan couldn’t use a few days away? Needless to say, I’m keeping the Cubs chatter short and sweet the next couple of days. After all, my vacations come around about as often as a Cubs winning streak.
Always the addict, I couldn’t miss Derrek Lee’s first game as a Pirate. He didn’t disappoint–not me, not Pittsburgh, not Cubs fans.
Lee became the first Pirate to homer twice in his Pittsburgh debut since another former Cub, Shawon Dunston, did it against Cleveland on Sept. 2, 1997.
Lee made a grand entrance, the Cubs won, and I slipped into Margaritaville watching at the Pineapple Grill.
I think I’ll try for two in a row tomorrow night.
The Cubs played so poorly on Memorial Day they made Houston, owners of the worst record in the NL (20-34), look good.
But that’s been the calling card of late for the Cubs, and one that’s putting them on the path to soon join Houston at the basement of the National League.
1.) Quade’s Opening Day Lineup.
2.) Cubs Opening Day Notes.
3.) Scouting the Pirates.
1.) Here’s Mike Quade’s Opening Day lineup:
* Kosuke Fukudome – RF
* Starlin Castro – SS
* Marlon Byrd – CF
* Aramis Ramirez – 3B
* Carlos Pena – 1B
* Geovany Soto – C
* Alfonso Soriano – LF
* Darwin Barney – 2B
* Ryan Dempster – P
So this is how the Cubs respond to winning its most important game of the season on Sunday.
Another pathetic loss against Pittsburgh…a team riding a 17-game road losing streak…a team regarded by many as the worst club in all of baseball…a team the Cubs are 2-8 against this season.
But its not about the Pirates standing in the Cubs’ way of the postseason. It’s about the Cubs getting out of its own way, something they haven’t done all season.
Which means I’d be foolish to say the Cubs are still in this thing after the way they played Monday night. No drive, no passion, no urgency to win.
You simply can’t play the way the Cubs have against Pittsburgh, or anyone else for that matter, and call yourself a contender.
As quickly as I thought the Cubs may have saved its season Sunday, one day later it seems all but a formality…our Cubbies are pretenders, far closer to the bottom feeding Buccos than the division leading Reds.
The Cubs can’t beat Pittsburgh, and that’s flat-out embarrassing.
Chicago, with a payroll three times that of Pittsburgh’s, is 1-6 against the Pirates…who were losers of five-straight and 9 of 11, entering Monday’s game.
This month alone the Buccos are 5-17 against the rest on the NL, but somehow manage to knock-the-snot out of our Cubs.
Flip that 1-6 record for Chicago and they’re 30-22 overall and tied for first place in the Central.
As it is, however, the Cubs keep floundering below .500, losing to a team it should beat handedly and jeopardizing its chances at the division.
If the Cubs play no better than they did Monday during this nine-game road trip the season is all but over.
Gimmie a 6-3 trip and I’ll consider the Cubs in contention…at least until the end of June before they again face Pittsburgh!
Baseball historian and noted Rube Waddell expert, Dan O’Brien, emailed me this nugget about the Cubs purchase of Waddell…109 years ago to the date!
It’s good stuff. Enjoy!…
On this date 109 years ago (May 3, 1901), Chicago’s National League team purchased Rube Waddell from the Pirates. Contrary to a popular myth, the purchase price was not a box of cigars.
Three layers and winter gloves was no match for the bitter cold rain at Wrigley Thursday night.
Although, somehow I managed to be the last man standing on the rooftop at the Skybox on Sheffield.
For that achievement I won a covered seat on the lower deck after the second inning.
Nothing like having a clear view of Jeff Samardzija getting pounded by the Buccos!
I’ve said all year Samardzija isn’t big league ready.
I don’t care what the circumstances are; losing a twin-bill at home against the Pirates is flat out embarrassing.
The Bucco’s threw two starters with a combined record of 7-14 against Lilly and Zambrano and still outscored the Cubs 12-2.
I’m without words, have been for awhile now.
There’s a small chance this was Zambrano’s last start as a Cub.
Just how good have the Cubs been against Pittsburgh?
In the last 31 games between the two clubs Chicago has posted a 25-6 record, good for a sparkling .806 winning percentage.
And in 10 series dating back to September of 2007 the Cubs are 9-1 against the Buccos, which is now the club’s best 30-game mark against the Peg Legs in Chicago’s franchise history.
Shame on me for writing off Derrek Lee.
With D-Lee struggling at the plate in early April I favored Micah Hoffpauir as the everyday first baseman.
At the time it seemed we’d be stuck with another ho-hum season from Lee: 20 HR & 85 RBI.
Not bad numbers, of course, but numbers not suitable for a first baseman either, especially one on a championship caliber team.