No Hitting Means No Margin for Error—Cubs Lose to Reds, 4-3 in 11

I didn't get to see all of Saturday night's loss, but the portion that I did catch was more than enough for me to get the gist:

The Cubs' woeful offense—over the last two nights, for example, the team is 0-for-17 with RISP—offers no cover for defensive mistakes and boneheaded baserunning.

If the starting pitching weren't so good, the Cubs wouldn't even be competitive.

Before the game, I wondered what problems Lou Piniella was creating by stationing a defensively challenged rookie in rightfield. Turned out that having a second baseman butchering the third baseman's job was problem enough on this night.

Randy Wells, who has been mostly brilliant but mostly without support from his bullpen or his team's bats, pitches Sunday against Bronson Arroyo as the Cubs try to escape Cincinnati with a series win.

Comments

Fact--This isn't a very good Cubs team at all. You hit the nail on the head--very good starting pitching is the only thing keeping this team from the basement. The defense stinks, the offense is truly horrid, and the team seems to be just going through the motions this year. Ugly.

Frankly, I don't know how things are going to improve with the current cast of characters. Explain to me where the offense is suddenly going to come from? This team has scored less than 4 runs a majority of its ballgames. That leaves absolutely no margin of error for the beleaguered starters.

Soto, Bradley, Ramirez, Soriano, The Fontenaught.

About two weeks ago you could've put Lee on that list too.

When are these guys going to come out of their slumps? I have to think Fontenot's struggles have been amplified by the team-wide lack of offense and the move to third.

About two weeks ago you could've put Lee on that list too.

Lee has been hitting since the beginning of May at this point. It has been many more than two weeks.

Peoria used a starter and a long reliever and a short man to hold Kane County to one run, and the offense pounded out 14 hits, including Flaherty's 6th HR and Vitters' (.352 .391 .613)10th double en route to an 8-1 win.

The cast of non-prospects in Daytona continued to illustrate their value and Ryan Searle was unable to get the bad guys to hit their ground balls at the fielders in a 10-2 ass kicking handed out by Charlotte.

The Curious Case of Darwin Barney continued as the Smokies' shortstop who was banished to the bottom of the order for a week, got moved up to the #3 spot in the order and went 1 for 3 with a BB and an RBI to maintain his .333 batting average as Tennessee beat Chattanooga. Gaub, described by one poster here as 1/3rd of 'nothing' threw 1.2 perfect innings with 3 K's in relief. He's now got 32 K's in 21.2 innings, though, 3 HR's over that time is not too good.

Atkins gave up no BB's against 7 K's in 7 innings (1 HR) in Iowa's 3-1 win over Round Rock. Matt Camp played 2nd and went 3-3 to raise his average up to .302. Another 3rd of nothing, Jeff Stevens, pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief, with 1 H, 1 BB and 2 K's. He's got a misleading 1.67 ERA, though he hasn't given up any HR's this year.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/16110...

''I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy,'' said Dempster, who has spent all season constantly commuting to hospitals, keeping vigil over 2-month-old Riley, consulting with surgeons, even giving blood for an operation -- then checking his sleepless reality at the door every fifth day to pitch for the Cubs.

terrible thing to have go through...

So, how about some supporter for Dempster?! His performance this year is nothing short of remarkable considering...

indeed...

Thanks for this link, Rob. It's easy to forget these dudes are human and have more to deal with than just showin' up to play ball.

Good luck to you, Dempster fam.

GO CUBS!

sori, riot, fuky, lee, font (3b), rejo, hill, blanco (2b), wells.

Felix Pie took such an awkard swing at the plate yesterday that the ball nearly took out his adam's apple...

VIDEO

ouch...

good news for Pie is that he has a not completey terrible 2.67 K:BB ratio...bad news is that he's striking nearly 25% of the time this year.

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 12 hours 22 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 13 hours 5 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 13 hours 16 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 13 hours 23 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 13 hours 26 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 13 hours 37 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 13 hours 43 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 16 hours 50 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 19 hours 23 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 19 hours 56 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 19 hours 57 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 21 hours 54 min ago view