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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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 3 hours 10 sec ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 4 hours 28 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 9 hours 30 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 11 hours 24 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 13 hours 12 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 13 hours 47 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 14 hours 34 sec ago view