Cubs 2 Braves 4
Larry “Chipper” Jones pretty much put an end to the Cubs hopes of the post-season tonight. Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood only made 2 mistakes tonight, both to Chipper. Jones went 2 for 4, with a pair of 2 run homers. Zambrano served up the first one in the 4th inning, after allowing a lead-off double by Furcal and Woody served up the second one in the 9th.
Zambrano showed why he has become the ace of the staff. He gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, through 8 and striking out 10. Z was just out pitched. Hudson threw a complete game and Derrek Lee’s 37th of the year was the only mistake he had. The Cubs had a chance with the bases loaded in the 4th, with no outs, to do some damage.
ARam grounded into a double play, to score the first run and Burnie grounded out to end the inning. This Cubs team has not learned how to play ‘small ball’ and until they do, these are the results that will continue to happen.
Woody just made a bad pitch, to a good hitter, a mistake. But when you are fighting to get to .500, a small mistake becomes a big one.
The Cubs front office and Dusty Baker will have to start looking at next year very soon. I know they think they still have a shot, but from where I am sitting..not really. This team has shown spots of brillance this year, like taking 5 out of 7 from the Cardinals and Astros, but then at other times they have looked like a Babe Ruth team just playing out the season. Dusty Baker and Jim Hendry have to change their philosophy of what they want this team to be.
The Braves are on the verge of their 14th straight division title and they are winning with young, homegrown talent. The Cubs farm system is full of this talent and I have mentioned names over the past several weeks. The days of trading for a veteran, in my eyes are over. Veterans are acquired usually by trade or free agency. With a trade you are giving up your future, see Mr. Willis who is now pitching for Florida, for players that usually do not stick around, i.e. rent-a-player. Or by free-agency. With free-agency you must ask yourself, why does their present club not want them anymore? Usually it is too much money for what the player has left in their tank. See the 2005 New York Yankees. Evaluate and motivate what you have, not what you wish you had.
Tuesday – Jerome Williams(3-6/5.13) vs. John Thompson(3-3/4.53)
It is a new day and yes, next year starts tomorrow. The Cubs need to show some pride and scratch and claw to get back to .500. The September call-ups are just around the corner and I hope Dusty will play these kids that are their future. Dusty said today they are still in the race, but that they first must get back to .500. They are now 5 games under and just 2 infront of the Reds. Bring on the Youth.
The Fat Lady is singing…show some pride and win one!