So Many Base Runners….So Little Runs

Game Sixty-Seven – Cubs 3 Tigers 9

The Cubs had plenty of opportunities on Saturday to win the game, they had runners on base each of the first 6 innings; they had 11 hits and even walked 4 times…and all of that production led to just ONE runs in the first 8 innings. The last 2 runs of the game for the Cubs came in the 9th inning after the game had already been decided. They had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs in the 2nd and could only plate one run, two on in the 4th and the bases loaded in the 6th, both of those innings, the Cubs failed to score….on the day they were 3-8 with runners in scoring position.

Carlos Marmol had a rough 1st inning but settled down after allowing 3 runs in the 1st….the Tigers actually hit for the cycle again before the end of the 2nd inning. Marmol was not as sharp but he gave the Cubs six full innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, walked 2 and struck out 4. He kept his team in the ball game, showed very good composure and his performance should be rewarded with a stay in Chicago….not a demotion to the farm.

One day it’s the offense, the next day the starting pitching, the next day the bullpen….the Cubs have not figured out a way to play consistent baseball and at this point the guys have to start playing for pride and their job. The Cubs left 11 runners on base; Juan Pierre continues to leave runners on base at critical times in the game. The “experts” are saying Pierre will still get a huge contract at the end of this season and I do not understand why. Pierre has not looked good from day one in Spring Training, he could have stepped up and provided leadership in the absence of Derrek Lee, but instead Dusty has inserted him in the leadoff spot day after day (with the exception of a couple), Pierre has yet to perform and one of the team’s worst hitters is getting more at bats than any other. Pierre has scored just 33 runs in 67 games….he needs a day off!!

Todd Walker was the only position player not to get a hit on Saturday, Carlos Marmol was at the plate at two very crucial points of the game, both times he ended the inning and the double-play he into in the 2nd killed the Cubs very fragile confidence. How do you have 16 base runners and only 3 runs? When the Cubs were struggling to score, you could understand, they were only getting a couple of hits. But when you have 16 base runners there IS OR CANNOT BE ANY EXCUSES. The Cubs continue to swing at first pitches, they continue to play the same “brand” of baseball day in and day out that has led to a 26-41 record….15 games under .500. Someone has to take responsibility for the team playing like they are and have been; injuries cannot be used as an excuse. The Cubs are the only team that gets away with that excuse, year in and year out. Look at the Florida Marlins and the job that Joe Girardi has done with a “Minor League” team.

The Cubs have had a miserable home stand and they have to make changes as soon as possible, not for the playoffs….not for the World Series….but for pride, for the organization, for the City of Chicago and for the Cubs Faithful.

The Cubs look to salvage the last game of the home stand on Sunday….Mark Prior will make his first start of the season.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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