Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Carbon copy: Cubs lose again

This team doesn't care any more.

Derrek Lee struck out three times, bringing his strike out total up to 82 on the year. Among Lee's three strikeouts, two have been of the looking variety and five of the thirteen strikeouts for the Cubs in tonight's game have been on a called third strike. To top it off: Lee, the once Gold Glove first baseman, has decided to stop playing defense too. It's not just the errors he's been making, but he's no longer able to get to balls hit in the hole and no longer able to scoop balls out of the dirt. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to even consider him as an "above average" fielder.

The Cubs had a chance to break the game open real early. With one already in, the Cubs failed to add on with the bases loaded and nobody out in the first inning. Another bases loaded opportunity in the third inning was wasted when Eric Patterson struck out on a pitch up and out of the strike zone. And -- just like yesterday -- the Cubs were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position; that makes it 0-for-20 for the series.

The Astros are a decent ballclub at home, yes. But, nonetheless, they are a team that was 15 games under .500 (coming into the series) and a team that we need to beat. Instead, having dropped the first two of the road trip and five of the last six, the Cubs will fall to just four games above .500 and appear to be content with having been in first place for a couple of nights. Unless the Rockies can rally against the Brewers, we will fall 2 games off the pace.

Fourteen-game winner Carlos Zambrano will try to salvage the series finale against the Houston, but if we can only muster up three runs in the first 19 innings of the series, getting Zambrano any run support against Oswalt would be next to impossible.

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