I’m not going to rant for long because I’m coming down with something but I will give the Cubs a break tonight, but this is it, no more after tonight.
The Cubs haven’t played a serious game in a couple of weeks now and it showed. They’ve been on auto-pilot to the division win ever since sticking it to the Brew crew and putting them out of serious contention for good several weeks ago. They looked like a team that lacked focus and discipline and quite honestly, they looked bad.
Dempster didn’t have his stuff and I loved the color work by Tony Gwynn especially, he was right on all night and especially right on about Dempster. Dempster was over-throwing, there was no doubt about it. When you miss that often that high in the strike zone, almost totally unable to throw an up and in fastball, you’re over-throwing. It wasn’t Dempster’s night and the Dodgers made him pay eventually.
The Cubs also squandered many opportunities by ditching what they had been good at all year — being patient at the plate and picking their spots to hit. They had the chances and they ruined them with double play grounders all night long.
There are three keys to this series and if the Cubs are going to go anywhere: Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. We need at least two out of the three to hit or at least one of them to catch fire. Tonight they were terrible. This team is not going to win without Soriano, Lee or Ramirez producing, period, end of story. All three of these guys are getting paid the mega-bucks to produce and they had best do so. That starts by being patient at the plate and not swinging at garbage (Soriano), putting the ball in play or go the other way with it (Lee) and resist the temptation to swing from the heels and try to park it on Waveland with every swing (Ramirez).
That’s all for me tonight I could go on and on, I’m disgusted. I’m hopeful that Zambrano sees this as his chance to put this team on his back and be the stopper before they head out to LA. I have no doubt they can win this series if they don’t play like the schmucks I saw tonight. But this looked an awful lot like last year on many counts tonight.
Oh, one more thing, that ball Manny hit from his shoelaces was just SICK. Yes, I hate that he hit it (didn’t really matter though, the slam slammed the Cubs for the night) but to see him do that with a pitch like that was just insane. What an incredible hitter.