Cubs Obituary

Having cleared my head finally and accepted my terrible fate as a Chicago ball fan, here’s the way I see what happened to the Cubs:

First of all, don’t blame it on Pinella. Blame the players. This was a total team meltdown. Let’s count the ways:

Game 1: Dempster, a control pitcher all season (3.3 walks per 9 innings), walked 7 in 4+ innings, including all 3 base runners who scored on the pivotal grand slam in the 5th. How does steady Eddie just lose it all at once. Answer: he gagged.

Game 2: 4 infield errors, including two in the same pivotal inning where the Dodgers scored 5 runs with only 1 being earned. Another choke job.

Game 3: Fell behind early 2-0 when a Dodger was safe at 3rd after A.Ramirez missed an easy tag play and again later that inning when a runner was safe at home after Fukodome’s throw was way up the baseline when only a decent throw somewhere around the plate nails the runner easily. Two runs that shouldn’t have scored in a 3-1 game. You gotta make these plays … they’re not that difficult. Harden didn’t pitch very well either, but the series was lost in Chicago.

All 3 games: Do I even have to list the pathetic batting performances by the top of the order for the whole series? Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Soto, et al. They were squeezing the bat so hard it turned to sawdust. Most of them were trying to hit 6 run HR’s. That doesn’t work in the playoffs. Ask the White Sox.

This was not Lou’s fault. Again … give the Dodgers credit … and fault the Flubs for playing like crap in one huge gagfest. One has to wonder if the Cubs … regardless of who’s wearing the uniform … can ever not choke from the pressure in Wrigley field during the playoffs. Now 100+ years of hope, frustration, curses turn normally good players into wimps. Derek Lee: Cub killer for the Marlins in ’03 … rally killer as a Cub during last 2 playoffs. 😦

Oh … congrats to Red Sox Nation on advancing. What a terrific ballgame tonight. Fun to watch.

Wally

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4 Responses

  1. I’m glad I read this. I wanted to blame Pinella but you’re 100% right. Soriano is 3-27 the past two years in the playoffs. Has he been taking lessons from A-Rod? Are the players just thinking about the past 100 years too much? It has to be heavy on their minds, how else do we justify such a solid regular season with a complete playoff meltdown???

  2. Rey —
    I wish I knew exactly WHAT it is that prevents the Cubs from getting it done during the playoffs. This is certainly not the first time that the Cubs were the superior NL team on the last day of regular season only to fall short, often far short, of reaching the World Series. I vaguely remember ’69, but that was a Mets-type end of season collapse (to the benefit of the Mets). But in ’83 they gagged it away to San Diego, ’03 was the Bartman incident (and subsequent gag), and the last 2 years were first round sweeps. Ya gotta think playing at Wrigley, IN THE PLAYOFFS, has got to make many of the players feel immense pressure. And so they way underperform in collective unison. At least that’s the way I see it.

  3. Soriano is a great athlete and supremely talented baseball player, but do you think it is any coincidence that the Yankees gave up on him, and he can’t seem to stick with any club for very long?

  4. Soriano is as streaky as they come … and if he’s reasonably healthy, his numbers always look pretty good at the end of the year. And he can carry a team during those weeks he’s hot. But he is one of the most stupid/careless players I have ever seen and does not even come close to maximizing his ability. He whiffs way too much … at bat AND in the field.

    Wally

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