News, Notes and Complaints
Mostly complaints. Man, what a terrible weekend showing by the Cubs. So many things went wrong, I guess I’ll start with
What went right:
Derrek Lee: Do I even need to elaborate? He was 6-13 against the Yankees. Unfortunately, Dusty Baker’s interesting strategy of batting the two regulars with the worst OPB in front of Lee didn’t pan out.
What went wrong:
The bullpen: for the most part, these guys were awful. Will Ohman gave up a big 2 run homer to Hideki Matsui on Friday and Joe Borowski put Saturday’s game out of reach by giving up Derek Jeter’s first career grand slam. I like Joe, but his slider doesn’t seem to slide any more, and it’s going to be tough for him to be effective when his only 2 pitches are an 88 MPH fastball and a hanging slider.
Neifi! has turned back into Neifi. The first two months of the season, he had shown decent plate patience, and a knack for being able to hit the ball where it was pitched; going the other way when behind in the count, driving the ball when he was ahead and dropping down bunts to keep the infield honest. That Neifi! seems to have suddenly dissappeared, leaving us with a guy who swings at everything (his bases loaded double play on Sunday was a killer) and is a black hole in the leadoff spot.
Dusty Baker. Dusty had a bad series this weekend. Whether he was starting Enrique Wilson on Friday (thus leaving two far superior hitters to languish on the bench) or feeding a steady diet of lefthanded pitchers to Hideki Matsui (who is killing lefties this year) this was not a banner series for Dusty.
Carlos Zambrano. For a second straight game, Zambrano was extremely wild, walking 6 hitters and just not looking comfortable out there. The Cubs are now 9.5 in back of the Cardinals, and desperately need to go on another roll. To do that, they’re going to need Carlos at his best.
Corey Patterson. Patterson just looked bad against the Yankees, particularly in the field where he appeared to be wearing ice skates. Maybe Dusty should have started Enrique Wilson in center, he’s probably familier with the Yankee Stadium outfield.
The good news is, the Wild Card is not yet out of reach. The bad news is, this team can’t wait until the trade deadline for offensive reinforcements. Jim Hendry needs to get on the phone now nd overpay if it means getting the right player. The Cubs need to take 3 of 4 from the Brewers this week, and with the White Sox looming, a sweep would be a good idea. Let’s hope they have it in them.