The Cubs got spanked again tonight. Or did they spank themselves?

Carlos Zambrano came to play. And so did Chad Billingsley. Let’s look at the top of the second inning.

Into the 2nd inning, Carlos was throwing strikes and it was a pleasure to watch. Andre Ethier broke up Zambrano’s no hitter with a single to right. Then, oops, The Dodge-ohs had runners at the corners with no outs. You can credit the hit and run with creating the situation. Or you could say Ryan Theriot muffed it. Or both. But you can’t blame Z or Ronny Cedeno for that. It should have been a double play.

With one out DeRosa fumbled a double play ball. Safe all around and the run scored. You can’t blame Carlos or Ronny for that one, either. Dee Lee fumbled the third double play ball of the inning. Everybody was safe and the bags were loaded. The pitcher, Billingsley, fanned, bringing up Furcal.

Furcal bunted his way to first, driving in a run. Russell Martin doubled to the right center field wall, driving in 3 runs. LA’s lead was now 5-0. Manny Ramirez struck out, for the second time tonight, ending the inning.

Realizing that you cannot assume the double play, but just saying “What if ?”: The ball that Theriot didn’t get anyone out on might have been a double play. That’s two outs the Cubs didn’t get. The ball DeRosa didn’t get might have been a double play. That’s two more outs the Cubs didn’t get. The ball that Dee Lee didn’t get might have been a double play. That’s two more outs the Cubs didn’t get, for a total of 6 outs the Cubs didn’t get in the 2nd inning.

Add to that the three outs that they DID get, and the Cubs’infield gave LA 9 outs that inning. That’s not good. But you can’t blame Carlos Zambrano for it. No, we can thank Ryan Theriot, Mark DeRosa and Dee Lee for that inning.

In the 4th, Z got the 1st two batters out. Then Aramis Ramirez joined the infield fumblers club, putting the pitcher on. I just hope the Cubs got all the errors out of their system tonight.

The Cubs’ pitchers seemed to think their ante to get into the game tonight was to each let at least one run score. Kerry Wood allowed one, Carlos Marmol allowed two, Neal Cotts allowed one, and Manny Ramirez got the obligatory homer off Carlos Zambrano. Let me make this very clear. Cubs’ pitchers: You do not have to allow runs!

I have to say that Kosuke Fukudome was tearing it up in the field tonight. He played Matt Kemp’s double off the right field wall masterfully in the 7th. It was a perfect pickup and throw which saved an additional run or two. Nice play, Fuku. And, in the top of the 8th, Fuku made a very nice play on Furcal’s single. The throw was late to the plate, but it couldn’t have been done any better.

Unfortunately, Fuku struck out three times tonight, twice looking. He’s gone. He’s through. Lou said it. You can put a fork in him, he’s done. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Fuku in the batter’s box again this year.

So now it gets interesting.

Game 3, in LA on Saturday, presents a true must win opportunity for the Cubs. Rich Harden will be pitching, and he’s just the guy for the job. He’s rested and he’s ready to go. He will not let us down. Fuku won’t be in the lineup. Geovany Soto and Mark DeRosa will be that much more healed up. As I said, I hope the Cubs got all of their fielding errors out of their system tonight. The Cubs’ pitching staff have pretty much all ante’d up now, so we won’t have to go through that again.

All the Cubs have to do is beat the Stinkin’ Dodgers in one game. Then do it again. And then do it once more. It’s not rocket science. They can do it. The Dodgers took two from us. We can certainly take three from them. Ted Lilly will be rested and ready to go in game 4. Ryan Dempster & Carlos Zambrano will be rested and ready to go in game 5. Nothing to it.

Now it gets interesting.Bad News Bears ipod

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I'm a third generation cubs fan, living in southeastern Wisconsin.