Cubs 1 @ Marlins 9

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

I have honestly spent the last fifteen minutes since the game ended trying to think of a witty title for this game re-cap, but my mind went to sleep somewhere around the fifth inning. The last few nights I have been tossing and turning throughout, but I’m glad that I have finally found a cure to my sleep ailments: watching this team play baseball.

Most people who don’t like baseball will tell you that it is too long or too slow for them to get in to unless they are physically at the game. I’ve never debated that fact and mixed in with the long season, I can understand how baseball plays second fiddle to the NFL in terms of popularity. But this Cubs team is redefining sleep-inducing baseball.

We’ve all seen bad teams before, none of that is new to this fan base. However I can’t remember a time in recent seasons where it was this hard to watch a baseball game without getting bored. Even in the close games this season, the Cubs have never felt in it. I’m not sure if I can attribute this to being an eternal pessimist or that this team is really this hard to watch play the game.  Never mind winning, this team doesn’t even lose in interesting fashion any more. It is the same script every night except with a different lineup to add a slight flavor of pizzazz.

The errors can be seen coming from a mile away, the ball rarely gets hit out of the infield and the bullpen innings are like a comedy that isn’t funny. The best word that I can find to describe the first twelve games of the Cubs 2012 season would be: stale.

Garza Struggles

One of the few things I dislike about Garza is that he has too many of these kinds of starts over the course of an entire season. He started off pretty sharp in terms of velocity and pitch location, but by the fourth he was hanging way too much over the plate. Major League hitters are going to crush the kind of pitch he gave to Donnie Murphy, regardless of who they are.  He did seem to be getting a little frustrated about not getting strike calls on outer-plate sliders, but I could have been imagining things. At least the offense didn’t waste a good start from him today, which is about the only positive thing I can say at the moment, albeit a backhanded “compliment.”

Back Order Disaster

The back third of our lineup reminds me of a joke my second grade teacher told. Why was six afraid of seven? Obviously because seven ate (eight) nine. Well right now seven, eight and nine are as lame as the joke. Byrd collected a hit tonight to drive up his average to an impressive .081 on the season and Soto was hitless again. I made a joke on Twitter (@jcstats) about how the Cubs should hold a fan contest for fans to bat in the final three slots because we wouldn’t be getting any less production. I’m not even sure it was funny –it isn’t–but I got a few laughs out of it. Until these guys start hitting, we’re essentially giving three outs in a row. Not a recipe for run scoring.

Bring Up the Kids?

I know it is too early, but how long can we watch this stagnant team? As a fan base the expectations were never high to begin with, but let’s at least try to put an entertaining team on the field. I’m not sure if bringing up AAA super star Anthony Rizzo up soon would really do much of anything, but why not? The kid is tearing it up at Iowa and can’t be any worse than what we are putting out there at 1st and 3rd every other night. Guys like Keith Law and Buster Olney were predicting July/August call-ups for Rizzo and Brett Jackson, but every passing game makes me think it could be much sooner. Then again, there is a reason why I’m sitting on my couch writing this article instead of sitting in a player personnel meeting.

Relief Catchers

As the game became increasingly out of reach, Len and Bob turned their sights to talking about youth pitch counts. Apparently two high school pitchers in Louisiana combined for 25 IP and 347 pitches in a game this week. As ridiculous as that was, it wasn’t half as ridiculous as what came out of Bob’s mouth after. He said since we put pitching counts on pitchers, we should put them on catchers as well. They can only catch a certain amount pitches before a “relief catcher” needs to come in. Is there really no other material out there to make lame jokes about? We’ve been relegated to bad baseball AND listening to jokes about “relief catchers?” (Sigh).

Mad Libs

(Complete the blanks)

The _______ (place) Marlins of Florida have turned ________ (numerical) the number of double plays as the Cubs have _______ (baseball term) in this series.

The Cubbies hope they can maintain their streak of winning one game per series, as Ricky Nolasco and two-win (crazy) Jeff Samardzija duke it out at 12:40 ET tomorrow.

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