It’s every man for himself on the S.S. Cubby Blue, as the ship continues to sink with amazing speed. Each player is doing his best to look his worst, hoping a life raft is thrown his way from a team based anywhere but on Chicago’s North Side.
Things were actually looking good Tuesday for the Cubs as they came from behind for the second time to take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Moments later, however, closer Ryan Dempster took the mound and allowed two base runners. On a sacrifice bunt attempt with Brewers on first and second, Dempster fielded the ball and threw wide of third, allowing a run to score instead of taking the sure out at first. The next hit went right through shortstop Ronny Cedeno’s legs, and the Brewers suddenly scored two runs without any player getting an RBI. They would go on to score two more times in the inning.
Neifi Perez led off the bottom of the ninth by showing bunt on every pitch—somehow earning his fourth walk of the three-month-old season. Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez then both struck out on bad pitches thrown by a pitcher who couldn’t find the strike zone.
A few Cubs mentioned that they were trying to play poorly enough to be traded to a contender like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Houston, St. Louis or even Pittsburgh.
“Tony Womack just got optioned to [Triple-A] Iowa. They’re only six games out of first,” said Perez, who is hitting 40 points lower than Womack, yet is still on the big-league club. “It’s frustrating. Most guys are doing all they can to get off this team.”
Perez said he hoped that failing to get an easy sac fly late in the game would finally get him traded.
Early in the contest, the Cubs botched a basic rundown on the base paths, and later, Jacque Jones made his trademark awful throw from right field, allowing Damien “Slowest Man In The World” Miller to score from second base.
No Cub has found himself involved in as many trade rumors as Todd Walker, but he hurt his cause by slapping a single in a pinch-hit appearance.
“What can I say?” said Walker. “I just shut my eyes and swung, but sometimes you get un-lucky and hit it.”
Number of the night: 3
“Fire Dusty Baker” signs seen in Wrigley’s stands. Each of those sign-holders owned several “In Dusty We Trusty” T-shirts just three short seasons ago.