After the Cubs dropped their 91st game of the year Wednesday, this time losing to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2, manager Dusty Baker was again asked if injuries have taken a toll on his team.
The question may seem ridiculous, considering a ruptured testicle has resulted in lifelong backup catcher Henry Blanco starting at first base, but Baker decided to answer anyway, saying that all he can do every day is to field the best lineup and best pitcher possible. He added that with his nonsensical style of management, putting a good team on the field, especially without Neifi Perez, is virtually impossible.
Unfortunately for the Cubs and Baker, the best pitcher he could field Wednesday was a 31-year-old relief pitcher who hasn’t seen Major League action since 2003 and boasts an 8.31 career ERA.
That pitcher, who also has zero career wins, is Les Walrond, who managed to last just over three innings while giving up two runs and five walks.
The Cubs managed a run in the fourth and another in the eighth off Phillies starter Brett Myers, who completed the game and tied a career high by striking out 12.
“Injuries have really cost us this year,” Baker said after the game. “Injuries, giving up countless homeruns, leading the league in walks, not ever hitting well, making base running mistakes, overusing the bullpen, errors, using players out of position and not using bench players when it made sense. But the injuries really stand out.”
Number of the Day: 9
Games remaining until the sad story of the 2006 Cubs season can finally be put to rest.