Let’s face the truth folks, this Cubs team as it is currently constituted is going nowhere. It was never more evident than Tuesday night when the team, especially the bullpen, blew a 5-0 eighth inning lead to the Braves in Atlanta, eventually falling 6-5 in 12 innings. GM Jim Hendry — who too often gets a free pass in this town — put together a flawed team in the off-season and it’s coming back to bite him in the butt.
“Going into the season, I felt we were one pitcher away from winning it all,” said Hendry. “That guy was David Patton. Aaron Heilman and Kevin Gregg were just icing on the cake.”
Rookie Randy Wells once again pitched a gem, holding the Braves hitless for 6.2 innings, leaving the game in the eighth with a four-run lead.
The once-awesome and now completely erratic Carlos Marmol did his best Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn impersonation, walking two and hitting a batter in the eighth.
One of Hendry’s prize off-season pick-ups, the aforementioned Gregg, once again blew Wells’ first big league win by serving up a two-run, game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth to Jeff Francoeur.
Another poor Hendry off-season acquisitions “Flames” Heilman, gave up a run in the 12th to pick up the loss.
Oh, by-the-way, the Cubs offense can be partly to blame for Tuesday’s meltdown as they pushed across one measly run over the last six innings. And another Hendry free-agent signing, malcontent Milton Bradley once again pulled up lame with a leg injury and was forced to leave the game in fourth. He is listed as day-to-day, which means he will back some day in August.
If you take a look at the current Cubs’ roster, they essentially have no bullpen, no third baseman, no speed, a bevy of all-or-nothing one-dimensional position players, and several starting pitchers with a long-history of injuries and mental incompetence. This team is so far removed from the 97-win squad of last year, it’s not even funny.
Number of the Game: 7
Consecutive road losses by the Lovable Losers.
By Jeremy Barewin