Do you feel like fate, as usual, is having its way with the Cubs? Did fate give us just a taste of something incredible, and now it's making the Cubs choke? Perhaps fate is at work here, and if you are a fatalist, you will believe that the Cubs' September swoon is a sign they won't win it all this year, or may not even win at all the rest of the way.
But, another way to look at this swoon is that fate is influencing matters in a positive way: The Cubs are losing, but the Brewers are losing right along with them. The Cubs are still 4-1/2 games up in 1st place after losing another heartbreaker last night to the Cards 4-3, but the Brewers have having trouble handling the same Lowly Cinci team that so vexed the Cubs last weekend. Milwaukee lost 5-4 last night for the second straight game. So maybe what fate really has in store is a plan to kick the Cubs' butts until they find some true postseason hunger.
Last night, the scoring stopped for the Cubs in the 3rd inning, and they swung away for the next few innings like they felt a 3-0 lead was enough and the had a plane to catch after the game. Later, after Dempster gave up a 3-run HR to Pujols on a pretty meaty pitch, the Cubs had chances that were squandered by two double plays, one of them on a bunt by Geo, who is not a great candidate to bunt. I know, all players need to have that fundamental skill and need to deliever when called upon, but if you want a great bunt, bring in Reed Johnson or Fukie, someone who's done it successfully and has a little speed to spice things up. Geo is slow, and apparently not a great bunter. What he is: A .292 hitter who was 2 for 3 at the plate before that bunt.
The White Sox quietly lost both ends of a double header against Toronto (3-1 and 8-2), the hottest team this side of Houston. There wasn't much they could do against the Jays' starters, and it may look like it only gets worse tonight with Halladay on the mound for Toronto. But, I like the Sox' chances to scrape out some hits and runs against Halladay, and they can still split this series. They are 1 game up in first after the Piranhas won last night.
The most troubling aspect of last night's debacles was the loss of Paulie to what was called a sprained MCL, but looked a lot worse. Paulie really has been coming around, and it looked like he might fill the loss of power from CQ's injury.
The Sox offense was asleep in both games, almost nothing good at all to say except that Thome continues to play like he is hungry for a World Series ring, and JeDye is still delivering like he wants another one. The thing about Toronto's hot streak, which now stands at 9 wins in a row, is that the Jays believe they can make they play-offs. Though they have a great team, the odds really are against them unless Boston or Tampa completely falls apart, but one thing is certain: thos Blue Jays are hungry.
The [Monday] Papers
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