The Cubs tumbled to their eighth loss in a row by inventing a new way to lose. This time, in a 10-8 loss, the pitching was the culprit and the offense was almost good enough to survive--almost.
The Cubs collected plenty of hits and what should have been plenty of runs. They got strong performances from player who were either still mired in slumps (Milton Bradley, Geovany Soto) or had dropped off from strong starts (Ryan Theriot). But, poor pitching by Ryan Dempster, Neal Cotts and Aaron Heilman and a 6-6 performance by the Pirates' Freddy Sanchez was too much too overcome.
Some game reports today are wondering aloud when Lou Pinela will lose his cool. Unfortunately, he's already lost it out and not much has changed. Will seeing Lou wobble out on the field to yell at an umpire change anything now? Usually, I'll advocate that approach just because I think it helps press a reset button for players who can't seem to find their own edge. The trouble is that this Cubs team has done plenty of its own complaining already, courtesy of Bradley's dissing of umpires. Though I've wanted to see Ozzie get a little more excited on the Southside and maybe shake up a game by leaving the dugout now and then, I'm a little afraid the approach could backfire for the Cubs and give the umps more of a chip on their shoulder when they come into Wrigley Field.
The Cubs fell under .500, though at 21-22, things could still be worse. Last night's game was the rare poor pitching outing for the Cubs staff, and that shouldn't continue to be a problem. We'll see in the next few games if Bradley and Soto have really found themselves. That will be a start.