Cubs' Sword turning against them

Angel SolisContributor IJuly 22, 2008

The Cubs, in the first half at least, had one of the most dominant offenses in the MLB. In the first half, they scored 507 runs off opposing pitchers and had a batting average of over .280. However, in the last 4 games, the pitching staff surrendered 8 runs total and have a record of 1-3.

The one win coming off the Astros in a 9-0 shutout performance by Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol. Rich Harden may have had even a better performance than Ryan Dempster, yet the effort earned him a loss. In seven innings, Rich Harden surrendered two hits, one of which being a home run, and allowed only one earned run and two walks while striking out ten Diamondbacks.

On the other side, Randy Johnson also allowed two hits, both singles, while walking one, and striking out four. The 44-year-old lefty earned himself his seventh win, 291 career, against the Cubs. A team, by the way, Johnson has beat 13 times in his career and never lost to.

On July 18th, Ted Lilly had a similar game against the Astros. In seven innings, Lilly gave up only one earned run, once again, a home run by Carlos Lee, and struck out 6. On the other side, Brian Moehler, with a record of 4-4 coming into Friday, gave up only four hits and one earned run, a home run by Jim Edmonds, recently acquired from free agency after being released from the Padres.

Since the all-star break, the Cubs have scored 11 runs, 9 of which coming off the Astros on July 20th. Excluding that game, the Cubs have hit safely 15 times with a batting average of .161. The Cubs, by no means, are in any serious trouble. Alfonso Soriano, injured since June 11th, is scheduled to return in a Cubs uniform within the week.

His first rehab game ended with an 0-2 outing with a base on balls. If the Cubs pitching continues to dominate opponents as it had all season, there is no reason why the Cubs should not miss out on baseball in October. Eventually, their bats will return and their winning ways will come along too.