Cardinals 3, Cubs 1: Losses Mount, But I've Some Ideas

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IMay 22, 2009

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 08:  Mark DeRosa #7 of the USA is congratulated by teammate Adam Dunn #17 after DeRosa was safe at home during the 2009 World Baseball Classic Pool C match on March 8, 2009 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Filed: May 21, 2009

Well, once again the Cubs wasted good starting pitching, losing 3-1 to the Cardinals Thursday. The loss leaves them swept by the Cardinals, losers of four in a row, and frankly, looking a bit demoralized.

If you're looking for highlights, or hell, even some nice green shoots, you're going to be hard pressed to find them. Albert Pujols set the tone with a homer in the first that we're all still waiting to come down. And so it went.

Adam Wainwright, probably the most complete pitcher that I've seen at this stage of development in recent memory, dazzled in a complete-game victory.

But hey, at least the pitching was good, including the bullpen, which got great work from Jose Ascanio and Neal Cotts in the loss.

So, while the Cubs limp along to San Diego to face the Padres, I want to talk about a couple of things on my mind.

First, Jake Peavy, whom I should probably thank for giving me some good laughs yesterday. As most know by now, the Padres and Chicago White Sox agreed to terms to trade Peavy to the Sox for a pair of prospects, which Peavy quickly nixed.

Now, I applaud Kenny Williams. His team hasn't played very well so far this season, but it's still a very winnable division really, assuming that he can get some pitching. Everyone knew that for them to compete, they'd need strong performances from Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon.

They've gotten neither, and so they're sitting under .500. That's that with that.

And kudos to Kevin Towers, who evidently has learned some lessons from the offseason debacle with the Cubs, and kept his mouth shut, getting a deal completed so quietly that not even super rumor mill Jon Heyman was the wiser.

But Peavy? Please. It's like people haven't been paying attention. When you're BFF to Greg Maddux, carrying both a Cy Young and no-trade protection in hand, you're not coming within a mile of the AL. Don't even think it.

It honestly makes me wonder whether the Padres front office and the Peavy people are even communicating, because this deal strikes me as a non-starter for him from go.

I've been telling people this for awhile, and I'll stick to it: Peavy will be traded. He will be traded this summer. It's probably not to the AL, and even less likely the Cubs.

Speaking of Heyman though, he announced in his most recent column that the Indians are dangling Mark DeRosa for pitching help. Know what I think? It's time for DeRosa to come on back.

Sometimes, you just have to man up, and say "I made a mistake". And more and more, it's looking like that's really what Jim Hendry did. The bench begs for the versatility of DeRosa, Mike Fontenot is turning into a pumpkin, Milton Bradley isn't hitting, and Aaron Miles looks like a DFA in waiting.

In short, you need him.

Now, I know Mark is off to a rough start, although he's been heating up of late. I've seen just enough of those games to attribute it to the league switch. And the Cubs would have to reconcile some financial considerations—DeRosa is still owed $4.4 million—along with finding some pitching that they could shave off.

Ascanio and returning Jeff Stevens might be a good place to start. But I'm high on the idea, and I hope that Hendry can look past his sensitivities on this matter to at least make some calls. The Cubs don't need a poor man's DeRosa right now—Ryan Freel—they need the real thing. It's time to man up Jim.


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