Padres 6, Cubs 3: And, We're Just About Done

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 17: Ryan Dempter #46 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the pitch during the game against the Chicago White Sox on June 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

...And by that I mean the 2009 season.

Six week left.

Six games out.

Four teams above them in the Wild Card race.

Adding to that was their latest loss, a 6-3 debacle against the Padres, that I think just about put the final nails in this season's coffin.

Nasty game, where a Kyle Blanks inside-the-park home run off Angel Guzman offset a very good seven inning performance by Ryan Dempster. Personally, I think scoring three runs off Cesar Carillo, a guy making his second major league start, was the real killer.

But once again, I suspect that lack of review on the advance scouting was the cause here.

So, with the offense again cold, the bullpen in tatters, and players in a season-long slump, I think it's time to start acknowledging that this team just doesn't have it, and won't be getting it.

I mean, where's the catalyst? Normally, I shy away from the hyperbole, especially early in the season.

I figure the season is long, and when you deal with veterans—yes, I still hate rookies— you'll get the expected production eventually, at least usually. No need to get too much into on what's working or not until you can get a nice, long look at your team.

At some point though, usually after 100 games or so, I think you have to settle into the notion that things are what they are. You're either heading toward something, and fine tune at the deadline, or you're not, and you start planning for next season.

Or, you find a catalyst.

I thought the Cubs had done that, finally giving up the ghost, acknowledging that Milton Bradley just wasn't going to slug from the left side, and sliding him into the two-hole. A move long overdue, in my opinion.

If a pair of hitters at the top of the lineup getting on at a .375 or better won't kick-start an offense, nothing will. Then Lou Piniella decides to shake things up, and hit Kosuke Fukudome fifth.

Reminded me of the Latroy Hawkins drama all over again. Bad, bad idea that everyone, including Lou, should understand by now.

Deadline moves?

Nope. A top-flight reliever would have been just what the doctor ordered, yet the Cubs settle in on John Grabow, and hope for the best.


Aubrey Huff found his way to the Tigers, giving their offense a boost. Could the Cubs have used him, spelling all four corner men through the rest of the season, and providing some lefty pop?

You tell me.

Now I here John Smoltz is considering signing with the Cardinals. One of the decade's best relief men is available, the back end of your bullpen is a mess, you've just demoted your closer, and your interest isn't even strong enough to merit having your name pop up in the rumor mill. 

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Listen, I've got no problem with this not being the year. That's baseball. You make a plan, and sometimes it works great, sometimes not, and you move accordingly.

But what angers me about this team is that they thread water, hoping to see a change with the current roster that's just not forthcoming. They don't get better, and they won't use this situation to better position themselves for next season.

Maybe they want to convince the masses to keep coming to Wrigley Field as long as possible this season. Who knows, maybe it does all comes down to the beer sales.

A colleague of mine recently described this 2009 team as unlikeable. I didn't quite understand what he meant at the time, but I do now.


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