Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He's Tired

Morning, noon, and night, it's dwink and dancing / Some quick womancing / And then a shower."We're playing like we're waiting to get beat," (Cubs manager Lou) Piniella said as he stood behind his office desk, his voice rising. "You don't have enough big of a lead in September to play ball like that. Teams that play baseball like that invariably get caught no matter how big their lead. You've got to stay aggressive. You've got to do the things that you've done all year.

"We're not executing. We're making mistakes, and we're getting beat. And I'm getting tired of watching it, to be quite honest with you. That's not the way we played all year to get to where we are now. And I know we're trying. But truthfully, trying isn't good enough."

Hard to argue with a single.

The problem is, it's a little late to replace the guys that aren't producing. Back in April when the team got off to a hot start, Derrek Lee, Kosuke Fukudome and Kerry Wood were a big reason why. Today, Wood's doing nothing, Kosuke's been Jacque Jones-esque with the bat and the number three hitter in the lineup, Derrek Lee, has had 5 homers and 44 RBIs since June 1st (380 plate appearences / OPS of .789).

The saving grace for locking a playoff appearence is that Milwaukee is also in the tank. With them facing the Phillies this weekend for four games, one of those two teams will be just about finished.

But this team went into the season not just looking to back into the playoffs and be happy to be there. They had the expectations to storm their way through the season and have a long playoff run.

The long playoff run is still possible. But it's hard to like the odds given how poor the offense has been the last month plus. This is where average runs per game is tricky. Since August 1st, they've averaged nearly 5.5 runs per game. But they've scored 3 runs or fewer 50% of the time getting shut out four times.

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