It was deja vu all over again. An inning starts and you expect to see Kerry Wood and instead, you see Glendon Rusch. Just like last May 12 in Los Angeles, we came back from commercial to complete disorientation. You saw a lefty, number 33 throwing a strike. When you were ready for a righty, number 34 bouncing one off the backstop.
This time, Kerry insists it was nothing. His shoulder was “cranky” and the Cubs decided to just have him go five innings. Sure. Absolutely.
But somehow, Glendon, Mike Wuertz and Chad Fox combined for four scoreless innings and the Cubs split a two-game series with the Pirates. They are now 3-2 on the season against Pissburgh, the worst team in the universe, and both losses were hideously painful and unnecessary.
The Cubs are 9-9, which sucks. But you know what sucks worse? They deserve to be 9-9. If .500 is the definition of mediocrity, the Cubs are the poster children for it.
If the Cubs were a TV show they’d be the one on CBS with the fat British guy and Jamie Gertz. You don’t know anybody who watches it, but enough people do that CBS has no plans on cancelling it. It’s just kind of there. That’s the Cubs so far this year.
At any point, except for the opening day fluke, have they given you a feeling like, “Hey, they’re pretty good.”
No. And they show no signs of doing anything to address it.
Think about this, right now, there are two Cubs carrying this offense and they’re Derrek Lee and Neifi. Neifi!
Play him at second or short, bat him second or eighth, Neifi does not care. He will destroy you all the same. Here’s a guy with a career on-base average of .302 and he’s getting on at a .420 clip.
Including his 23 game stint last year, here are Neifi’s Cubs career numbers.
Games – 39
At bats – 110
Runs – 18
Hits – 42
2B – 7
HR – 4
RBI – 14
Ave. – .381
OBA – .410
SLG – .555
OPS – .965
That, that’s ludicrous. I don’t think any of us thought he could hit .380 over 11 at bats much less 110. All I know is that you just ride it out. And right now, they have no choice.
As for LaTroy? Well, I think Dusty completely botched the situation yesterday. When he blew yet another one-run save chance on Saturday, Dusty had to stop using him as the closer. But with nobody in that bullpen able to step in and do the job, Dusty knew that he’d have to do it by committee. So Dusty made an announcement on Sunday LaTroy isn’t the closer anymore.
Then, yesterday, the Cubs get to the ninth with a three run lead. What better time to go to LaTroy than then? You get him right back up on the horse with the biggest save lead possible. But no. Dusty told the media LaTroy wasn’t going to close anymore. So he used Chad Fox. Chad got the save. And Chad’s arm is a threat to fall off at any time.
If Dusty’s really going to go to closers by “situation.” Then, the situation should be this for now.
One run lead? Go to Chad. What the hell. Let him blow some.
Two run lead? How about letting Mike Wuertz have a shot? Besides, he could have just left Wuertz in yesterday since he’d cruised through and easy eighth.
Three run lead? You ought to be able to use anybody.
You use Fox in a three-run game and what if you have one-run leads in the ninth tonight and tomorrow? You can’t run his bum flipper out three nights in a row.