I started to wonder whether or not I ought to watch the rest of the Cubs' regular season games. It's odd to me, when I miss a game like Game 2 at Cincy where the Cubs put on a homerun parade they usually win without question, but seeing the game on TV ruins a good time when they fail to execute, hold leads, or score enough runs. First of all, how does a team 30 games over .500 lose to the stinking Reds? Simply incomprehensible since the Cubs had several opportunities with runners in scoring position in Sunday's game yet didn't deliver when needed. The worst part for me to witness was having Sean Marshall pitch a fine game through 6 innings for 1-run on 3 hits and 2 walks. Kerry Wood ran into trouble in the 9th, walking a few batters while surrendering the lead and giving up the game-winning hit.
To give Fukudome another day off Micah Hoffpauir got the start in right field. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored. Lou Piniella was hot under the collar following Sunday's loss to the Reds knowing his team had the contest wrapped up. He prides his team on good defense and pitching yet didn't see this aspects come into play effectively. I'm sure he'll have choice words for the guys back in the locker room. There is no sense in the Cubs not winning the last series on the road. They can't count on Milwaukee continuing to lose with them only trailing in second by 4 games. The contribution is definitely there though from the Cubs' bench. Ronny Cedeno hit a go ahead RBI double yesterday to give the Cubs momentum. Mike Fontenot and Daryl Ward are chipping in and doing a solid job as well.
Luckily for the Cubs they had went on a 7-game win streak toward the end of August with a decent lead built up in the NL Central. That will fade away quick if they don't start winning with regularity. Following through on the fundamentals and executing needs to be in their mindset every game. They've got the talent and tools to success, it's up to them to function as a team. When Alfonso Soriano can blast 3 homers in a game that is always going to give them a major boost.
The real main issue is having such consistency. Scoring around 4-5 runs per game will be a big plus. If the Cubs can bring that to the table they'll be able to handle the competition during the playoffs. For now they have to take care of business and gut out these last 19 games. They resume play Tuesday opening a big 3-game series with the Cardinals then head to Houston for another triple bill. With Zambrano and Harden expected back by then the offense needs to kick it in gear! Go Cubs Go!