The Chicago Cubs offense continues to struggle, as they have now slipped into a six game losing streak. Compiled with these streak of ineptitude is scoring a grand total of three runs in the last five games of this streak. In those five games, the Cubs pitching staff has done a fantastic job, holding the opposition to 15 total runs. When your pitching staff only gives up an average of three runs a game, you should be able to win at least one of those games. However, when you cant score, you wont be able to win a game. Changes need to be made, though I don’t know exactly how much tinkering can be done with the team.
Last night, Cubs Manager Lou Piniella shook up the lineup, while giving Alfonso Soriano the night off. With the Cubs All Star left fielder out of the lineup, Ryan Theriot moved up a slot in the batting order to bat leadoff, with Kosuke Fukudome also moving up a slot. Milton Bradley slid into the three hole, and the man replacing Soriano in the field, Micah Hoffpauir batted fifth. This is a batting order that I can live with, especially if everyone moves down a slot with Soriano’s return this afternoon, giving us a lineup that looks like this, Soriano-Theriot-Fukudome-Bradley-Derrek Lee-Mike Fontenot-Geovany Soto-Bobby Scales. However one change that I can not live with, is something that Piniella hinted at doing last week.
Last week, Piniella claimed to be thinking over the idea of moving Soriano back to second base and putting Hoffpauir in left field. As I stated in my last blog, that would be one of the worst ideas he has ever had. The offense is struggling enough to outscore the other team, we don’t need to give them more runs by fielding a poor defensive team. While the offense, on paper, would look very nice, with the lineup I listed above (only with Hoffpauir hitting sixth in place of Fontenot) the defense would be too bad for us to overcome. However, that is a change which I fear is coming soon. Piniella is quickly losing patience, as are several Cub fans.
I know that this is not up to my usual standards, but there isn’t much else I can say about this team. I have voiced my disapproval and frustrations for a week now. Hopefully I can actually write about something more positive then an ugly loss or a pathetic offense. As things stand, the S.S. Cubs is sinking fast.