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Hard to win when you suck
by alex ciepley
In the midst of their most important games of the year, the Cubs have now lost 4 of 5 to two horrible teams, the Mets and the Reds. 3 of these 4 games were lost by one measly run. While it would be easy to look at these losses as a failure of the pitching staff (and specifically of Hawkins), the real problem over the past weeks has been that the Cubs are unable to hit. Hawkins is an easy target (and I'm not trying to give Mr. Two-Out, Two-Strike Choke a pass here, trust me), but the Cubs really shouldn't be entering the ninth up 3-0 or 2-1. They should be up 6-0 and 5-1.
As a team, they've batted 208/316/343. This is like sending Ramon Martinez up to the plate for each at-bat. Not Ramon Martinez when he was a sorta-okay bench player last year, but Martinez this year, when he sucks. The pitching, however, has put up a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings, striking out a phenomenal 9.28 batters per nine innings.
Blame the pitching staff all you want; it's the offense that has let the Cubs down.