Thursday, May 13, 2004

Is the streak about to end?

What streak you ask? The Cubs now have gone 59 consecutive series without getting swept, and they are taking this streak into San Diego Friday, but the streak is in serious jeopardy due to at least two factors. (1) Most importantly, look who we have scheduled to go to the mound for this series:

Friday: Greg Maddux (2-3, 5.06 ERA) vs. Ismael Valdez (2-1, 3.43)
Saturday: Sergio Mitre (1-2, 5.01) vs. Adam Eaton (1-0, 4.50)
Sunday: Glendon Rusch (1-0, 7.36) vs. David Wells (1-2, 4.32)

The only thing anyone needs to know is that we are sending Maddux, Mitre, and Rusch to the mound for a three game series - none of whom inspire confidence. I will go so far to predict that each one of them is going to give up a minimum of 4 runs (at least) through 5 innings in each game. Which then brings us to the second problem (2) The Cubs offense has been utterly pathetic as of late - and will probably be unable to surmount the runs that these pitchers are going to give up in each game. Currently, the Cubs are 15th in the league in run production (6th in the National league) - which is right around the middle of the pack - but these stats are somewhat skewed by the runs the Cubs ran up against the hapless Pirates (41 runs in 4 games - which accounts for 24% of the total Cubs runs this season!). If you just take the month of May (which excludes the Pirates games), the Cubs fall to 18th in the MLB, and 9th in the NL for run production - but even these numbers are skewed by the runs the Cubs hung on a hapless Rockies team (20 runs in 3 games). If anyone wants to know how effective Cubs bats have been this season - you only need to know two facts: Antonio Alfonseca and Jeff Fassero have each pitched 2 consecutive shut-out innings against the Cubs this year - that is how bad the Cubs bats have been. The Cubs bats make average pitchers look like Cy Young candidates.

At least Dusty has moved Patterson out of the 2 slot (thank-you!), but Damian Jackson and Ramon Martinez aren't the type of batters you want hitting in your 1-2 slots if you're hoping to get runners on base and put runs on the board! Anyway - I think there is a good chance the Cubs get swept at San Diego. I hate to say it, but look at who we've got pitching and look at the anemic offense we've put together - it is not a good combination.