Over the course of time, few teams have done crappy better than the Chicago Cubs. But this year may be the crappiest club the Cubs have ever crapped out.
I won’t say that things bottomed out for the Cubs on Sunday, because only the Lord knows where the bottom is for this bunch of sucks. But Chicago did lose its 12th straight game, this one coming at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to getting swept by the Bucs, the Cubs were swept away by the Astros, White Sox and Phillies. Of all those teams, only the White Sox are better than third place in their division.
In case you are looking for some fun ineptitude nuggets, you’ve come to the right place.
– Starter Ryan Dempster has a 2.14 ERA, but his record dropped to 0-3 following Friday night’s 1-0 loss. Just trade the poor fellow already.
– Rafael Dolis, who replaced the ineffective Carlos Marmol as the Cubs’ closer, lost Saturday’s game by hitting a batter with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. After the game, future failed Cubs manager Dale Sveum let it be known that Dolis would no longer be closing games.
– On Sunday, Dolis got a chance to show what he could do out of the bullpen in a non-closing role. He threw nine pitches. Eight of them were balls. (How can guys lay off pitches that close?)
– The Pirates scored 10 runs on Sunday. That represents 7 percent of the total runs they have scored all season. For real.
– Starting third baseman Ian Stewart is hitting .193. Nothing like having power at the corners. Sadly, no other option in the organization has turned up as an acceptable replacement for Stewart.
– Nine Cubs pitchers who have made at least four appearances this season boast earned run averages of 5.68 or higher.
The ultimate test of the Cubs’ crappiness will come this week with a three-game set against the last-place Padres. The Cubs are only two losses away from tying the longest streak in team history, which was set by the 1997 team when it lost 14 in a row to start the season. Yet with the exception of Mel Rojas and Brian McRae, I don’t know if there is a single player on the ’97 team that I wouldn’t take over anyone on this team. (OK, so I’d keep Starlin Castro and Dempster).
Though the Cubs are bound to break out of their current pace eventually, it’s safe to say this team — which will only get worse as good players are traded off to contenders — is looking like it will be the franchise’s first to cross the 100-loss barrier since 1966.
UPDATE: The Cubs beat the Padres 11-7 to snap the losing streak, but that only improved their record to 16-32.