No Words, Yet Again

I can't believe the news today,
I can't close my eyes and make it go away.
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long?
-- U2, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
In a season filled with jaw-dropping losses, this was the jaw-droppingest.

Recently, when there's a day game after a night game (especially one starting as early as today's), I've been combining the recap with the game thread.

But this one, oh, this one, deserves its own.

The simple fact, you already know: the Cubs lost to the Pirates 7-6 in 11 innings.

The method last night was the madness.

It really is this simple: only eight days ago, I wrote:

Really and truly -- Ronny Cedeno is NOT a major league player. The Cubs must, MUST look elsewhere next year, not only for a starting 2B, but for a utility infielder (if Ryan Theriot isn't the guy). And when Freddie Bynum came in at 2B to replace Theriot (who had replaced Izturis) after pinch-hitting, I said to Mike, "This is perhaps the worst double-play combination in the history of the franchise."
And it was then, and it is now, and it was last night in the eleventh inning, when Cedeno double-clutched what should have been a game-ending double-play ball and then threw it by a stunned Bynum at 2B. Frankly, the middle infielders on Mark's team this year looked better than Bynum on that play (and frankly again, Mark's team wasn't very good, and even he will admit that); he stood still as a statue, barely swiping at the ball as it went into right field, allowing the tying run to score. Then, after Ryan Dempster correctly loaded the bases by an intentional walk to Chris Duffy (setting up a force at any base), he walked Jose Bautista to force in the game-ender -- on a pitch that was, I thought, close enough to be a strike.

Sigh. The fact is, this Cub team has quite a few players who simply do not belong on a major league roster. Even against a team as bad as the Pirates, players like Cedeno and Bynum do not qualify as major league starting players, much less a starting double-play combination. The worst part of this is, in fact, that Ryan Theriot, who started the game at SS, had been removed for PH Jacque Jones, who struck out.

I could sit here and make nasty remarks or rail against management, but instead I'll just remind all of you (and any of you who haven't seen this yet) of Carrie Muskat's mailbag answer on Monday to someone who asked about Cedeno:

I think Cedeno is ready, and he's going through growing pains. He does like second, and he and Cesar Izturis could be a very solid middle infield combo. Cedeno is young, he has looked terrible at the plate this month and is not making adjustments. And some of his problems have carried over onto the field.
"Growing pains"? Please. "Very solid"? What games is she watching?

All of this ruined a fairly well-pitched game by Carlos Zambrano, though, as was pointed out in the game-thread comments last night, Z dug his own hole with two errors; otherwise the Cubs would have won the game satisfyingly in nine innings. Z, in fact, didn't give up a hit till the fifth inning, when he promptly fell apart. This game recap says of those first four innings:

Chicago led 4-0 through 4 1/2 innings, and starter Carlos Zambrano was working on a perfect game.
Well, no, no he wasn't, unless they've changed the definition of a perfect game since the last one was thrown. Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm had reached in the third on a Theriot error -- that ended the perfect game. Z had a no-hitter going; I note that the above-linked game summary doesn't list the name of the AP writer.

The bullpen pitched well for three innings till Dempster came in, though, to be fair to Dempster, it surely wasn't all his fault, and further, this ruined a nice offensive game from Derrek Lee (three hits) and Aramis Ramirez (three hits, three walks, three runs scored), whose quote now is at the upper right of this blog.

And Aramis is right. The Cubs not only beat themselves, they found a new and disgusting way to do so. No one's going to be dumped off this roster in the next four weeks, but there had better be major changes once October 1 comes and goes. And Cedeno and Bynum had better be among the first to be shipped out. ANYWHERE.

Enough. I'll post a game thread later this morning, because, well, there's another game on the schedule.

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