The Phillies beat the Cubs 9-1 in a game that was essentially over after the first inning -- since the Cubs scored just one run and the Phillies had a 2-0 lead after one -- and fans started heading for home not long after that, on a day when the game time temperature was announced as 97 degrees, and it was probably hotter by the middle innings. The outside temperature gauge in my car said 102 when I got in to drive home.
Here's a fact from today's game that pretty much sums up where the Cubs are going this year:
With 2 errors by Pena in 4th, #Cubs have committed error in 9 straight games for 1st time since 6/4-13/1987
Yes, the Cubs are starting to do things that have not been done in decades. (And two errors on the same play, by a player, Pena, whose fielding is one of his strong points.) I'm going to save all the under-.500 stuff for Friday, when the only major league team with a worse record than the Cubs, the Astros, visit Wrigley Field. This team really doesn't do anything well; they can't generate much offense (ninth in the NL); the pitching staff is bad (allowed the most runs in the major leagues, 500, and 46 unearned runs), and they lead the league in errors -- by a lot; the 85 errors is 13 more than the next-worst team, the Astros. Oh, this weekend oughta be a lot of fun, right?
The Cubs offense was largely absent until they scored a consolation run in the seventh inning, and Cubs pitching was pretty bad today. Ryan Dempster labored through three innings, requiring 86 pitches to record nine outs, in the interim giving up four doubles, three singles, three walks and six runs. Ramon Ortiz was only slightly better, and the same for John Grabow; between the two of them they did provide a bit of baseball history.
Jimmy Rollins became the first National Leaguer since 2009 to homer from both sides of the plate, connecting lefthanded off Ortiz and righthanded off Grabow; it's the 254th time it's been done in major league history, making it a feat a bit rarer than a no-hitter (271 times) or a cycle (291 times).
That's about all I've got today, except for the heat; fans started streaming out of the park after the fourth inning and it became a crush to exit after many stuck around to see former Cub (and Phillie) Doug Glanville not do such a great job on the seventh-inning stretch.
Enjoy the off-day. I think we might need it more than the team does.