Cubs' Defense Fails Again In 5-1 Loss To Cardinals

St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter slides safely into home plate as Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto fields the throw in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Once again, this year's edition of the Cubs proved Saturday that they have no margin for error.

This time, they took that literally, as a Starlin Castro error helped the Cardinals begin a four-run inning that was all they needed in a 5-1 win over the Cubs. That win evened up the series at one game each, after another rain delay, this time almost two hours' worth.

Castro made a second error that didn't hurt the team, but Shawn Camp helped put the game out of reach when he allowed a home run to Jon Jay in the seventh inning. Seriously, remind me again why the Cubs needed to sign a 36-year-old retread who the Mariners couldn't use?

Castro needs to work and work and work and work on his defense. And then when he thinks he's worked enough, he needs to work some more.

Chris Volstad did all right -- three earned runs in six innings gives him a quality start, for whatever that stat is worth -- and the offense did not help matters at all. The Cubs did manage to get some runners on base, but never were able to get the one big hit that would bring them closer. Marlon Byrd, in particular, had some bad at-bats again; it really does seem time to put him on the bench for a while and play someone else, whether it be Reed Johnson or Joe Mather.

It's too bad that a really good budding young color commentator like Eric Karros has to work with someone as pompous and ignorant as Thom Brennaman. Beyond his pretentious attitude, he gets facts wrong (he said 2011 was Bryan LaHair's first year in the Cubs organization -- wrong; LaHair played at Iowa in 2010) and has obviously been taking arrogrance lessons from his father.

Fox has some decent announcers (not many, I admit), but Brennaman isn't one of them.

Not to mention the fact that because of the rain delay, some of the markets originally scheduled to see this game got stuck on the Yankees/Angels game. Here's a perfect summary of the Fox blackout policy, tweeted by a member of this site:

Exactly. Why couldn't those of us who subscribe to MLB.TV be able to see either of the other games, if the one we're scheduled to see is being delayed? Or, in today's case, if you get screwed out of watching the game that was supposed to be on the Fox affiliate in your city, why couldn't that be made available online?

Got a news flash for you, Fox execs. A Cubs fan in one of those markets isn't going to stick with Yankees/Angels once the Cubs game starts. He or she is going to turn off the television -- costing you eyeballs and rating points.

Yeah, I know. Makes too much sense.

The Cubs will try to win the series Sunday afternoon when Paul Maholm faces Jake Westbrook. At least there won't be another rain delay.

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