'A Day Late And A Dollar Short': Cubs Lose Again

Luis Valbuena of the Chicago Cubs gets congratulated by Welington Castillo, Jeff Baker and David DeJesus after hitting a three-run homer against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Once again, those of you of "a certain age" will remember that phrase as one that Jack Brickhouse used to use all the time back in the 1960s when those bad Cubs teams just didn't quite have enough to defeat their opponents.

You can probably guess that this phrase will be trotted out quite often in 2012, as this team hurtles toward loss records set by those 1960s era Cubs clubs.

Saturday night, Luis Valbuena hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to make the score 4-3 Red Sox. Exciting, right? Two innings to make a comeback, and win a game and the series over a Boston team that was staggering coming into Wrigley Field?

Nope. Not to be. Despite getting the tying run on base, the game ended when Welington Castillo hit into a double play, and the Cubs fell to 7-17 in one-run games with a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox.

The thing you probably want to talk about most is Alfonso Soriano's non-run to first base after he hit a line drive right at third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks dropped the ball, but Soriano, thinking it had been caught, didn't run.

This resulted in much booing for Soriano the rest of the game. Here's what Soriano and Dale Sveum said about it:

"It's one of those things where 100 percent of every player in the history of baseball would do the same thing," manager Dale Sveum said.

"(The booing) is not fair because I hit a line drive to his glove," Soriano said. "I'm happy my teammates, manager and coaches support me because they know that I'm working hard to be a better player and a better teammate. It's not fair."

They're right, of course. In general, booing isn't something you do for player failure. Players fail all the time. There are times when perceived lack of effort is worth booing a player -- but this wasn't it. Soriano was running head-down and didn't see Middlebrooks drop the ball. It's likely, since Middlebrooks picked up the ball right away, that he would have thrown the slow-footed Soriano out anyway.

There are a lot of things wrong with this year's Cubs. This isn't one of them.

Jeff Samardzija pitched well enough, although he couldn't even finish the sixth inning, having thrown 108 pitches. That's something he still has to work on. Maybe the Cubs found a decent reliever in Manuel Corpas -- Corpas kept the team in the game with two scoreless innings.

Attendance was once again below a sellout -- 40,766 -- and there were again empty seats in the bleachers. With the game Sunday being a night game, some of the Red Sox fans might have to head home, so I'd expect an even smaller gathering Sunday night.

When the Cubs will likely, again, be "a day late and a dollar short".

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