Rain, Rockies, Repeat: Cubs Lose, Closer To No. 2 Pick

Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

It rained in Denver Wednesday night. The Cubs lost. This seems depressingly familiar.

Didn't we see this game Monday night?

Rain? Check.

Lots of Rockies runs? Check. Not enough Cubs runs -- well, check, sort of; no Cubs runs scored.

It was just before midnight Chicago time when the Cubs' 6-0 loss to the Rockies concluded after a rain delay of an hour and a half. Truth be told, they shouldn't have bothered; no runs were scored after the delay, so pitchers Michael Bowden (Cubs) and Rob Scahill (Rockies) were basically getting in their side work, although this night they did it on the pitcher's mound instead of in the bullpen in front of a few diehard, bored and wet fans. Both pitchers, incidentally, are Chicago-area natives; Bowden played high school ball at Waubonsie Valley in Aurora and Scahill at Willowbrook (and then college ball at Bradley).

Yes, that's how bored I am. Talking about where two middling relief pitchers who might not even be around next year played high school baseball.

Not only that, we saw the same type of play Wednesday night that we saw September 11 in Houston; that night, it might have cost the Cubs a win when Dave Sappelt was thrown out at third base after a fly ball before Starlin Castro could cross the plate with what would have been the tying run (and the Cubs lost 1-0).

Wednesday, it was Joe Mather getting himself thrown out at third while Josh Vitters was about a step away from scoring a run in the top of the seventh inning. This is something I thought the Cubs had done this year -- worked better on baserunning fundamentals. Guess Dale Sveum will have his hands full next spring training working on this. (Maybe better this than a bunting tournament, eh, Dale?)

By losing, the Cubs reduced their magic number to clinch the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft to six. No, I am not rooting for the Cubs to lose. (They're doing a pretty good job of losing on their own -- they don't seem to need my help.) The loss was the 16th straight defeat for the Cubs in a NL West park, dating back to the final game of 2011.

This recap is pretty short. There's a reason for that. I don't really know what else to say. Jason Berken is probably not going to be on this team next year, so his performance in this game is pretty irrelevant. I suppose Michael Bowden has a shot at the 2013 bullpen; his performance over his last 10 appearances has been quite good (12 innings, six hits, seven walks, 12 strikeouts, one earned run, 0.75 ERA, 1.083 WHIP). But then again, some baseball people will tell you to discount performances in September games.

The teams will wrap up their season series Thursday afternoon. Unless the Cubs can find a way to win, they'll lose that season series to Colorado (it now stands Rockies 3 games, Cubs 2). The game preview will post at noon CDT.

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