clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


That's it. On the next off day -- that'd be next Thursday after the Pittsburgh series -- Dusty Baker ought to order the entire team to the ballpark for a mandatory review of fielding fundamentals.

The Cubs made their 40th error of the season -- better than only the awful Mets and Reds -- and the poor defense, including a misplay by Mark Bellhorn on what could have been an inning-ending DP -- helped the Astros to a six-run first inning (and if they'd charged an error to Bellhorn, all of the runs would have been unearned) and they held on for a 7-5 win over the Cubs last night.

Worse, the Cubs had 12 hits and five walks and left nine men on base, so they're not taking advantage of scoring opportunities. They did manage to get three hits and a run off of Astros closer Billy Wagner. Moises Alou, who has always hit well in the Juice Box, did have two hits and an RBI. But the Cubs so clearly miss Sammy Sosa, who loves hitting in Houston. It now appears that June 1, the potential return date for Sammy, will be met; he took batting practice last night and said his toe feels much better. Good thing, too; the offense needs him.

It'll be up to Shawn Estes tonight to prevent the Cubs from falling out of first place for the first time in three weeks. Incidentally, for those of you watching the game on WGN tonight, the starting time is SIX PM, Central time, not 7 pm as some printed schedules indicate.

TV Telecast Follies: I did catch Steve Stone in a rare mistake last night. In the fourth inning, with Damian Miller on third and Mark Grudzielanek on second, Ramon Martinez singled. Miller scored easily, but Grudz was held at third. Stone said that Grudz almost ran through a stop sign. On the replay, you could clearly see Wendell Kim starting to windmill him around, then hurriedly throw his arms in the air. Grudz stopped about 30 feet past third base and quickly got back, almost out. As it turned out he was left on base when Corey Patterson grounded out. Highly unusual for Stone to miss this. The FSN people also briefly gave the Cubs an extra run for a time in the top of the 8th on their scorebox, then removed the box for a minute and put the correct score up.