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Who The Heck Are We Kidding?

I told myself I was going to write something positive, to keep that positive attitude, so here goes:

At least it wasn't another one-run loss.

There, I said something positive.

There really isn't much more good to say about tonight's one-sided 12-2 loss to the Phillies. It started out OK, with Damian Miller's 2nd inning HR, but was all downhill from there. After the staff did so well last night, giving the Phillies only one hit, tonight nobody could get anyone out (well, except Mark Guthrie, who threw 2/3 of an inning last night, did the same tonight, with an economy of pitches: nine last night, eight tonight).

I could single someone out, and I'm going to. Juan Cruz has looked particularly clueless since his recall, and so many people I talk to say, don't ever trade him, he's got a great arm, he could be a future closer, and I was one of those last year, but now I say -- put up or shut up. I've seen Cruz throw lights-out, and I've seen him throw like he did tonight, where he could barely throw anything within three feet of the strike zone, and I say -- if Cruz is what it takes to get Mark Loretta, then do it. The Cubs have so many good young arms that anything to upgrade this anemic offense would be welcome.

It goes without saying that the Cubs must win at least two of three from the Cardinals this weekend if they want to keep any pretense of being contenders, so let me instead address a complaint that many of the Cubs had about the schedule this week.

It really is not fair to make the Cubs play a night game (even an hour earlier than last night), then fly two hours home and have to play a day game tomorrow. The Cardinals played a day game at home today, and their flight is much shorter than the Cubs'. The Phillies did have a fireworks show scheduled after today's game, but they're home tomorrow too, on the 4th itself, and they have another fireworks show on Saturday, so I don't think it would have been too much to ask them to play an afternoon game today, since the Cubs by ordinance are still not permitted to play Friday night games at home. That's one of the things I will totally support the Cubs on -- that they ought to be able to, over a several-year period, phase in perhaps 9-12 more night games, and be allowed to play on any night they choose, as long as they address the neighborhood concerns, pay for extra police, etc. In theory, the Cardinals have an advantage tomorrow, since at this writing, about 8:40 CDT, they are probably already at their hotel here in Chicago, while the Cubs are probably going to arrive at O'Hare about midnight, and not get home for another hour after that.

However, I've seen so many situations where teams, either the visitors or the Cubs, have arrived in town under those types of conditions, and come out with bats blazing the next afternoon.

Still, the Cubs deserve a level playing field, and though I love day baseball and think that it ought to be a big part of what the Cubs are about, they should never have to play a home day game the day after a road night game. There are two other such occurrences later this year -- Aug. 28 at St. Louis at night, then home the next day, and Sept. 25 at Cincinnati at night, then home the next day, both for Friday day games. Let's hope this gets addressed before next season.