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Um, That's Not How It Was Supposed To Start

Losing last night's game to the Astros 12-8 wasn't exactly what I, or I'm sure the Cubs, had in mind for the first game of this road trip.

Especially when 8 runs are pretty hard to come by -- it's been since August 7 since the Cubs had scored that many runs (that day, it was nine against the Padres as they completed a sweep in San Diego).

When the score was 12-6 and the time was approaching 10 pm CT, I decided it was time to go to sleep -- back to work this week, after all, and I figured the game was over. All I missed was Alex Gonzalez' 17th homer of the season -- one more and he'll match his career high, set last year. Even so, A-Gon is hitting well below his lifetime average, and that's one reason the club is doing so poorly.

We have known all year that if the Cubs were to go anywhere, the pitching was going to have to carry this club, and it failed again yesterday. Matt Clement struggled from almost his very first pitch; it was clear he had no command, and 102 pitches and four miserable innings later, he was yanked. If Dave Veres hadn't had his worst outing since his return from the DL, the Cubs would have been able to stay in the game.

So many people I know were horrified when the ballclub picked up Tony Womack yesterday from Colorado. Womack's having the worst year of his career, and like most of the other pickups, he won't take a walk to save his life. However, he is still an offensive upgrade over Augie Ojeda, and he won't play much after Mark Gruzielanek comes back; I'd see him as strictly an insurance policy. I figure that what Jim Hendry is doing isn't just going after Proven Veterans; it's Proven Veterans With Playoff Experience. With the addition of Womack, the current 25-man roster has no less than 17 players who have been in the postseason (the 8 who haven't: Prior, Farnsworth, Borowski, Zambrano, Clement, Ramirez, Gonzalez and Glanville). I don't necessarily think this means a thing. But that may be Hendry and Baker's thinking.

Hendry appeared on the FSN telecast and said, among other things, that Kerry Wood's back seems to be fine, and he should be able to make his start on Thursday with no problems. That's good, because the Cubs need a healthy Wood for the rest of the season.

With Prior and Wood scheduled to start the next two days, I still feel confident about the chances of taking two of three from Houston. Keep the faith.

Especially after this loss, and having spent the better part of the afternoon looking at cabinets for our upcoming kitchen renovation, I need a better day today.