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No Words, Again

I mean really, what words can I put here that will say anything that you don't already know or feel?

OK, how about "Just The Facts, Ma'am"?

The Cubs lost 9-3 to the Giants this afternoon.

Those are the facts.

What else can you say about a game in which the Giants' first seven men hit safely and five of them scored? The game was over before what would normally have been the first commercial break of ER, which is WGN's normal programming at 3 in the afternoon.

This entire Cub team needs some ER treatment. They did manage to score three runs after the game was long decided, one of them after Will Ohman had to bat for himself in the 9th inning because -- well, because all five bench players were already in the game. Ohman, amazingly enough, got a hit -- his first major league hit (not his first ML at-bat; he had 2 AB for the Cubs in 2001), keeping a rally going till Henry Blanco could drive in the final run with a sacrifice fly.

This is what we are reduced to. Writing about a sacrifice fly by the Cubs' backup catcher in a game they are trailing at the time by seven runs.

Here are some good things: the bullpen threw 4.1 innings of two-hit, one-walk, shutout ball. Roberto Novoa came into the game with a runner on base and actually didn't allow him to score! Barry Bonds (yes, ugh, I have to mention him, because he did play in this game) went 1-for-10 in the series, with four walks and two runs scored.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Giants didn't get the message that they were supposed to lay down for Sean Marshall. It was Marshall's worst appearance of his young career -- and all pitchers are going to have those sorts of things from time to time.

The loss made the Cubs 1-8 on the trip, which is the worst trip since May 8-17, 1981, when they went 1-7-1 on a trip to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Houston (the tie was the May 10 game in Atlanta which was stopped by rain after 14 innings).

The 1981 team was one of the worst teams in Cub history; only the strike prevented a 100-loss season. In the first half they went 15-37, and it was only that good because they won five of the last six games before the strike. That team was 1-13, 5-27 and 10-36.

This team is NOT that bad.

The 1969 Cubs had a 2-7 trip -- yes, THAT trip, the one that really killed them, when they got swept in New York and Philadelphia, lost two of three to St. Louis, and split a pair in Montreal (yes, in that order -- how odd, going to two East Coast cities, then back to St. Louis, then back east).

I don't know what to say about this team now. One day after they showed a little bit of life, they looked absolutely dead today -- so much so that I turned the game off for a while.

At this writing it is pouring rain and 46 degrees in Chicago. Tomorrow's not supposed to be much better, and maybe a postponement would get these guys in a better frame of mind.

On the other hand, since this is San Diego's only visit to Wrigley Field this year, that'd just force a doubleheader to be played, likely on Saturday, and the weather is still supposed to be rotten then as well.

Weird fact: thirty-four games into the season, the Cubs will play no more games in the Pacific Time Zone the rest of the year, and only three (the three at Colorado August 11, 12 and 13) outside of the Eastern or Central Time Zones.

With this much time left, it is not time to give up. I freely admit that if, two months from now, the Cubs are in a similar (or worse) spot, then yes, it'll be time to shop around guys like Juan Pierre, Jacque Jones (even if they have to eat a lot of the contract) and maybe even Todd Walker.

Till then -- keep the faith. Yeah, I know. It's not easy. But then, that's why we are Cubs fans.