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1000 Words

What more needs to be said, really?

In the past, when there's been a tough loss at night followed by a day game, I've said that I'll keep my game post short. Often, I've failed. But I'm sure you've all been waiting for my take on last night's fiasco.

This time I'm going to keep my promise to keep it short. The Cubs lost to the Marlins 5-4 last night. It was the first time the Marlins had won all year when trailing after eight innings.

Moments after it appeared that Todd Walker had saved the game with a diving stop and force at the plate for the second out, Mike Jacobs smacked a 400-foot two-run single to win it for Florida.

Kerry Wood threw OK, except for the five walks. The bullpen did a good job, except for Ryan Dempster, who had his second blown save of the year. Michael Barrett had a nice game, with a triple and a homer. Jacque Jones, as predicted by me last night, went 0-for-4. I didn't predict the three strikeouts, but I could have.

If this game had been seen in the context of a skein of wins, you could excuse it as "one of those things". Instead, it becomes one in a litany of "how are they going to screw it up today?" games, and that's how losing breeds losing. I can imagine it's no fun in the Cub clubhouse these days, and not much fun even coming to the ballpark.

Just as winning breeds winning -- look at the White Sox, sadly, for a good example of that -- losing can breed more losing. It's not going to get as bad as this diary suggests -- this team isn't going to lose 110 games, a level that's been reached only twice in the last thirty-seven seasons. But unless the players on this club find within themselves the ability to actually play at the levels they are capable of playing -- and there is no doubt that virtually everyone on this team is playing FAR below that level -- this will not be a fun last four months.

And that'd be for any of us. It is no fun to watch loss after loss. There is no question that some changes have to be made, and now. I am at a loss to understand why Jim Hendry has really done virtually nothing to try to stem what has now become a 9-22 record over the last month.

See this diary for some Dusty Baker quotes in which he indicates that maybe, just maybe, he's awakening to understand the problem. Too few walks by Cub hitters + too many walks by Cub pitchers = too many runs given up = not enough runs scored = too many losses.

There's another game today, in only a few hours. I'll post a game thread in a couple more hours; till then, you can have at the carcass of last night's debacle.