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This IS Getting Ridiculous

Not the losing. This game was, sadly, just about any one of a couple dozen others this year -- Cub pitchers giving up hits, then home runs, putting the game out of reach.

No, what's ridiculous is the apparent "WGN Jinx Of 2006".

The Cubs have now lost eighteen straight games that have been televised on WGN. That's more than ridiculous, it's almost impossible to do, since the TV schedule has absolutely nothing to do with the baseball that's being played. Or at least it shouldn't.

The Cubs lost to the Reds 7-1 in <sigh> yet another game that wasn't that close. It did, in fact, seem over when the Reds tied it up in the bottom of the first. You had that sick feeling that the run they scored wasn't going to be it, and the Cubs just weren't going to score any more off of Bronson Arroyo, who is 3-0 against the Cubs this year with a 1.74 ERA.

Tony Womack hit a home run. Big whoop. That was it. It was Womack's first home run since July 28, 2004 -- oddly enough, that one was also hit in the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

I could make the Glen-Done joke here, but that has already BEEN "done" to death. This season, in which he is now 2-6 with a 7.29 ERA, resembles his 2003 season with the Brewers. Except he's already allowed, in only 45 innings, more HR (15) than he allowed ALL of that season.

I cannot figure this out. Rusch was never a great pitcher, but he was always serviceable, and his last two outings were decent-to-good. Thus, about the only thing I can think of is that he's hiding an injury.

If so, put him on the DL already, and scour the waiver wires for someone to replace him.

Neifi, too. Forget the DL, just eat the contract and release him. Phil Nevin could have hit for Will Ohman in the 7th, but after the second out was made, Dusty opted for Neifi, at which time I knew I could go to the bathroom without missing anything. Neifi obliged by flying out meekly.

I always try to look for positives in any game, even one this pathetic, but there really wasn't anything -- well, except for Ohman throwing two decent innings in relief. Roberto Novoa was awful again -- this time from the start of an inning, which is the situation in which, statistically, he usually does well.

Oh, and the Reds drew five walks and stole three bases off Michael Barrett.

The next two games are on Comcast SportsNet, which gives the ballclub at least a chance to win them. That's really sad, that I have to try to hope for wins based on what TV channel the game will be seen.

It is, of course, pure coincidence. But EIGHTEEN straight times? And only FOUR wins on WGN so far this year (April 3, April 7, April 12, April 23)? This makes absolutely no sense, but there it is.

Mark Prior's rehab start for West Tenn went reasonably well tonight -- that is, after Prior gave up a three-run homer in the first inning. That's all he gave up, and from all reports did start to show some better velocity and some good breaking balls. I know there is at least one BCB reader at the game, so I hope he will post a diary tomorrow morning.

Till then, let's all try to think positive thoughts about removing the "WGN Jinx Of 2006". Yes, I know it's ridiculous ... but the numbers are right there -- 4-21 on WGN.

Somewhere, Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray are turning in their graves.