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I was all ready to write a happy recap of a Cub come-from-behind win that I was going to take partial credit for, because after it was 5-0 Rangers and the Cubs looked pathetic, I went out to run some errands -- upon which they promptly had the four-run rally in the fifth inning.

Unfortunately, you'll never read that recap, because more jaw-dropping plays happened in the Rangers' ninth inning and the Cubs lost 6-5, a game they absolutely, positively should have won, because:

  • they had thirteen hits and six walks. Nineteen baserunners! Unfortunately, thirteen of them were left on base. (That leaves six, and they scored only five runs, and I'm too upset and lazy to figure out the difference.)
  • Ted Lilly settled down after giving up two early HR and threw very well, finishing seven innings with ten strikeouts and only one walk.
But the real problems were the defensive troubles/lapses in the ninth:
  • Alfonso Soriano let a ball leak out of his glove. To be fair, this would have been a very tough diving catch. But he had it, and dropped it.
  • Angel Pagan dropped a line drive sinking away from him, on which he was making a diving attempt, and that drove in the winning run. Again, to be fair, this would have been a spectacular catch. But he had it, and dropped it.
  • And then there's the worst defensive lapse, Bob Howry's inexplicable wait to throw out Kenny Lofton, trapped off first on a comebacker. Cesar Izturis is not blameless on this play, either, as he was standing too far away from second base to tag Lofton as he dived back in.
Argh. This team has more talent than this. The Cubs should have won this game by a score of about 11-5. They now stand 8.5 games behind the Brewers, and this is NOT the way to go into a game at the Cell. Howard stopped by to pick up a ticket for tomorrow's game and he and I watched the dreadful ninth inning. He was growling when he left. So am I.

All the Cubs can do is pick up the pieces and try to win at least two of three at the Cell.

Over the last two days there has been much discussion of Sammy Sosa's 600th HR and whether or not he's having a good year (I say not; many of you said he was, based primarily on his RBI count). This post at Lone Star Ball lays the "Sammy's not very good and the Rangers should get rid of him" case out quite well, particularly here:

How can you get rid of the guy that is leading the team in RBIs?

Because the RBIs are pretty much irrelevant. Sosa isn't hitting well.

Look at Pedro Feliz last year. He had 98 RBIs, despite an awful .244/.281/.428 line. No one would credibly argue that he was driving in runs and thus deserved to stay in the lineup for the Giants...why do that for Sosa?

RBIs are largely a function of opportunity. Sosa has more ABs, by far, with runners in scoring position than any other Ranger. He should be leading the team in RBIs. But it doesn't change the fact that he's not been very good this year.

I really don't have much more to say, as the title of this post indicates. I'm off to see Ocean's Thirteen right now; I had planned that anyway, but now I need to take my mind off this horrific game.

Off to the Cell tomorrow, too. If any of you will be there, I'll be in the LF bleachers.