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No Words: Cubs 3, Reds 4

There's nothing I could say here that would make you, or me, feel better about today's 4-3 Cub loss to the Reds.

Nope. Nothing. Had something all planned out to write about how well Sean Marshall pitched, that ONEDEC had driven in what turned out to be the winning run, and that Kerry Wood threw well in his first appearance since Tuesday.

Unfortunately, Wood, just as Bob Brenly suggested, was overthrowing since he hadn't pitched since Tuesday (maybe he should have been in last night's game -- right, Lou?), couldn't throw strikes, and ONEDEC turned into CEDENO again, booting what might have been a game-ending double-play ball, allowing the tying run to score, and after that, well... you don't need me to tell you what happened, or how you felt afterward.

Worse, the Cubs have to sit and stew about this for more than two days, until Tuesday night in St. Louis. Then, they'll have possible worries about Hurricane Ike, which by Friday may be bearing down on the Houston area; who knows whether they'll force mandatory evacuations there and maybe the series will be moved elsewhere (speculation on my part, but this sort of thing has happened several times before, including a pair of 2004 Expos/Marlins games that wound up at the Cell, and the three-game Angels/Indians series played in Milwaukee last year).

Oh, and another thing. Can we end the Hoffpauir-in-the-outfield experiment? On the Reds' first run, scored on a fly ball to Hoffpauir, he made a valiant effort, but the throw was way off. If Kosuke Fukudome is in RF, maybe the Reds don't even run on his arm. That makes the 9th inning very different. Yes, Dome looked bad striking out in the top of the 9th and the look on Lou's face spoke volumes afterward -- I'm guessing you won't see him in the lineup anytime soon -- but there is value to his defense.

It's just not good. Not good at all. The only good news today came out of Milwaukee, where San Diego's Chris Young two-hit the Brewers and Milwaukee pitching got annihilated by the Portland Beavers San Diego Padres for 14 hits, two homers and ten runs. In fact, hats off to the Padres, who gave the vaunted Brewer lineup seven runs in four games while splitting the series, and helped out the Cubs in reducing the magic number to 16.

The Cubs will have to play better. Simple as that. As for me, I'm getting off the computer. Suggest you do the same, for a while at least. Shake it off and we'll get 'em on Tuesday.