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Wells Does Well, But Nothing Ends Well For Cubs

This recap is going to be mercifully short, for two reasons: 1) there's an afternoon game today, so a game preview will be up in just a few hours, and 2) how much can I possibly say about a game like last night's 3-2 Cubs loss to the Marlins?

Considering point (2) above, that's about what Lou had to say in his postgame remarks. To wit:

I think I'm going to a casino in Indiana and play snake eyes. I don't know what else to say, I'll be honest with you.

Really, Lou? You're the manager and you don't know what else to say other than a not-very-funny joke? I realize he "did" something last night -- moved Marlon Byrd up and Derrek Lee down one spot in the lineup. Wow, big whoop. Byrd did drive in a run with a sacrifice fly. Hooray. The Cubs lost for the seventh time in their last eight games.

What else can be said about this game? Randy Wells made two mistakes, deposited in the bleachers by Cody Ross and Gaby Sanchez. Unfortunately, Ross' HR came two batters after Wells' only walk of the game, to Dan Uggla, and that runner turned out to be the difference. Wells threw a nice game. He gave up only two other hits, singles to Uggla and Chris Coghlan. He deserved better. Esmailin Caridad pitched a scoreless ninth inning and looked like the setup guy the Cubs had hoped he would be.

That's the best I can say about this game. Rehashing the impotent offense would be pointless -- it's the same old story from the same players, failure to hit with runners in scoring position. There is one final point -- the error charged to Starlin Castro was a tough one. He failed to pick up a ground ball -- that Ryan Theriot would have waved at as it went by. Castro's range was the only reason he even touched the ball. It should have been a hit.

Of more concern to the Cubs on a drizzly, foggy evening that wasn't quite as cold as Monday due to the lack of wind, might be the lack of paying customers who actually had their tickets scanned. Baseball teams don't release turnstile counts any more and haven't for decades, but last night, it appeared that barely half of the 38,007 announced as the paid crowd actually showed up. And many of those started leaving around 8:30, the time the Blackhawks playoff game began; by game's end not more than 10,000 remained. Congratulations, incidentally, to the Blackhawks for their big win, moving them into the conference finals.

Unless the Cubs do something to shake up this season and try to salvage any chance at contention, next year's ticket sales could be adversely affected. In the meantime, this slow march, apparently to nowhere, continues this afternoon -- game preview will post at 11:30 am CDT.