But I was too bored to copy and paste them, so all you get is the link above and the song as an earworm. You're welcome!
Seriously, this one was so boring I went and took some clothes to the dry cleaners and kept running upstairs to see if the mail had arrived (it eventually did, all junk) once the Cubs went behind 7-2 in the third inning, knowing that I probably wouldn't miss anything. I didn't -- I was in front of the TV when Anthony Rizzo hit his 15th home run of this depressing season, about the only highlight of the game for our favorites wearing blue. Rizzo's now just three RBI away from 50 for his just-about-half-season in the major leagues; today was his 82nd game, and presuming he plays every remaining game he'll have 88, and about 375 plate appearances. 15 and 50 would be nice round numbers, implying 30 and 100 in a full season, though it would also be nice to see him hit another homer or three before the year's over. Overall Rizzo went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a pair of walks Thursday.
The Cubs had a ninth-inning rally fall short; Alfonso Soriano singled in a run, his 106th of the year, putting him three behind Chase Headley (who'll play later Thursday night) and four behind Ryan Braun (who had no RBI in an afternoon affair).
With this being the 97th loss of the season, that surpasses the 1974 and 2006 seasons to become the fourth-most defeats any Cubs team has ever had. This is now the seventh time since 1997 that a Cubs team has lost 90 or more games in a season. That's seven times in 16 seasons -- almost half. Of course, there are also four playoff seasons in that span (1998, 2003, 2007, 2008), so it's been feast or famine for our team in recent years.
That is, of course, what TheoJed is planning on stopping, the wild swing between 97 wins -- that's just four years ago, though it seems like 40 -- and 97 losses and counting. We wait, and hope, for that, but for now it seems inevitable that the Cubs will lose 100 games this year. This is the 17th straight defeat (16 this year, the last game of 2011) for the Cubs in a NL West park. They might as well have phoned up the Dodgers, Giants, Rockies, Padres and D'backs and said, "Hey, we're forfeiting. You guys can have the wins, we'll save the jet fuel and hotel bills."
The loss, the 56th by the Cubs on the road this year, established a new team record (162-game schedule) for most road defeats. One piece of good news: Darwin Barney made no errors. Barney's 141st consecutive errorless game* tied the MLB single-season record for such things (Placido Polanco, 2007).
* thanks to official scorer Allan Spear for an assist
The loss also reduced the Cubs' magic number to clinch the No. 2 draft pick in the 2013 draft to four; any combination of Rockies wins and Cubs defeats totalling four clinches it. The Cubs head to Arizona, where they are 20-34 all time and have lost four in a row; a sweep seems likely, and then home to the Astros; today's game was Colorado's last home game of 2012. The Rox go to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers and then also go to Arizona to finish against the D'backs. They're 14-16 against those two teams this year, so you'd figure they might be able to split those six games.
You'll notice I haven't said much about anyone who played in this game other than Rizzo. There's a reason for that; there's nothing you really want to hear. How's this, though: Chris Volstad gave up a two-run homer and a three-run homer. His ERA is now 6.64. Unless he can get that below 6.54 before the season ends, I think we can officially call this the single worst pitching season in Cubs history. No one in Cubs history has ever thrown as many innings as Volstad (104⅓) and had an ERA this high. Jim Bullinger's 1996 season (6.54) is the closest.
Told you that you didn't want to hear. It's more than 24 hours till the next game. Perhaps that's a blessing.