My head could explode from the Cubs’ lack of execution in the Arizona series.
Chicago played like a team expecting to lose, as they did, getting swept in three straight games while being outscored 21-7.
The Cubs failed on countless occasions to manufacture runs. They didn’t move runners over, they didn’t hit with RISP (3-for-25) and the biggest clutch hit came off the bat of Paul Maholm–a pitcher for heaven’s sake.
The fielding was nearly as poor. The pitching, not much better. It was Quade-ball all over again. It was embarrassing.
If there was any drive to win, any want from this team, it didn’t show collectively the past three games–and that’s a problem.
Standing around waiting for teammates to be traded, or the arrival of Anthony Rizzo, or whatever other excuse there is, isn’t a free pass to go through the motions.
This is professional baseball. Winning matters, even for a team lacking overall talent.
Have Cubs players confused the sharp difference between accepting the struggles of the rebuild and flat-out accepting to lose? They certainly looked confused over the weekend.
”When we are losing and get swept it is mental,” … “Losing like we are losing now is tough. The way we are losing is not acceptable.” -Alfonso Soriano
Who knows if Dale Sveum went-off in the clubhouse before the team boarded a plane back to Chicago? I know one thing, I would’ve said my piece.
Sveum’s exploded before this season–behind closed doors–and had every right to voice more displeasure following Sunday’s game.
But has the message been received, or will it take sounding off to the media before every eyebrow is raised in the dugout?
If not Sveum erupting, then how about someone else in the clubhouse popping off. A veteran to remind his mates this series wasn’t defined by a lack of talent. Instead, it was a matter of simply not getting the job done, not executing and not doing the things every team must do to win.
I continue to reiterate my support for the rebuild. I’m willing to accept the frustrations that come with the organization taking one-step back to move two-steps forward, even at the cost of a 100-loss season. But what I can’t stomach is watching this team give games away.
That, is inexcusable.
For once I’m tired of talking about the batting order, the bullpen, the closer, etc. I’m not looking for the Cubs to rejoin the pennant race.
We know the talent’s not there for the Cubs to win consistently this season. But there’s enough talent to be competitive–especially if the Cubs play with effort, play the game the right way, play with pride–play the way we were promised they would in spring training.
That kind of professionalism never goes out of style, never goes under-appreciated and is never too much to ask for.