Aaron Heilman will not be putting Thursday night’s Cubs–Marlins game in his personal time capsule: the score was tied 2-2 when the reliever entered to pitch the top of the 10th, and by the time he was finished walking people and serving up fat ones, it was 8-2 Florida. Well, all right, he didn’t get much help from his defense: Ryan Theriot‘s fielding error actually opened the floodgates, but still, 5 of the 6 runs Heilman allowed were earned. And he didn’t record a single out. Is it possible someone kidnapped Heilman and replaced him with Bob Howry?
The pitching hasn’t been great lately, but it’s the hitting that really has the Cubs worried. Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley, Geovany Soto and Mike Fontenot are giving this team squat offensively; Aramis Ramirez is hurt; and Alfonso Soriano has dipped into one of his characteristic slow streaks. Kosuke Fukudome had a torrid April, but ended it by going 0-4. The team managed only 5 hits Thursday, after mustering only 2 the last game against Arizona. The team that led baseball in runs last season is currently 8th in the NL in that department, and 12th in batting average, with a pitiful .246. The one encouraging thing is that, given the histories of the slumping and injured players, there’s almost certain to be a dramatic uptick in production over the next couple of months.