Thursday night’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers leaves the Cubs 7 back in the division race and 6 back in the Wild Card. With only a little over a month left. And the team seeming just as uninspired as in the early season when the offense went completely MIA.
It’s pretty obvious from recent comments that the Cubs brass believe time is running out. “There has to be a sense of urgency,” Jim Hendry said recently to Cubs.com. “We just haven’t played up to our capabilities. It’s kind of a mystery to all of us. We’ve had a lot of guys who have hit their whole lives and they haven’t hit. We’ve done a very poor job all year. It’s frustrating. We just haven’t got the job done.”
“We” starts with Hendry himself, who set the stage for failure by trading Mark DeRosa, not getting a real left-handed power hitter and settling for Kevin Gregg as the closer.
But there’s no use rehashing all that, nor is there any point carting out the old injury excuse. Fact is, even despite the poor off-season moves and non-moves, there was enough talent on this team to be right in the race. And though the injuries didn’t help matters, it wasn’t like the Cubs didn’t find good players to step in when needed.
They could’ve hit better even when Aramis Ramirez was out, had Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano not gone belly-up for long stretches. And the overall lack of clutch hitting, you can’t chalk that up to anything but lack of focus.
Much as we may enjoy hammering Jim Hendry, blame rests on the players. Certain guys should’ve done better jobs, right from the start of the season. Certain guys haven’t made the adjustments they should. Certain guys need to learn to keep themselves in better shape.
There are some lazy, selfish players on this team, pure-and-simple. And Hendry may have to move some of them this off-season.
For the time-being, all we can do is hope that guys find a little jolt of inspiration, and get on one last hot streak. It would stink to go out with such a whimper after all the high hopes.