Houston, the Cubs Have a Problem


The Cubs closed out the month of May with a devastating blown save loss that pretty much summed up the bleak outlook on the field and the crowded disabled list off of it. The calendar now says June, but the North Siders kicked off the new month with the same result. The Cubs continue to drop like a stone in the NL Central and are now in contention for the worst record in MLB after getting swept at Wrigley Field by the lowly Houston Astros.

The only comfort is that at least the loss on Wednesday afternoon was not an embarrassing or heartbreaking one. Doug Davis put in a solid effort, going six strong innings with one run allowed before not being allowed to get out of the mini jam he created in the 7th inning. After having to watch Casey Coleman and James Russell struggle to tread water as spot starters, it was good to see a nice outing  by a spot starter, even if it was against a bad team. Davis obviously will have to prove that he can consistently provide some stability out of the final spot in the rotation, but for one day the 5th starter spot was the least of the Cubs worries.

Unfortunately for Davis and the Cubs, Kerry Wood added fuel to the fire by walking the first batter he faced to load the bases. After getting a strike out to record the second out of the inning, Wood was replaced by the usually steady handed Sean Marshall. But the now veteran set up lefty was not able to retire Michael Bourn, who hit a single to drive in the two runs that ended up being the game. The unlucky Davis was charged with the earned runs and thus handed the loss, dropping his record to 0-4.

As for the offensive side, there is not much to report. Brett Myers continued his dominance of the Cubs, only allowing one run on three hits, and his bullpen backed him up by shutting down the Cubs the rest of the afternoon. Kosuke Fukudome led off the game with a home run, something Cubs fans probably have not seen since the days when Alfonso Soriano was batting lead off. But other than that it was a boring day at the ballpark for the Cubs fans that did show up.

Expect the rumor mill to start gaining speed now that we are entering the summer. Prior to the season many Cubbies Crib readers were willing to endure the growing pains of going with a youth movement. Although those readers did not get their wish, as the saying goes in baseball, things have a way of working themselves out. In this case, the rash of injuries have opened up some opportunities to at least get some kids on the Major League roster. With the continued drop in the standings, the veterans will surely be put out on the market and open up even more playing time for the youth movement for the remainder of the season.