Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big surprise...randomly constructed lineup still can't score runs.

If you took one look at the line-up last night, you would have to assume that Lou Piniella just randomly assembled it by throwing darts at a roster list.  I was actually surprised we didn't see Zambrano playing catcher or something.

At one point last year, Lou said something along the lines of "I'm out of ideas" when trying to figure out why the offense wasn't producing.

Much of the comments Lou has made this year have had that same tone.

During the early part of the season, the Cubs offense wasn't horrible, just inconsistent.  Now it is horrible.

Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Theriot, Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano have all cooled off considerably.  Derrek Lee, while showing some signs of live, still isn't driving in many runs, and Aramis Ramirez is MIA still.

As a result, we are seeing a lot of 1 and 2 run totals in the box scores under the totals column.  Last night it was a 2...Xavier Nady (who's not playing too bad lately) hit a two run homer.

More on Nady...he went 4 for 4 yesterday, and if Kosuke continues to struggle, Xavier should receive more and more playing time in right field.  Yesterday Nady subbed in for Derrek Lee at first base, which makes you wonder if that has a possibility of working long term if the Cubs decide that Lee should take a hike (either before the trade deadline or after the season is over).

Here is the dilemma...Tyler Colvin needs more playing time.  It is hard to think that it will come in left or center fields...the Cubs took a risk bringing Nady in, and Nady has gradually improved over the last month.  With Nady's prior injury history, putting him a first base might be a better option leaving right field for Colvin (with an eventual trade of Fukudome).

Sorry, just rambling here...

Anyway, the Cubs will try again claim an elusive victory over the Pirates tonight...but the bigger news tonight is the return of Carlos Zambrano to the starting rotation.

I don't want to sound negative here, but I'm expecting this to be a really painful game.  I just don't see Z being effective at all at worst. At best, I expect him to be able to pitch about 3 innings effectively.

The Pirates send Zack Duke to the mound.  Early in Duke's career, he was great against the Cubs.  I personally witnessed 2 or 3 games in which he pitched against us back 4 or 5 years ago.  It was strange how the Cubs hitters could not get to him at all.  But, over the last 2 years, fortunes have changed and Duke has struggled against the Cubs lineup.  Even though the Cubs have faced the Pirates 8 times already this year, they have yet to have had the chance to face Duke.  So hopefully fortunes change tonight.