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« Cuban missle sinks Pirates: Sox win back-to-back games Um...Make That 8 »

Baseball Mon May 25 2009

Cubs' Losing Streak Hits 7

The good news is that Cubs' scored more runs on Sunday than they had in any of their previous five games; the bad news is that they only scored two. On the heels of another lackluster offensive effort, the Cubs dropped their seventh straight game and completed their winless, six game road trip in San Diego. A week ago, I wrote about how this team was managing to create wins amid a storm of injures, underperforming players and shaky relief pitching. Fittingly, the team has lost every game since then, scoring only five runs in the last six games. Have all the short comings of this team caught up to them or has this week merely been a bad stretch? If anything positive can be taken out of the last seven games, it is that the losses can be pinpointed to one single part of their team: the offense. For the most part, both the starting pitching and bullpen have done well to keep the games respectable. If the pitching can remain steady and if the bats can produce, there is a formula in place that can produce wins in the future.

While the season is still young, at some point soon this team needs prove that they can contend, if they plan on having a successful season. I've already heard the grumblings amongst fans who worry about the proverbial window closing on this batch of Cubs' players. The Cubs are a team that was built to win now. Made up of mostly veteran players, even their "young" guys are not all that young. Micah Hoffpauir and Mike Fontenot turn 29 this year, Geovany Soto is 26, every other position player is in their 30's. The starting rotation particularly is made up of veteran players. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a veteran team; you just don't want to be an old team. But the difference between "veteran" and "old" is not distinguished by age, the only difference is that veteran teams win and old teams lose. The Cubs are hoping to be a veteran team but it won't be long before they turn old. They have a lot of money tied into the big contracts of players who are past their peak production years. Their farm system is one of the worst in baseball, only two of their players are listed in Baseball Prospectus' Top 100 Prospects : Josh Vitters and Jeff Samardzija, numbers #34 and #85, respectively. If baseball has taught us anything since the end of the Yankees' dynasty, it is that teams cannot buy a World Series title, successful teams start in the farm system. If the 2009 Cubs cannot compete, there is not much reason to believe that the 2010 team will be much better. The time for the Cubs to win is now, or maybe it was last year, this is not a team built to be competitive in three or four years. So while it may only be May, the Cubs need to break out of their slump and give the fans reason to hope for the rest of the year before it is too late. And then hope that new ownership can figure out the aging problem in the years to come.

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