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Cubs Thu Sep 01 2011

Cubs Return Home on Losing Note

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for cubs.gifAs the Cubs continue to play out the stretch they wrap another losing road trip. Although they went 2-4 they did continue to play spoiler. Unfortunately it started a little too late. After being swept in Milwaukee over the weekend by the division leading Brewers they ventured on to San Francisco to play the defending world champion Giants.

An 0-6 road trip was a definite possibility. However, as this bizarre Cubs season drudges on they continue to prove that they are the Cubs and anything is possible, good or bad.

The Cubs had an opportunity to sweep the Giants Wednesday afternoon. No, that isn't a typo. I said sweep. It was miraculous that they had taken two out of three from the defending champs, but they are after all a major-league team and there is a reason the games are played on the field and not just on paper.

The biggest problem for the Giants, which the Cubs share as well is a lack of run production. They limited the Giants to just six runs in the series. The only difference between the Cubs and Giants is that the Giants are contending for a playoff spot and the Cubs are 22 games back in the NL Central. They got lucky that they faced a team that has just much trouble scoring runs as them if not worse.

There is exactly one month left to the season and while I could sit here and rehash the same things I talked about in April, but it is pointless to do so because the Cubs are done for this year. It is time to begin focusing on next year. Most importantly what needs to be done to improve this team for next year.

There are a handful of decisions that need to be made. The most pressing of those is finding a new general manager. Who will that be? Your guess is as good as mine as there are a half-dozen if not more potential candidates out there for the Ricketts family to choose from.

Next is who stays and who goes? Do you re-sign Carlos Pena or go after Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder? Another route would be save the money and see what is available in the minor leagues. Personally I'd like to see them not spend the money on Fielder or Pujols and pick up a couple pitchers. Pitching is what is going to win you championships. I believe wholeheartedly in the old adage that good pitching beats good hitting.

For now the Cubs can improve this dismal season by gaining ground on the team in front of them, the Pittsburgh Pirates, in a weekend series at Wrigley. The Pirates have been a free fall ever since they got a hold of first place almost a month ago. Call it a consolation prize if you will, but improving their record is about the best thing the Cubs can do for themselves this year.

 
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