As I said before, the Chicago Cubs have scored just 3 runs in their last 45 innings. Such a streak could certainly be the product of once-in-a-decade bad luck, but more likely, it is a combination of controllable problems.
Heck, maybe it begins as bad luck, and then a couple guys start pressing – you know the drill: swinging at the balls, taking the strikes. Guessing at the plate. But then other guys try to pick up the slack, and they, too, start pressing. Maybe they’re trying to compensate for a missing, key bat in the lineup.
Whatever the case, shortstop Ryan Theriot – a guy who emerged as a quality MLB regular over the past few years with a slap-type style of hitting, going with the pitch, line drive the other way – may have put the Cubs’ slump right into a perfect little nugget for us all.
”I haven’t felt like I’ve had a mistake pitch to drive in a while,” shortstop Ryan Theriot said before the game. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
1.) Expecting and relying on the fact that you’re going to get mistake pitches? Slump.
2.) Trying to be a hitter you’re not? Slump.
And it isn’t just Ryan Theriot, of course. I think this is just emblematic of the problem facing the entire lineup right now. Simultaneously expecting the opposing pitcher (or umpire, or teammates) to cut you a break, and expecting that you can do it all yourself. It’s making for a whole lot of futile at bats, and slumping Cubs.
Well, except Kosuke Fukudome. Perhaps the urge to press got lost in translation.