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The Chicago Cubs have had a lead in five of their first six games. They are 1-5.

There was a whole lot of deja vu in this one. The Cubs got out to an early lead. Ryan Dempster started out shaky, but then turned it on. He was mostly excellent, save for a two-run homer in the seventh. (Most days, if your starting pitcher holds the other team to just two runs through 6.2 innings, you’re probably going to win. Unless “you” are the 2012 Cubs, that is.)

The offense was virtually non-existent, again, and a couple attempted rallies came up short. Marlon Byrd’s early season struggles continue. Massively. He’s got just one hit this year, and that one came on Opening Day.

It wasn’t all deja vu, though…

  • Packman711

    Over/under 50 for the number of one-run losses this year?

  • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

    We didn’t even get to hear Braun boos today! gah

  • bricky9

    It’s official. Cubs suck!

  • Logan

    “No pressure? No problem!”
    – Kerry Wood & Carlos Marmol

  • Kyle

    The bullpen was very encouraging. Marmol even got a couple of swing-and-misses.

    If I’m counting right, the bullpen has allowed just one run in its last nine innings.

  • EvenBetterNews

    I think when I called 68 wins, people thought I was nuts and said so. They were right, I might have had my sights set a little high.

  • TonyP

    This team needs blown up.  I except a lot of trades in the next few months.  Let the kids play and get some experience.

  • morgan

    typical cubs, cant hit or pitch when the game is on the line, wood and marmol only pitch good when cubs are down not when there trying to hold a lead aka no pressure. most of our hitters get hits with 2 outs in the 4th but not when theres runners on, its not how many but when you get it, something that the cubs dont go by

  • Eric S

    Only problem Tony if the kids play now we can’t lock em up for the extra year. Let the vets play most of the season. We’re not expected to contend anyway, and build the kids slowly so when we’re to go, the kids will be ready. I’d like to see Jackson as an everyday center fielder next year with Lahair off the bench and Rizzo at first. Not to mention Vitters at 3rd.

    • TonyP

      I understand the extra year but if the youngsters can get experience and make us better sooner then fuck the extra year.

      • ETS

        Pretty sure we don’t get an extra year with Rizzo, just prevent Super 2 status.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          The Cubs can get an extra year on Rizzo if they wait until late June to bring him.

        • Kyle

          It’ll be more like an extra few months than a year.

          He’s got 68 days of service time. It takes 172 to get a year of service time.

          The major-league season varies every season is generally between 178 and 183 days long, so once he’s up, he’ll gain an extra 6-11 days per season.

          That means he’ll gain something like 30-55 days of “extra” service time in the next five years, which means he’d only need 49-74 days this season to be in line for free agency after his sixth season.

  • Cubs Dude

    My question is can the front office really wait to bring up Rizzo and Jackson until July?? We’re 5 games in, and its alreadly painful… Service time is important, but man there will be fan backlash.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I think the reason I hate the Cubs losing like they have this first week is not because I’m such a fan of what they do, but because of the overreactions that get posted after every single game.

    • Cubs Dude

      We all know they suck for a reason, but it doesn’t make it any easier. 162 games is a long season for a bad team no matter what the reasoning is.

    • SirCub

      Lahair is raking…

      • rylan

        He’s had like 9 at bats..

    • Frank

      I have to agree, Norm–we all knew this wasn’t going to be good. It’s showing itself to be just what we thought it would be–and what most everyone said they understood it would be.

  • Nebraska Cubs

    Going to be a very long year if the Cubs can’t score more than 3-4 runs a game. Also, when does Byrd get traded?  I really hope we  see Jackson in the pros by mid season so we can see what he has all second part of the season.

    • Nebraska Cubs

      Also, does anybody else think they should split the lefties of Stewart and LeHair?  If the Cubs want to find out if LaHair is the 1B of the future, or with the future of the Cubs long term, he needs to face lefties! Do you see Prince taking days off against lefty pitchers?

  • Segal27

    I have an idea. Lets win

  • Zogie

    From grading these at-bats today. 3 Great ABs, 11 good ABs, 6 OK ABs, 4 bad ABs, and 9 Terrible AB’s. Those Terrible and bad at-bats came in clutch situations. DeJesus had a good day with 2 Great AB’s, a 9 pitch walk with a 2b. Barney and CAstro both did not have either a bad or terrible AB today. Sori had only 1 good AB today. Stewart had 2 good AB’s on 2 singles. LaHair also had 2 good AB’s with a single and a walk. Soto and Byrd killed us on offense today each with 1 bad and 2 terrible AB’s. Clevenger had the best AB all day with a 2b. DeWitt and Johnson had a terrible and bad AB respectfully. There is my advance box score. I will only be able to do these on certain days. sorry for the inconvenience. Dang college and location.

    • Mike Foster

      Nice work Zogie, thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Love it, Zogie. Thanks.

  • http://signafncatcher.tumblr.com/ Kevin Radei

    Another 0 for 4 from Geo. Shocking.

  • Todd

    A SP with an ERA under 2 and he is 0-1 with 1 ND. That’s a painful stat. I’m really annoyed by the 7th, where we had 2 on, 0 outs and then we go K, K, ground out. That was the most frustrating part of the game. Guys need to step up. Sota, Byrd, Soriano, Johnson. We can’t put the weight of this team on the young guns like Castro and LaHair (I’m just naming names now….)

    Can someone explain to me why Soto showed bunt twice, not on back to back pitches, and struck out swinging? I was listening to the radio broadcast and the focus was more on John Grisham’s book than the reasoning behind that at bat.

    • DocPWimsey

      “I’m really annoyed by the 7th, where we had 2 on, 0 outs and then we go K, K, ground out. That was the most frustrating part of the game. Guys need to step up.”

      This is a common view, but it omits one thing: Gallardo. Yes, the Cubs had 2 guys on: but on poorly hit balls of the sort that often (and even usually) are outs. If it had been a situation where Gallardo was hanging pitches or taking stuff off of his fastball to get it over the plate, then you could say that the batters dropped the ball. However, what happened is that Gallardo got unlucky on the first two batters and got the probable results on the next 3 guys. Getting lucky twice in an inning is, well, lucky squared. Asking for lucky cubed is a bit much….

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        This offense will require lucky cubed many times over.

        • DocPWimsey

          Yeah, and until the Cubs start driving the ball and working counts, we really are left hoping that the other pitcher flat-out screws up OR balls that would put seeing-eye dogs to shame.

          Heh, maybe “Lucky Cubed!” could be our motto this year…..

  • Mike Foster

    Brett, I’m a little disappointed in the EBS, you should be looking at this game and no offense rather than last week, sheesh.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Mike, you should know by now that the EBS doesn’t always focus on the most “important” aspect of the game. You should also know that if there was something “important” to discuss, I probably discussed it above the EBS.

      Which I did.

      • Zogie

        You do a great job Brett. Mike maybe referring to my post. My little advanced box score relies on watching every single pitch, so that would put a lot of work on a lead writer on the website. I’m just trying to help those see how cubs batters are working counts and having good or bad ABs. Those of you that are already after DeJesus head, He has actually played pretty well this year. He is one of the only Cubs that consistently works counts and plays great defense. I say move DeJesus to CF and let Mather play some RF. Byrd is a good defender in CF, but he consistently swung at pitches that he can not handle. trade Byrd and Soto. Save $10M.

  • ShootTheGoat

    Did anyone else notice that we got burned by a guy who wasn’t even penciled in for today (Kottaras), until moments before first pitch? Gonna be one of THOSE years, huh. This team already has a bad mojo about it. Lol!

  • brittney

    I liked watching barney today. He had a few good ABs and some decent defense. I’m starting to like him a little more each day….I think! Castro needs to go to the 2 hole like yesterday!

  • cubfanincardinalland

    This game really ticked me off and illimuninated the abyss this team is stuck in. Do you guys realize the last 8 outs the Cubs made in this game were strikeouts?
    7th inning, two good at bats by Stewart and LaHair, 2 on nobody out. Soto can’t even come close to a sacrifice bunt and K’s again. He is a .190 hitter against righties, that is what he is.
    And Byrd has what you can so obviously see when a guy is at the end. The bat speed is gone. The other teams know it too, the Brewers were just challenging him right in the strike zone every at bat. At 6 million a year his trade value is zero.
    And the frustrating part is the starters on this club are not bad. Get Rizzo, Jackson, Castillo, Beliveau, Cardenas, and Campana, and anybody else they think has major league ability up here now. Look at what the Royals did, let the kids learn in the big leagues. This is a 95 or more loss team with the likes of Byrd, Soto, Baker, and DeWitt. Might as well lose with guys who might have some upside.
    And will somebody explain to me how Joe Mather has one at bat so far. This was your best hitter in spring training.

  • Kyle

    This team displays excellent baserunning, solid defense, and Sveum worked hard on fundamentals with them all spring.

    Careful what you wish for, Cubs fans. While you were running all the good players out of town, you got guys who do the “little things” right. And this is what that sort of team looks like.

    • Cubs Dude

      Who are you talking about other than Zambrano and Marshall? And Big Z absolutely is not a good player anymore, in fact he sucks. While marshall is good he’s a RP, so how much can he really do? I think people want a comination of talent and players who do the so called “little things”.. The talent clearly isn’t there at this point. Not sure what your trying to say.

    • Bric

      Who are the good players you refer to? Marshall? Colvin? Zambrano? Aram? Other than big Z I don’t think the fans ran any of these guys out of town. They just wanted a change.

      The jury’s still out whether these moves were good or bad. But at least it’s something new. I think what you mean is the guys we *tried* to run out of town- Soto, Byrd, Sori, and Marmol. Unfortunately these guys are still hear which is why the Cubs are even worse now than last year. A year older, a year slower.

      • Pat

        I’d imagine Aram is at the top of the list. All the “He doesn’t hustle” blather.

        • King Jeff

          I’ve seen him not hustle a couple of times in these two games already. He might have stole a base, but he loafed on a few ground balls that came close to being hits because he took his sweet time. That’s not to mention the boot yesterday that almost cost the game. Refresh my memory on what he’s doing at the plate, because I’m sure that’s pretty crappy too. Blather my rear.

          • Pat

            That’s fine. You and Bob Brenley can have a team of 25 guys who “play the right way”, whatever the hell that means. I prefer 25 guys who are actually, you know, good at baseball.

            So those couple of ground balls that “came close” to being hits, that hurt the team how?

            As for how he’s doing at the plate, I’m not sure what conclusions you’re looking to draw after six games, but he has more runs driven in than any player currently on the Cubs. That’s with only two hits, mind you. Because, generally speaking his hits count, despite what that moron in the broadcast booth likes to pretend.

  • Larry Bittner

    Brett, I think it might help to make the link to Wrigleyville’s best bars more prominent. Hell, start posting drink, specials.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Funny, and sad.

  • ty

    When does the season start? I have been catching some wgn reruns from last year.

  • Larry Bittner

    Drink of the Day, SOTO SALUTE, 1 highball, and a half-full glass of whoop ass

  • die hard

    memo to Mgr Sveum: for starters
    bench Soto and Byrd
    move Castro to leadoff
    move Soriano to 3rd for now until he pulls a hammy

    • Njriv

      Yeah, for the time being I think they need to move Castro back into the lead-off spot. I know the last two seasons he’s been hitting great, but his needs to change his approach if hes going to bat 3rd.

  • ty

    Bittner–I thought you were still in rehab from last season!

  • Gregb

    Wow i knew we were going to be bad and its only 6games but if this is a preview of things to come damn they suck glad i forgot to record the game doesnt seem like i missed much anyway

  • Njriv

    This baseball season already feels long. I was thinking that the Cubs should probably bring up some youngsters sooner than expected, not really to blow up the team but i think they can help them win games. Jackson would instantly be an upgrade offensively over Byrd. Rizzo might need a little more time, I’m just afraid of him failing again if he’s brought up too soon, and LaHair isn’t performing that badly. I don’t really think Vitters is an upgrade from Stewart yet, and I’m kind of on the fence if Castillo would be an instant upgrade from Soto at the moment. I think Campana should be brought up, he can create some havoc in the late-innings. They also need to do something try to salvage the bullpen, like bringing up Beliveau. The starting pitching has been pretty good, and another good thing is that they are still staying in ballgames and not being blown-out every day.

  • Eric

    To be honest if we are to be bad, why not be really bad and get the #1 draft pick? I mean we are rebuilding anyway that #1 pick sure would help the rebuild. Honestly I really can’t wait until summer when some of our future core players come up to the big leagues. I actually am more interested in following Rizzo, Jackson, and Vitters more than I am the Cubs right now. Aside from Garza, Smardzija, and Volstad, and Castro.

    • Cubs Dude

      I would rather have the 2nd or 3rd pick and just be bad, as opposed to trainwreck/historically bad. When you are that bad it can leave a bad effect for years to come. And it may cost people their jobs.

      • Professional_High_A

        I agree. The only thing that keeps me going most days is the knowledge that life could be worse, I could be an Astros fan. Even if we don’t win it all this year lets at least enjoy not being in the basement of the NL Central.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Don’t look now…

        • http://!? Houston Transplant

          Yeah…they look a hell of a lot better than the Cubs after 6 games.

  • Larry Bittner

    Has anyone noticed that Castro spelled backwards is Ortsac?? I would have paid Harry to say that one…hee, hee

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