And by Cubs, I mean my son’s third-grade little league team.
There have been very few bright spots to the Reds season thus far. Today’s game didn’t provide any. Shoddy, unfocused play was the theme for the day. Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto assumed the third out of an inning and jogged into the tag when Drew Stubbs hustled down the line to beat the throw. And then 2 other times, the Reds’ last out of the inning was from a runner getting caught in a rundown. Not to mention the embarrassing scene when Stubbs caught a fly ball to center and threw it into the stands, thinking it was the third out. It was the second.
The Reds never scored, being shutout for the first time of the year. They managed only 4 hits off the San Diego Padres, but their lack of strike-zone judgment got them 7 strikeouts to just 2 walks. Dusty Baker has even called out the team for striking out too much, although his solution seems to be to swing more. “You have no chance if you don’t swing,” he said, upset by a called third strike on Chris Dickerson to end Friday’s game.
Baker’s teams always seem to have problems with strikeouts. I blame his “be aggressive” philosophy that Cubs fans grew to loathe. With the team’s dismal 7-11 start–and given the heroics required for that record, we could very easily be looking at a 4-14 or 2-16 start–broadcasters and reporters seem to be getting more critical of Baker and the team’s approach. We’ll see if that concern ever reaches those that matter and could greatly improve this team by firing Baker.
Until then, we’ll have to suffer through terrible line-ups, tons of strikeouts, and lots of losses. With it being so early, 2010 is starting to look like a very long year.