This team goes to 11

11? 11 runs in the 6th inning. I'm frickin' speechless. Its a shame since Marshall was pitching well up until that point, even getting into the offensive act by hitting his first big league home run. But in the 6th inning the wheels came off. A series of hits, including two grand slams and two costly errors by Todd Walker led to quite possibly the most depressing half-inning of baseball I've ever seen this side of Game 6 in '03. Just miserable. But what pisses me off most, isn't the two errors by Walker, or Marshall getting lit up to start the inning. Its that once again Dusty Baker went to Roberto Novoa for relief. Does Dusty not look at stats? At all? Novoa has been brought in repeated times when the Cubs have a minor deficit. And more times than not, the game gets blown wide open with Novoa on the hill. He's absolutely terrible out there. Novoa has now given up 12 homers on the season in just 43.1 IP. That's atrocious. In fact I quickly perused the MLB.com sortable stats, and from what I can see, 12 homers is by far the worst in the majors for any full-time reliever. Yet Dusty keeps bringing him in. Why? Is he the Neifi Perez of the bullpen?



When he's not destroying the Cubs chances for any semblance of a comeback, Roberto Novoa (Left) enjoys playing backgammon and drinking Mai Tai's. Roberto also prides himself for having the longest neck in the majors.






But of course the main person to get punished in this business will Walker. After the game Dusty said, "I pride myself and my team on defense.....You just can't give away runs." For those that don't speak Dusty that means, "We'll be starting Neifi Perez at 2B all week." Hopefully if Walker does get benched, they start Theriot instead, who looked great when finally given the chance to actually play for once. Then again Dusty could run with Theriot at 2B and Neifi at SS since Cedeno has started to struggle at the plate. And what better way for a young hitter to get out of their funk than by riding the pine. It does wonders for their morale.

This season is lost, it has been for a while. Lets just trade Pierre, Walker and Jones for some minor leaguers and play Murton, Pagan, and Pie in the OF, and Cedeno and Theriot at SS and 2B. But that probably won't happen. Cubs fans will receive further fuel for their depression by seeing Neifi, Nevin, and Novoa stink the joint up with their incredible mediocrity all the way through September.

One last note about yesterday's massacre. Thunder Matt Murton went 0-4, so look for Angel Pagan to start at LF today, or even possibly Phil Nevin since he looked great hitting that pinch hit homer when the game was far, far out of reach.

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