This article was originally written by Morris Daily Herald Staff Writer Mark Johnson.
Congratulations to manager Mike Quade and the Cubs for going into U.S. Cellular Field and out-scoring the White Sox 11-10 over three games!
I suppose some Cubs fans are a bit down in the dumps that the Cubs still lost the series, dropping 3-2 and 5-4 finals after a 6-3 win Monday. Not me! How could I possibly be upset about a manager that lets one of the players least worthy of a big-league roster spot I've ever seen, Koyie Hill, bat in the biggest at-bat of the game? Why should I complain about that same manager basically admitting that he was out-maneuvered by Ozzie Guillen after the game? What could be more fun than watching Quade's lineup strand 10 runners on base against a pitcher (Jake Peavy) fresh off the disabled list?
OK, enough with the sarcasm. I've been more patient than most Cubs fans to judge Quade as the Cubs have plummeted down the standings. No manager could win with this group, I've reasoned. Last night may have pushed me over the edge. Leaving the offensively incompetent Hill in to bat down a run with a runner on third and one out in the eighth inning is indefensible, no matter who's left on your bench.
Jesse Crain is tough on right-handed hitters, I'll give Quade that. SO DON'T PUT ALL OF YOUR LEFT-HANDED BATS IN THE LINEUP. Quade knew good and well that Crain was likely to be used by Guillen in a close-late situation. If his reaction to having Hill up in that spot was to throw his hands up and let a sub-replacement level hitter flail away, he should have left himself a bullet on the bench. Hate to break it to you, Mike, but a halfway competent right-handed stick would be preferable to Hill batting from either side of the plate, against anyone, in any conceivable situation. If you haven't figured that out by now, it speaks volumes about you, and not in a good way.
Say this for the Sox. They out-pitched, out-executed and out-managed the Cubs in key situations and thus deserve to win the series. Sergio Santos looks like the real deal as closer. If Crain, Chris Sale and Matt Thornton keep pitching like they did against the Cubs, the Sox have a bullpen to be reckoned with. Oh, and that Paul Konerko guy is pretty good (though Adam Dunn looks completely lost).
But I can think of nothing — other than Starlin Castro, the improbable success of Jeff Samardzija and the fact that Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Kukodome will be gone in a few months — to be excited about right now from a Cubs perspective. It isn't helping matter that the manager is hurting what little chance this sad group has of winning each night.
“We’ve done some better things here this last seven or 10 days, but now we’ve got to take the next step and start finding a way to win more of these games and make it easier on ourselves, not being in a 3-2 ballgame every night, or 4-3," Quade said last night, according to the Daily Herald.
What is this, a high school freshman team? Find a way to win games? That way should have been found 3 months ago. A bad roster is the primary reason the Cubs are 30-44, but a manager that doesn't know how to push them over the top in 3-2 and 4-3 games isn't helping matters one bit.
This piece was originally written for MorrisDailyHerald.com and has been republished with the consent of the Morris Daily Herald and it's author. You can find the original article at the following link. http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/blogs/entries/2011/06/23/71240156/index.xml