From Apr. 19-21, the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs. The Brewers scored a combined 14 runs in those games. Eight of those runs were unearned. In the last two games, seven of their nine runs were unearned.
Three unearned runs came on Apr. 21. Up 2-1, Scott Feldman couldn’t field a groundball. That would’ve ended the inning and forced Ryan Braun to bat with nobody on in the top of the sixth inning. Instead, Braun hit a three-run homer that gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead. This was the final score.
These lack of fundamentals have been evident in more than just this series. The Cubs lead MLB with 17 errors. Blown saves from Carlos Marmol and Shawn Camp have resulted in two losses. That doesn’t include the blown save from Kyuji Fujikawa, who was let off the hook when the offense bailed him out in the bottom of the ninth.
This team isn’t talented enough to overcome such mistakes. It’s frustrating because with slightly better defense and bullpen work, that 5-12 record easily improves to 10-7, maybe 11-6. That would’ve put them in the National League Central lead. Now they’re the only team who doesn’t have a winning record in that division—and they’re not even close.
With a 5-12 record, the Cubs prepare for a three-game road series with the Cincinnati Reds (11-8). As of this writing, the Reds are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central lead. They’ve won six of their last seven games.
It’s not the losing; it’s how they’re losing. Simply put, the Cubs are playing dumb baseball. Quality pitching efforts have been wasted. Players are often complaining with the umpires. Seeing Kevin Gregg on the 25-man roster has put me in a state of shock.
Any chance for this team to turn it around? If there is, the Cubs had better start this week.