The Chicago Cubs have little to play for down the stretch of the 2012 season, but the team has noted that one goal is avoiding a 100-loss season. Unfortunately, losing 100 games is looking like a possibility after a third consecutive defeat on Wednesday, September 19. Down 4-0 and then 5-1 early to the first-place Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs fought back to tie the score at 5-5. The Reds won the game in the 11th inning, however, sending the Cubs to a 58-91 record for the season. With 13 games remaining, Chicago still needs to win five of them reach its goal. As a Cubs fan who has watched this team all season, I honestly don't know if this team can do that.
On Wednesday, the Cubs' offense finally came to life after scoring just one total run in the previous two games. As a fan, it was great to see Starlin Castro grab four base hits, showing the kind of game that fans are hoping to see many times in the future. Alfonso Soriano homered in the sixth inning to help the comeback. The team also got a big hit from Luis Valbuena, who was hitting sixth and protecting Castro, before Wellington Castillo walked to force in the tying run.
Unfortunately starter Chris Rusin could not contain the Reds' hitters. Giving up five runs in five innings, Rusin allowed 10 hits in the game. He has not done much to impress the team in his opportunities this season, and he now has a 6.00 ERA through five appearances. The bullpen did pitch well, going six innings without an earned run. A throwing error by David DeJesus helped contribute to the unearned winning run scored by the Reds' Brandon Phillips in the 11th.
As a Cubs fan, there were some positives to take away from Wednesday's game. It was good to see the offense make the game competitive, and the bullpen has been very solid lately. At this point, fans are looking for anything that can help the team next year as the organization continues to rebuild.
The Cubs now have one last game against the Reds before continuing the current homestand by facing the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game set. It would be better, as a fan, to see the Cubs make more of an impact in this year's playoff race, and the rest of this week will be a great opportunity to do so.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.