The Chicago Cubs have lost another series to a division rival, ending their latest set with the St. Louis Cardinals by losing the rubber match 6-3 on Sunday, September 23. Chicago is now 59-94 and only six defeats away from a 100-loss season. With nine games remaining in 2012, the Cubs are running out of time to avoid triple digits in the loss column.
The Cardinals have a 2.5-game lead in the National League wildcard race after taking two of three from the Cubs. Chicago's starter Justin Germano had another tough outing on Sunday, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings to increase his ERA to 6.18. While the Cubs' bullpen has been fairly reliable lately, reliever Alberto Cabrera gave up another two runs to make the deficit too steep for the Cubs to overcome.
Although Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse moved to 16-3 after earning the win on Sunday, the Cubs' offense did get three runs off of him. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano led the Cubs with three of the team's seven hits, including a solo home run in the sixth inning. The homer was Soriano's 30th of the year, the first time he has hit 30 home runs since his first year with the Cubs in 2007. He also totaled his 104th RBI of the year, tying his career mark set in 2005 with the Texas Rangers.
While David DeJesus, Starlin Castro and Wellington Castillo also collected hits for the Cubs, several hitters struggled on Sunday. Dave Sappelt, Joe Mather, Bryan LaHair and Luis Valbuena combined to hit 0-for-9 in the final three spots, and I am hoping the Cubs address the bottom of the order this offseason. Once again we found that if the top or the middle of the lineup has trouble, help from the bottom should not be expected. This will obviously have to change before the Cubs can be a successful team.
Up next the Cubs will head to Colorado and Arizona for the final road trip of the season.
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.
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