Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

What happened?

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Looked a lot like last year, didn't it?

Why can't this Cubs team hit in the postseason? Lee, Soriano, Ramirez. Weren't we writing this last year?

And was it just me, or did their body language suggest a lack of confidence from the very beginning?

I was for Ryan Dempster starting Game 1, but maybe it would have been better to throw Big Z. Maybe he wouldn't have looked as nervous or shellshocked as Dempster.

Dempster was able to pitch his way out of a few jams, but you can't keep on doing that.

We'll see How Zambrano does tomorrow. Can't do much worse.

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Perhaps the Cubs are considerably over their head in postseason competition.

I have been trying to tell all young and excited Cub fans that the playoffs are different from the regular season. Over 162 games most of the clutch hits came from the entire roster this year. Especially in a five game series your stars must be able to hit in the cluth. Soriano - has not hit in the clutch for months, the aging Derrick Lee for many years (even with support in the 4 hole) only gets hits and RBIs when they don't count, Ramiriz is solid but Hendry never gave him consistent support in the 5-hole. Add that to putting in Fukodome instead of DeRosa in RF and worse putting him in the 2 hole is 4-5 certain outs.

This team is deep and that is why it won almost 100 games but that has no correlation to playoff baseball.

New year, same old Cubs. No hit, no win. Soriano= awful, Dempster can't find the plate, walking 7 guys, SEVEN!!!! Only the Cubs can find a way to take the life out of a crowd and the entire Cub nation on national TV. Unreal. Now we are counting on a guy who has never won a postseason game, and has struggled the last two starts after a no hitter. Yep, same old Cubs. I haven't given up hope yet, but tomorrow is a must win, or once again, it is wait til next year for the Cubs. I certainly hope things improve tomorrow, I will be cheering the Cubs on at Wrigley, lets hope that the hitters are there too for the boys in blue.

Last year Piniella yanks Z and it costed us the series. This year he leaves Dempster in even though he had walked seven guys and the bases were loaded. I'm not sure I understand. I thought this manager is supposed to know how to win in the playoffs.

I wasn't surprised by the lack of offense. Lee and Soriano have struggled to be productive most of the year except for stretches when they get hot. Also, I would start Lilly tomorrow. I don't trust Zambrano to make it past 3 innings and Lou threw all 3 long relief guys tonight. Bad move.

I just can't believe it...It's not completely the offense that didn't show up...the whole team just completely was overwhelmed by the playoff atmosphere...If we lose again...we will never hear the end of this..........LA was the one team we didn't want to face in the first round

I have to agree with thinlizzy. Piniella instinct may cost Cubbies a second straight year. Don't know what his hunch was leaving Dempster on the mound with the bases loaded. I know hindsight is always 20/20 but goodness, i think everyone at the W and watching on TV was waiting to give the guy the hook. Hope this doesn't bite them again. Otherwise sweet Lou may be turning sour. Unbelievable.

It's great to second guess Piniella after the grand slam. But come on. You don't pull your stud in the 5th with a 2-0 lead and bring in your slumping middle relievers with the bases packed. That is, unless you're prepared to use Marmol there. And Lou's not using Marmol in the 5th inning. No way.

Bottom line is Dempster blew it. But I'm pretty sure Marshall/Samardzija/Marquis/Cotts wouldn't have gotten out of the inning unscathed either.

I say we wrap Soriano in heating pads, send him to the plate and tell him it's July.

don't break a leg jumping off the band wagon cubs fans

I think the Cubs may have peaked too early . . . around 1908.

Same old Cubs. What happened tonight is why you never get excited about any possibility of the Cubs winning anything. It's just makes it more painful when they fall apart and lose. At least it will be quick and we won't have to be tortured by waiting for the meltdown to happen in the NLCS or the World Series. Besides the Cubs aren't built to win tough games, they can't manufacture a run at all when facing a strong pitching performance or when their big hitters are silent. When was the last time they started a rally or won a tough game with a hit, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt to third and a run scored on a flyball?
Oh well, our new cry will be: "Wait til' 2108!!" or "The Cubs will be great in 2108'!".

At least before long we won't have to worry about getting Cub's World Series tickets and can focus our attention on football.

Batting Soriano in the leadoff spot is, was, and always will be a totally ridiculous move. Furthermore, he is one of those guys who lights up bad pitching and looks helpless against good pitching. And the playoffs are about good pitching. The rest of his game is below average, he is over the hill, he gets hurt a lot, and he doesn't seem to be real smart or cooperative. This guy basically got fired by the Texas Rangers, when he was in his prime, forchrissakes, and that was about the smartest move they ever made.

Soriano is arguably the most overrated player in baseball history. And he is CERTAINLY the most overpaid. Neither one of those are his fault. The Cubs' management is just stupid.

Soriano should be in the American League, making 3 million a year, and DH'ing in about the 6th spot in the order.

Zmabrano will lead us to victory.Gentlemwn, what are you thinking? Ask yourself just a year ago, would Ryan Dempster really be your NLDS GM1 starting pitcher? of course Dempstewr should not have started this gamen, Zambrano shouldd have been no.1 out of respect for the players, the clubhouse...through the stats out the window...Lou messed up, lets hope they settle down and take this will be hard work, and it wont be easy, but the battle has just begun, if they wake up and forget about the fans, and focus on playing the game they have known since they were kids...we got a shot.

I went to the bar tonite to see thegame, listneed to the first6 on radio, Santo was drained by the third, and its not fair to put him on air and have his soul torn apart by Dempster and his 7 agonizing walks only to be matched by the grand slam?>What did you expect...
expext nothing, this is a chance, we still got a chance.

I'm not really surprised by this game's outcome. This pitching staff is just not that good and the offense is hot and cold. Soriano, Lee, Fukudome, Ramirez and Lee were just brutal. (Fukudome batting second? What?)

I'm mostly disappointed by Piniella's inability to manage a game. Dempster needed to be pulled after the second walk in the 5th and I can't believe the bullpen was not warming up. This is typical Lou: making poor in-game decisions. I really don't think his contract extension is a good idea and I lament the fact that he may be considered one of the Cubs' better managers.

There really is no curse, only the fact that the Cubs really never field a decent team and generally back that up with horrendous managers.

After we lose this playoff series let's dump Soriano and move Derrick Lee down to the 7 spot next spring.


We can't second guess Lou having Dempster start game one. His control was atrocious, yet if he doesn't hang a splitter to Loney, it might be a different game. However, the offense tonight was a replay of the Baker years. Soriano is basically Sosa (although Sosa at least occasionally got a hold of one). D-P Lee is showing more and more that his 335 avg. 46 hr season was a flash in the pan, and too often in games of this nature our patience as hitters disappears. It's sad when I can basically forecast each hitters' outcome because of their tendencies time after time in a playoff game. Unlike last year, I do think they will win tomorrow and even it up. However, that means little when you are on the road for games 3 and 4 and you have "5 innings" Harden followed by "Which Lilly Will He Be" Lilly (say that five times fast!!!). I will always love the Cubs...but why must they make it always so stinkin' hard!!!

On a positive note, the armageddon forecast if the Cubs win a world series may be put on hold if this performance continues...

We all know this team is not made for a short series. Too many sure outs (Sorryiano, DP Lee, Fukiedomey,) double plays and no clutch hitting or pitching. Zambrano will get rocked tomorrow and be gone by the third inning. At least in game three LA can't lead off the game with a first pitch homer. However, that doesn't mean in their half of the first Furcle won't hit the first pitch. If I were Pinella I'd start Hill again in game 3.

It's so funny how the whole night played out with the fan's side of the contribution towards this game. It was real interesting how apprehensive everybody was about showing our normal Wrigley emotion out there in the stands, everybody's so worried that the player's are thinking about or believing "the curse" thing but, it's so apparent that it's all "US" outside the clubhouse that use this damn crutch that debilitates the ultimate DREAM that this year's DREAM will come to fruition whether you still BELIEVE after this loss or not, don't let yourself catch YOU saying "I Knew all along, I had no doubts" later if your gonna start to jump off the wagon now and continue to believe in that crap that true DH CUB FANS don't even give a second of consideration. Everyone in the stands it seemed from the TBS broadcast, and if I'm wrong someone who was there live please correct me, but we the fan's were soooo careful about cheering and giving the energy that we normally do because we once again were starting to listen to those outside analyst that want to continually try to throw us off our game with all that "CRAP". Even after D Ro's dinger everybody was looking around for someone to take the lead in the cheering. The player's will continue to do their job we need start to do ours again starting tomorrow. I know the Post Season is a totally new season but cmon we have not seen this kind of drive from a pro team that wants soooo badly for their fans like this team does for "US". This regular season was special the ending will be even sweeter, CONTINUE TO BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm a Cardinals fan, but it hurts even me to see the Cubs melt down after such a promising year. No fans in the Major Leagues deserve such misery. There's still time, but only if the Cubbies wake up!

The Cubs have lost again for the same reasons I said they would lose earlier this year: Pinella, Lee, Soriano! Lou Pinella is only a world series winning manager because Pete Rose was a moron and got caught betting on baseball! If not for that, he would be the winningest non-world champion manager ever! How do you leave Dempster in while struggling, yet yank Zambrano last year. while he was sailing?! Why hit Theriot 8th, even though he has the highest average on the team? Lee, is basically Sosa, without steroid implications! He choked in 2003 for the Marlins, 2004 for the Cubs, 2007 for the Cubs, and now probably 2008 for the Cubs! Soriano is a joke! He is the king of looking at a pitch right down the middle and then swinging at a pitch that bounces to the plate! I said on CLTV's roundtable earlier this year that this team would be putrid. And if they do what I think they will do, I was unfortunately right!

It was Nostalgia Night at Wrigley last night! Dempster was transported back in time to the pitcher he was in 2007 and Soriano's clutch 0-5 (with 2 strikeouts) as leadoff brought back the nightmares of last year's playoffs. And if not for a wind blown pop Home Run it would've been 7-0! This is indeed deja vu all over again. I too would avoid the Big Z tonight, a suddenly must win game. If we get the Z who pitched erratically the last two months tonight we're in big trouble. I can see it being 5-0 LA in the third as I type this. Either Harden or Lilly would be better. The Cubs need runs and pitching. Any volunteers guys? A team built for the 162 game season but not the playoffs? We'll see tonight. It could be three and out. Somebody light a fire under these guys please!!

where is the hitters, sori lee just like last year they choke

I am a White Sox fan, but I a rooting for the Cubs because my 84 year old grandfather is a die hard Cubs fan. He still roots for them hard. For that reason only, I am rooting for the Cubs, even if they faced the Sox in the series.

LOL thinlizzy. Pinella is not to blame for this loss. He took Dempster out in the 5th. That is pretty early. This loss is squarely on Dempster, not Pinella. He had an awful pitching outing. Lee and Soriano had bad at bats too. This loss is strictly a result of usually good players having bad days. Too bad it is in the playoffs. Lou is not to blame.

Relax. Your team has the best record in this regular season in the NL. Have faith in your team that they only had a bad game, and now they will rock the house. And stop being so quiet. You think the crazy energy in Cellular Field the night before energized Danks? You betcha. So get drunk and crazy in the stands. Give some energy.

And Go CUBS!!

So Typical! We are lousy fans who feel entitled to win. I was ashamed as I sat in the stands last night..No enthusiasm, no support..Booing our own players and that moron trying to hit Ramirez. What a complete lack of class or sportsmanship. Maybe we need to recruit some Sox Fans to come and show us how to act. If I was a player I sure wouldn't be inspired by the puting spoiled brat fans that filled Wrigley yesterday. If we lose, its as much our fault as our players. If it wasn't for all the Hot Guys I swear I'd sell my season tickets and start watching hockey!

So Typical! We are lousy fans who feel entitled to win. I was ashamed as I sat in the stands last night..No enthusiasm, no support..Booing our own players and that moron trying to hit Ramirez. What a complete lack of class or sportsmanship. Maybe we need to recruit some Sox Fans to come and show us how to act. If I was a player I sure wouldn't be inspired by the puting spoiled brat fans that filled Wrigley yesterday. If we lose, its as much our fault as our players. If it wasn't for all the Hot Guys I swear I'd sell my season tickets and start watching hockey!

Dempster's a choker at heart. Proved it during his lackluster stint as a closer.

It's over. I've seen it all and I can tell by the lack of non-motivation or the lack there of urgency by the Cubs players, that we are in trouble. The Dodgers got Manny and Joe Torre. The worst thing that could have happened was for the Cubs to play against the Dodgers in the first round rather than the tired arms of the Brewers or the Mets. Theriot needs to go the 2 hole. Derosa needs to start in right field. Fontenot needs to go to second base. I would even talk about placing De Rosa to protect Rameriz or Lee. If Sweet Lou doesn't mix it up tonight, Sweet Lou is gonna turn sour and understand the frustration of a 100 year Cub Drought. The best Cibs Pitcher over the past 2 weeks has been Ted Lilly. He needs to start a game or two. Big Z worried me because which Big Z are we gonna see tonight? His Jeckly and Hyde performances makes me think this series is over. Everytime my dam hopes and expectation for the Cubbies are above average, they have a way of breaking my heart again. I hope they make me eat my words.

So Typical! We are lousy fans who feel entitled to win. I was ashamed as I sat in the stands last night..No enthusiasm, no support..Booing our own players and that moron trying to hit Ramirez. What a complete lack of class or sportsmanship. Maybe we need to recruit some Sox Fans to come and show us how to act. If I was a player I sure wouldn't be inspired by the puting spoiled brat fans that filled Wrigley yesterday. If we lose, its as much our fault as our players. If it wasn't for all the Hot Guys I swear I'd sell my season tickets on StubHub and start watching hockey

The real problem is the offense. Yah Dempster had a bad night but the Offense is brutal. Not going to win many games scoring 2 runs.

Two burning questions:

Why the hell is Soriano leading off? He strikes out way too much, has a bad OBP, and cant steal bases anymore.

Why the hell is Fukodome batting second? He has struggled mightly over the past few months. So in reward he bats second. Can't believe they would put their leading hitter, and only man over .300 at the bottom in favor of Fukodome. I mean the guys half way to first base with his bat flaling before the ball crosses the plate.

Zambrano will pitch well tonight but the Cubs only win if they pull Fukodome out of the 2 hole. They would increase their chances further if the pushed Soriano back - but we all know thats not going to happen - for whatever reason.

The lineup tonight should be:
1. Theriot
2. Soriano
3. Ramierez
4. Derosa
5. Lee
6. Soto
7. Johnson
8. Fukodome
9. Zambrano

Pencil that lineup in Lou and 1-1's a lock!

Derek Lee has been a dead spot in the batting order all year long and his numbers continue to decline. Granted he can field, but c'mon. Seriously! Give DeRosa a shot at first and move Fontenot over to second next year. Lee needs to go.

Go Dodgers!

Wow maybe the cubs organization should come on this message board for their next head coach. BORN LOSERS. Ive seen teams in the little league ws. If you are a cubs fan, just pick a new team to root for already.PATHETIC-WAIT TIL' NEXT YEAR! HAHAHAHAH

Hey, the Cubs are making a lot of noise:

Wednesday night... THUD!

Thursday night... THUD!

Man, it is tough delivering on those expectations, eh, Lou?

Again, why is Fukudome even in the line up? If DeRosa can't play outfield, I would rather have Johnson in right and in the lineup that Fukuwaste-o-40mill.

I have been a Cub fan since I was 8 years old and the White Sox lost the World Series to the LA Dodgers. In all that time I have never been ashamed or embarassed to be a Cubs fan, until last night.
I can accept losing if you show up, play hard, and get beat by a better team. But to not show up at all, like the Cubs in the last two game, is unexcusable. I honestly don't believe I can continue to support this team

Bill Buckner in spades. Now all you newbie Cub fans, and especially the ones who call them Cubbies, know what us older Cub fans have experienced all our life and now in a perverse way come to expect and laugh at. Every time I think about what happened at Wrigley the last two games, I laugh so hard tears come to my eyes. I'm not laughing because I hate the Cubs or Cub's just so perfect, so beautiful, so poetic. My question is this- Will you still be a Cub fan if there is another century before another great chance?

Bill Buckner wherever you are, you are no longer the goat thanks to the 2008 Cubs infield. And, speaking of goats....

Now we can have another curse added to the list.
The no beer after 7th inning in a series clinching game curse.
This was bad karma, kind of like counting your chickens before they hatch. If only those darn Cubs fans could handle their alcohol this may have never happened.
Wait till next year!

We are one with the Cubs and the Cubs we are one

Cub fans you have been taken for another ride by the entire Cub organization. If I did'nt know better you have been robbed. What a con job. You fill the stadium every year, clean out the concession stands, buy all their beer,hot dogs and memorabilia and this is how you are repaid. By the worst yearly chokes in recent history or is it safe to say the worst chokes in MLB history? That infield fiasco on Thursday was really a joke. I just laugh my a__ off.

My advise to you all is stop supporting this lousy organization. They're in for the money only. They're so conservative and, "Status Quo." Go to the beach instead, visit the fine parks and museums you have. You can have a wonderful time walking up and down Michigan Ave. Relieve that stress. Think of your personal well being.

There is only one hope you have. Pray that Mark Cuban buys the Cubs soon. You will see positive changes. You will finally see your Cubbies in a World Series. GOOD LUCK!!!!

Here's what's called karma. As a Milwaukee fan I grow tired of constant arrogance drifting up from the South. Wrigley Field north, best team in the league, bigmouths running their gobs in someone elses park, and my personal favorite from a Cub fan at Miller Park..."we'd rather play the Dodgers anyways so I hope Milwaukee does make the playoffs..."

Perhaps next time around the "curse" as it's called could be broken by a little humility from Cubs fans. You would think when you haven't won a championship for over 100 years there would be very few big mouths left...perhaps you guys can practice in the off season?

Once a Cub fan always a Cub fan. Win or lose. The ones I feel sorry for are the players, they did not show us anything in the post season. They forgot what got them to the playoff spot. They need to take a long look at themselves and figure out how to play more than 165 games, the season is really a lot longer than that.

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