How about that closer change? Not that the Cubs had a chance to utilize it Tuesday night in another listless loss in San Diego.
They're starting to take on the look of a team that knows it's done. That's not to say there's not effort. But with barely a quarter of the season left and big deficits staring at them in both the division and wild-card standings, the Cubs are sagging in emotion, of not energy.
``I don't know. I don't know what's going on with the team,'' Alfonso Soriano said when asked about the energy level after a second straight loss late Tuesday night to the NL West's last-place team. ``We're not playing like we're supposed to be playing.''
Sloppy play. Lack of hitting, especially with men in scoring position. It's been a theme this season. At least they scored a few runs Tuesday night. Those three runs, in fact, matched their total for the three-game series here in May.
Cubs observers who have been at this longer than I have are talking about the 2004 feel this team has taken - far earlier than that team's collapse.
With 45 games to play, this could get ugly real fast.
Maybe not as ugly as that inside-the-park home run by Kyle Banks in the eighth - on a ball that caromed off the center field wall as Kosuke Fukudome tried to make a leaping catch, then rolled into unmanned acreage void of right-fielder Milton Bradley until Fukudome eventually chased it down.
Bradley's sure to get ripped for not backing up the play, but manager Lou Piniella defended his right fielder.
``I think if he would have gone after it, it would have been late. That thing was in no-man's land out there,'' Piniella said. ``I don't think Bradley or anybody could have done anything about that.''
Didn't matter anyway. The two runs just kept it from being a one-run loss.
Where is this team emotionally?
``We're all right,'' said starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, last year's Cy Young candidate whose record dropped below .500 with Tuesday's loss. ``We're a bunch of big boys. We wouldn't be here if we weren't.
``We've just got to keep fighting and worry about our own business and not worry about what other teams are doing.''