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

Cubs make malodorous history in Colorado

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DENVER - Players in both clubhouses said they'd never seen anything like it.

Maybe that's because it never happened in the majors until it happened to the Cubs in the eighth inning Friday night in Colorado.

That's when the Rockies made history by turning a three-run game into a 17-2 blowout.

``You don't expect an inning like that in the big leagues - anywhere,'' said Cubs manager Lou Piniella after the Rockies scored 12 times with two outs in the eighth.

``That was crazy. I don't think anything like that will ever happen again,'' said Sean Marshall, the Cubs' best reliever all season, who had two strikes on Carlos Gonzalez with two out and two on when the craziness began.

Gonzalez singled in a run - the first of a major-league record 11 straight hits by the Rockies.

They also set Colorado franchise records for runs in an inning, hits in an inning (13), extra-base hits in an inning (eight) and extra-base hits in a game (12).

For the Cubs it was the first time they'd allowed 17 runs in a game in 11 years. And the 21 hits allowed fell just four short of the 1957 Cub franchise record.

The last time they allowed 12 runs in a game was 25 years ago against the Montreal Expos, who don't even play in Montreal anymore or call themselves the Expos.

``Tomorrow if you brought out D-Lee, Ramirez and Marlon Byrd and you let them throw BP and put nine fielders out there, I'd have a real tough time believing they'd get 11 straight hits,'' said Cubs starter Ryan Dempster (8-8), who also struggled, lasting just four-plus innings.

``That's how crazy that is. That's how really remarkable that is.''

This crazy and remarkable: Until Gonzalez started the historic run, Rockies closer Huston Street was warming up for the ninth because it was a save situation.

``As much as it's success for them, it really is a fluke thing,'' Dempster said. ``You can't do that very often. Hence, the reason it's been done before.''

The Rockies sent 18 men to the plate that inning against three Cub pitchers, including rookies Andrew Cashner -- who gave up six straight, including two homers, without recording an out - and Brian Schlitter (two hits, then two walks, then the merciful final fly-ball out).

``I've never seen an inning like that,'' said Piniella, who deflected a question about going through it from the dugout. ``Forget me. I feel bad for my pitchers. I feel bad for these young kids that are trying to get the job done and they get in trouble and they don't have the answers to get out of it. I feel sorry for them. I'm not concerned about me.''

In Cashner's case, it was the second straight shelling, coming three days after he took over a scoreless game and allowed six runs in the seventh in Houston.

But Dempster and Marshall downplayed the effects an inning like Friday's will have on Cashner or Schlitter. (The two other bullpen rookies, by the way -- James Russell and Justin Berg -- combined for three scoreless innings.

``You just look forward to tomorrow. You don't dwell on it,'' Marshall said. ``I'll talk to [Cashner]. It's just baseball. That's all you talk to him about. You can't dwell on it. You've got to look to the future and learn from it.''

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Their comments bring to mind the scene after the melee that erupted in the movie Anchorman. "Boy that really escalated quickly." That really got out of hand." "Brick killed a guy." "You better lay low for a while." But in all seriousness, these things usually don't happen in the majors except by teams that are officially mailing it in like the Cubs are doing on this roadtrip. I wish someone might get in their faces and ask that question. When you cough up an inning like that to a team that has just lost 9 games in a row, asking them whether they really are trying versus this line of questioning kind of hits them between the eyes.

Demp has become the Cubs' designated false hyper.
Keep the team intact, we can make a run.
It was just a freak inning.
And so on and so on.
Just once, I'd like to hear someone from the Cubs tell the truth.
Like, we're terrible, our GM has created the worst mess imaginable, and please blow this thing up.

"We've never seen anything like it"
Just give the Cubs time. They will find a way to eclipse this recent collapse.
Losing Baseball....."It's a Way of Life"

Its time to quit blamming the Cubs. From 1900 to 1937 the Cubs were one of the most dominant teams in the NL(8 Pennants!). So what happened after 1937? All the other teams added lights and the Cubs became the doormat of the NL until 1987. And after 1987? The Cubs now use lights a bit more than half as often as their competitors and they have become competitive, though not a winner. The Cubs need to be on the same "playing field" as the other teams before they will dominate again. In the interim they should follow in the steps of this year's succesfull Boston Celtics and hire a sleeep consultant.

Ha Ha!

On the other hand, if it goes down against the Chicago Cubs, does it even belong in the record books?

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on July 31, 2010 12:20 AM.

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