posted 8 years ago
The Cubs are hoping for a repeat of 1908. Through one playoff game, their hitters are looking at another 2007.
The National League Central champs began struggling at the plate for the second straight year in the NL Division Series. They went 4-for-32 (.125) against Arizona and ace Brandon Webb a season ago. Against a seemingly more hittable Derek Lowe and the Dodgers on Wednesday, it was a 9-for-35 (.257) line. Improved, but still not good enough. Center fielder Jim Edmonds wasn't on that 2007 team. But as a seasoned playoff hitter, he knows what it takes to come through in October."You've got to concentrate," Edmonds said. "You've got to swing at strikes. You've got to be patient, take walks and you have to put pressure on the pitcher. We didn't do that tonight, and it showed."
Could nerves have showed, too? Shortstop Ryan Theriot, one of two Cubs with two hits, said butterflies didn't come into play.Should it have been that much of a surprise? Minus Kosuke Fukudome, those boppers bottomed out in the 2007 NLDS with seven hits in 40 at-bats. Four of the five struggled this September: Soriano (.244), Fukudome (.178), Lee (.212 since Sept. 17) and Geovany Soto (.241).
The club has reason to believe its fortunes will change. Dodgers Game 2 starter Chad Billingsley went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Cubs in two starts this year. Lee, Fukudome and DeRosa all homered off him. That's history Chicago wouldn't mind repeating.