Making fun of the Cubs is becoming a little cliche, but it's tough to avoid after watching the team put on a performance like they did yesterday in an 8-1 loss to the Twins. The Cubbies committed three errors and made numerous other mistakes in the field, on the basepath, and at the plate. The Chicago players at times looked ridiculous, letting routine groundballs and pop flies turn into hits while failing to cleanly field grounders or make accurate throws. At 28-46, the Cubs are a complete mess and they lack the type of young impact players that spring hope for the immediate future. I do not envy Cubs fans... but there sure are a heck of a lot of them.
Being that the Cubs are such an awful team right now, it's not the most impressive sweep in the world, but to the Twins' credit, they deserved these wins. Yesterday's game was a perfect example. The Twins took advantage of the Cubs mistakes, but they also pitched well, fielded well, and got timely hits. The sweep is the Twins' third in the last two weeks and yesterday's victory was their 14th in their last 16 games. That's a pretty impressive run, and while it hasn't necessarily brought the Twins any closer to contention, it has brought their record to a respectable 39-35.
Brad Radke delivered seven shutout innings yesterday to bring his ERA on the season down to 5.40. In and of itself, that's not a very good earned run average, but it's fairly remarkable considering that it was over seven at the end of May and opponents are still hitting .347 against him in June. The difference is that Radke is suddenly working his way out of tough jams and is not surrendering nearly as many home runs as he did early in the season. In his first six starts, Radke was tagged for 11 dingers, and in 10 starts since he has allowed just six.
Meanwhile, Jason Bartlett went hitless for the first time since being called up 11 games ago. You know what that means... it might be time for Terry Ryan to get back on the ringer with Wayne Krivsky and see about reacquiring Mr. Juan Castro.