Wrigley endures another celebration at Cubs' expense
Updated: October 7, 2007, 1:25 AM ETBy Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com
You can tell him now. Those were the Diamondbacks players jumping up and down in the infield grass at game's end. And those were Cubs slinking back to the dugout, boos following them the whole way there. "They beat us at every facet of the game," said Floyd. What happened? Well, starting Arizona pitchers Livan Hernandez, Doug Davis and Brandon Webb happened. Shortstop Stephen Drew happened. Chicago forgetting how to score runs happened. The Cubs left a combined 27 runners on base for the series. Nine on Saturday. Nine on Thursday. Nine on Wednesday. They had exactly one full-time starting position player -- Ryan Theriot -- drive in a run during the three games. "Aw, man, that's what's so frustrating," DeRosa said. "Our lineup is too good to perform the way we did these last three games." Wrigley Field was not the happiest place on earth Saturday night. These fans have just about had it with watching other teams celebrate their playoff victories here. In 2003 -- the last time the Cubs reached the postseason -- they witnessed a Florida Marlins hugfest. Now, the D-backs had their baseball Mardi Gras at the Friendly Confines. Painful. One glum fan walking down the concourse held a sign that read, "It's Gonna Happen." Not this year, it isn't. The Cubs are now at 99 years and counting for World Series championships to happen. Even before Alfonso Soriano stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, some Cubs followers had suffered enough. "I can't see the last one," said a Cubs fan as he peeled away from the stands behind the third-base line. "I can't handle the last one." He was halfway down the stairs when Soriano lofted a fly ball to right field for the final out. Before the ball was even caught, the boos rang through the stadium. The reasons for the frustration were obvious. The Cubs supposedly had the better pitching, the better hitting, the better managing and the better experience. The problem is, the Diamondbacks had the better timing. Arizona hit and held tight when it mattered most. In fact, it isn't very complicated. The Diamondbacks simply outplayed the Cubs in almost every way imaginable. To pretend otherwise is silly. Soriano took the oh-fer, misplayed a catchable ball off the ivy in left field and was booed after his groundout to short to lead off the seventh inning. For the series, he was 2-for-14 with four strikeouts and a grand total of zero RBIs. "We don't have that big hit in the whole series," he said. Chicago's leading run producer, Aramis Ramirez, finished the series 0-for-12 with five strikeouts and hit into one of the four double plays recorded by the Cubs on Saturday night. "The most deflating play in baseball," said DeRosa, who hit into his own double play in the fifth with the bases loaded. Derrek Lee had two singles in Game 3 but also an inning-ending double play in the seventh. He got booed, mostly for the DP but also for a no-RBIs series. A lot of Cubs were booed here, including starting pitcher Rich Hill. Hill is the guy who a day earlier said of the Cubs' 2-0 deficit: "We're in a good position. This isn't something to look negatively on."
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhIt was a lonely feeling for Felix Pie and the favored Cubs as they watched the Diamondbacks finish them off at Wrigley Field.
It's just so demoralizing right now. It will hang with me for a while.
--Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa