posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 09:23 PM
CHICAGO -- It's almost over for the Chicago Cubs. A late-season collapse when they needed to play their best baseball has left them on the verge of
Four straight losses and six defeats in the last seven games had manager Dusty Baker almost in disbelief Friday after the Cubs' ninth-inning rally
came up short in a 5-4 loss to the NL East champion Atlanta Braves.
"We're due to win one of these. Geez, man. I can't explain it," Baker said. "It's a bad period right now.
"I don't see tightness. If anything, looseness rather than tightness. We're not hitting the ball the way we're capable of hitting it. And when the
eighth and ninth hitters hit two-run homers, it's not going to make for a good day."
Pitcher Mike Hampton hit a two-run homer off Kerry Wood and so did No. 8 hitter DeWayne Wise as the Braves wrapped up the NL's second seed in the
Wood gave up 10 hits and five runs in seven innings. The Cubs rallied with three runs in the ninth before Corey Patterson struck out and Derrek Lee
grounded out to end the game.
Chicago began the day one game behind San Francisco and Houston for the wild card.
Frustrated fans at Wrigley Field littered the outfield with debris just before the bottom of the eighth and the grounds crew had to run on the field
and clean it up, delaying the game for a couple of minutes.
The players are frustrated, too.