As if to underscorer the major question raised by Wednesday's trade of Michael Barrett to the Padres--Could the Cubs really afford to part with Barrett's offense?--the Cubs are turning in a feeble effort against the Rangers' Kameron Loe, a bad starting pitcher on the staff of the worst team in the American League.

(As I finished that paragraph, Koyie Hill was hitting a two-run homer to pull the Cubs to within 6-3, and Texas is lifting Kameron Loe. I'm going to stick to my thesis nonetheless.)

Even at full strength, the Cub lineup is long on question marks: Felix Pie is looking once again like he's overmatched by most big league pitching; among our middle infield troika of Theriot, Izturis and Fontenot, we might have one good hitter...maybe; Aramis Ramirez will be trying to rebound from a knee problem that could well rob some of his power; our best hitter, Derrek Lee, seems to have developed an allergy to home runs; and then there's the matter of whether the newest Cub, Rob Bowen, can fill the void left by Barrett's departure.

Oh, well. At least Scott Eyre was effective tonight.


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