After attending the first two Cub losses to the Astros, I wouldn't have thought it possible that the final game in the series could be worse than those I viewed in person.

Shows what I know.

So Carlos is hurting, while Rich Harden is denying that he's hurting, saying instead that the Cubs' plan to hold him back until the middle of next week was part of a long-ago conceived plan to lighten his load heading into the season's final weeks. The current five-game losing streak is the team's longest of the season, and now the Cubs head into that 22-game stretch, including 16 road contests, we have been anticipating and perhaps fearing since the season was in its infancy. And, oh, yeah, every Cub-hating jerk you know has decided it's terribly clever of him to remind you about if any of us will ever really put '69 behind us until the Cubs win it all.

For the record:

On this date in 1969, the Cubs were 84-53 and enjoyed a 5-game bulge over the second-place Mets, a margin which rapidly evaporated as the Cubs proceeded to lose 8 games in a row and 11 of 12 through the middle of the month, at which point the Mets had built a 4 1/2-game lead and the NL East race was over.

After tonight's loss, the Cubs are 83-55 and enjoy a 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place Brewers, and they're in the middle of a significant losing streak.

Sorry, I just don't see the parallel.

(Thank God for the Wild Card.)


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