by Matt Abbatacola

(Chicago) The Cubs continue to struggle against divison rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates. They have now lost 15 of their last 21 games against the Buccos.

Doug Davis struggled with his command and the defense was sloppy accounting for two unearned runs of the four that the Pirates put on the board against the veteran lefty pitcher. Pittsburgh took advantage of Davis’ inability to throw strikes as three of the Pirates’ batters that he walked came around to score. Aramis Ramirez and Davis each had an error in the field.

The Cubs are now 0-7 after victories in which they score eight or more runs.

Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a walk and popped out to second base with the bases loaded and two outs in the 8th inning. Mike Quade’s clean-up hitter continues to struggle.

When asked about Ramirez’s lack of power and production, Quade said, “I can’t figure it out”. He continued, “when a veteran guy has got that going, he’s got to figure that out”.

Would Quade consider moving Ramirez? “Not right now”, said the manager, “I don’t see that anybody’s doing the kind of damage that would warrant that”.

Alfonso Soriano hit his 12th home run of the season, giving him a team-high 29 RBI.

The best line of Q’s post-game press conference came when he described Davis’ outing as, “he does what he does”.  Q and his staff need to get the rotation in order and it starts tomorrow with the return of Randy Wells. There should be a more clear picture of the role that new Cub, Rodrigo Lopez, will serve before the weekend series finishes up with Pittsburgh.

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