10/2 One more to go

The Cubs appear to have shutdown the offense for the season. They were shutout Tuesday for the second straight game, the first time they’ve been blanked in back to back games since July 21-22 at St. Louis. They’ve lost 29 straight games when scoring three runs or less, dating to a 3-2 win against the Cardinals on July 28. They’d like to end with at least one more “W.”

“Whenever you go into the winter when you finish good as a starter, whether you’re swinging the bat really well, you have a lot better winter, you sleep a lot better,” Dale Sveum said. “It makes a big difference how you finish.”

This was the first meeting between two teams with 100 losses since Sept. 30, 1962, when the Cubs and Mets squared off in the season finale at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won, 5-1, and closed the year, 59-103. That was the Mets’ first season, and they finished 40-120. Chicago and Houston close the 2012 campaign on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Cubs managed two hits. On Tuesday, they mustered four, and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

“Deja vu [from] last night,” Sveum said. “Not a lot of good at-bats, not a lot of quality at-bats again and left some guys, striking out with guys in scoring position. It kind of typifies the whole season these last two nights, swinging the bats.”

Sveum will shake up his lineup for Wednesday’s finale, and use the reserves. Expect Starlin Castro to start at shortstop, which would be Game No. 162 for him, but Adrian Cardenas, for example, will start at second.

“For the most part, the season didn’t go very well, obviously, but a lot of these guys deserve to kick back,” Sveum said of his regulars. “Just let them sit back and watch a game for once. I asked [Alfonso Soriano] if he wanted 110 RBIs or whatever, and he said, ‘No, I’m fine.'”

One more to go.

— Carrie Muskat


Who was the gentleman with the pink cap who sang the 7th. inning stretch last night

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