Flat Cubs Lose 7-2 in First Game of the Playoffs

You know it's going to be bad night when Dodgers outfielder, and chronic lollygagger Manny Ramirez legs out a single, as he did on the Cubs in the third inning. 

The Cubs, who had been so dominant all-season long, played ugly, uninspired baseball, losing 7-2 in the first game of the National League Divisional Series against the Dodgers (box score).

Starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, the Cubs' rock-solid starter with 17 wins under his belt, gave up seven walks and a game-changing grand slam to James Loney in the fifth inning.

The game started well. Mark DeRosa hit a two-run home run in the second inning. Derrek Lee and Kosuke Fukudome each made excellent defensive plays.

Dempster held the Dodgers scoreless until the fifth inning but the many walks that he had given up finally came back to haunt him with Loney's bases loaded HR. From there, it just got worse.

The Cubs burned through Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzjia and Jason Marquis in relief, and they gave up home runs to Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin.

The Dodgers' Derek Lowe, a veteran of the post-season, stifled the Cubs offensively. Alfonso Soriano,  Kosuke Fukudome and Geovany Soto did not get one hit on the night, and Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez only had one hit. The Cubs couldn't beat the best that Chico's Bail Bonds had to offer with offensive output like that. To add insult to injury, the game was closed by former Cub great Greg Maddux. Thanks, Maddog!

Carlos Zambrano takes the mound tomorrow for the Cubs, and he needs an impressive outing for the Cubs to win. The highly-paid offensive stars –– I'm looking at you Soriano and Fukudome –– need to step up and get some hits. The Cubs also need to find a way to keep Manny from being Manny, and definitely not let him leg out any more singles.

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