Forget Curses! The Cubs Lost Because They Were Terrible.

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What happened to the Cubs? It's the agonizing question that all Cubs fans are asking themselves this morning. Who was that team? Why did they lose so badly? How could this happen, again?

Defense and pitching win championships. When those two things fail, you lose. Dempster's five-walk performance in game one, and the infield's debacle in game two sealed the Cubs' fate. Starting pitching was particularly awful. Of the 20 runs scored by the Dodgers, 14 were give up by the pitchers who started the game.

The well-paid stars did not earn their paychecks. The Cubs brought in Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome at an exorbitant price for one reason: their hitting. They both completely failed. Soriano, the best-paid player in Cubs' history, went 1-14 in the NLDS. His heroics throughout the season don't really matter much when he cannot come through in the playoffs. Fukudome signed a four-year, $48 million contract this past February, yet he spent much of the playoffs on the bench.

Somebody has to step up and be a hero for a team to win the World Series. No one did with the Cubs. Seasoned leaders Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez went 5-22. Rookie of the year candidate Geovany Soto hit .182. The starting pitchers had a combined ERA over six. Quite simply, no one stepped up.

Bad play knocked the Cubs out of the playoffs. It wasn't a curse, a hex or "because they're the Cubs." The team played poorly, and that meant they lost. There is always next year, and hopefully this team learned some lessons that will end the losing streak at 101 years.

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