The [Thursday] Sports Pages

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's early, but a loss like Wednesday's 3-2 setback is pretty hard to swallow.

John Grabow's failurewas the postgame focus, but the Cubs' offense was equally to blame. The North Siders managed just seven hits - only one was for extra bases - stranded 11 baserunners, and hit into five double plays. It's no excuse for a 3-and-1 changeup to a future Hall-of-Famer with the tying run aboard and first base open, but Grabow had no margin for error.

Home Improvement

If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.

Something's Brewing

While Cubs hitters have opened with a whimper, the bats of NL Central rivals are booming. The Cardinals' Albert Pujols homered twice on Opening Day, Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones has three homers and six RBI in two games, and Milwaukee's Jim Edmonds is off to a solid start.

It's a remarkable comeback for Edmonds who was not offered a contract by any of the major leagues' 30 teams in 2009 despite hitting 19 homers in 250 at-bats with the Cubs in 2008. By the time Edmonds had joined the Cubs, it was obvious that nagging injuries had taken their toll. Perhaps a year off to heal was just what the right medicine for the 40-year-old veteran.

Trade Winds

If Edmonds continues to hit, the odd man out in Milwaukee would be outfielder Corey Hart. The Washington Nationals, who releaseed Elijah Dukes during spring training, might be interested in acquiring Hart or perhaps the Cubs' Kosuke Fukudome. Dealing Fukudome could open up a starting role for spring training sensation Tyler Colvin.

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