Take it away, Lou! (Game Recap: Cubs few, Pirates a bunch)
Today's recap is brought to you by Lou Piniella and Randy Wells, courtesy of quotes lifted from Carrie Muskat's latest article.
"It wasn't a good series and today wasn't a very good game -- three errors," Piniella said. "We didn't pitch good today, we didn't hit good and we certainly didn't play good defense."
"It's hard to win when you don't score many runs," said Piniella.
Piniella said he'll have a little talk with the players prior to Friday's game in Cincinnati.
"I'll say something tomorrow," Piniella said. "What am I going to say? You should be able to look in the mirror pretty easy after something like this." "I would think, out of the 28 games we've played, our starting pitchers have given us a chance to win in 20 of them, maybe a couple more," Piniella said. "That's a pretty nice percentage. I can't remember too many games that have gotten away from us early."
"It's terrible," Wells said. "Unacceptable. Everything I've ever preached about why I'm successful, what I do to be successful, I totally got away from.
"I came in too cocky, too confident," he said. "Warming up in the bullpen, I don't think I missed a pitch. I'm laughing, joking around with [catcher Geovany Soto] before the game. I went out there and was all out of whack and let it get out of hand.
"When we needed a win the most to stop the bleeding, I got lackadaisical, wasn't on top of my game.
He didn't even take a breath in his monologue.
"That's pretty much all that happened," Wells said. "I can't throw strikes with the fastball, can't get ahead of hitters. You're flipping [bad] sliders in there, and not throwing strikes with your best pitch, which is your changeup, and that's the kind of stuff that happens. It's time to get back to work and have a reality check and realize what my job is here and what my main focus is, and that's to win ballgames.
"All that other [nonsense], [being] 3-0 and pitching for the Chicago Cubs doesn't mean [anything]," he said. "I'm here to win ballgames. As far as I'm concerned, after tonight, I'm no better than anybody. It's time to get back to work and have a good side."
Kudos to Carrie for some excellent quote-getting. Her full recap is available at the Cubs' website.
We feel your pain, Cub fans, because it is also our pain.
I know that, justifiably, Rob has emotionally quit on this team. I can't say that I blame him. I also can't say I've yet to be emotionally invested at all.
But. Are the Cubs "done?" Can Jim Hendry start breaking the team apart, selling them for scrap, and building for next year? Or for that matter -- can they just fire his ass already?
The answer is probably "no." It pains me to write this, but I believe the Cubs are good enough to play .500 ball for most of the year. They might even rattle off some serious winning streaks every once in a while. Some days, they're going to blow out teams by 10 runs. Other days, they're going to get shut out worse than a geek on prom night.
But remember what I said at the beginning of this series ... the Cubs were closer in record to the Pirates than they were to the Cardinals. Now, the Pirates are closer to the Cardinals than the Cubs are. St. Louis is bound to run away with it (damn you Poo-holes!) but the rest of the Central may be a season-long cluster-bomb.
So, as the Battle for Second Place begins, we must ask: can the Cubs win?