6/24 Quick hits

Kevin Gregg’s blown save Tuesday was the 11th by a Cubs reliever this year. Lou Piniella isn’t happy, obviously, when his closers give up home runs.

“You don’t really like to see that our of your closer, to be honest,” Piniella said. “Usually when you give up ones like that, they end games.”

The Cubs pen is 15-for-26 in save situations, and Gregg is 11-for-14. But he’s still the Cubs closer.

“I didn’t say we were going to make any changes, I didn’t say we were contemplating making any changes,” Piniella said, “but I am saying, late in the game, you have to keep the ball in the ballpark if you want to have a lot of success in these shorter roles.”

He noted that when Carlos Marmol gets himself in trouble with his command, he’s usually able to work out of the mess.

“It’s not the easiest thing in the world to save a one-run game,” Piniella said.

* Jake Fox was back at third base Wednesday.

“We’re looking for offense any where we can get it,” Piniella said. “If we were scoring more runs, we probably wouldn’t be as liberal. We’ve got [Aramis] Ramirez coming back in a couple weeks. If Fox wants to make a statement to stay here for the rest of the summer, it’s OK with me.”

* Piniella on Kosuke Fukudome: “He needs to use the whole field to hit with, that’s what he needs to do to be successful,” Piniella said. “He hit one ball hard [Tuesday] night and that was to left field. It makes him stay on the ball longer, it gives him better plate coverage, it gives him better recognition of offspeed pitches.”

* Piniella was asked if it was easier to manage in the American League.

“You want to see how easy these jobs are, put on a uniform and try it,” Piniella said. “I think the manager is more involved without the DH. If you have a good set lineup in the American League and have pretty good hitting, you don’t have to worry too much from an offensive standpoint. The one danger in the American League with the DH is you can forget your bullpen sometimes and go too long with your starting pitching and sometimes the bullpen doesn’t get as much work. I think the manager is much more involved in the National League than the American League.”

— Carrie Muskat


Carrie, PLEASE Tell me that the second team to offer a subscription for IN-Market live streaming of games is going to be the Cubs!!!
The Yankees just announced it, and as the most popular team in the National League, I would think we have a good chance of being the ‘unnamed second team’ to announce the service next week.

I’m frustraded with the Cubs and their lack of fundamental baseball. It is obvious why we can’t win the close games. We cannot manufacture runs, nor do we try to do so. A bunt would be nice every now and then instead of hitting into double plays. Even if they do make the playoffs (which would be a miracle the way the team is playing right now), they don’t stand much of a chance.

This team make me sick. It is so hard to watch this team. I agree with jnkreed. They have no clue how to play the fundamentals of the game. Do they know if they don’t out score the other team they lose? Honestly if I hear Lou say one more time “I dont know” or “This is a tough game” I will lose my mind. The game isnt that hard. Get two on bunt one over and look for a single. Make your best pitches. Dont leave a hanging breaking ball over the heart of the plate. Lou has no clue with this team and he needs to go. I like him a lot but he has gone crazy. He is taking shots in the dark, not doing his job.

I’ve heard some radio talk of Jake Fox’s lack of mobility and defense at third base contributing to a Tiger’s run….he’s really doing o.k considering he had very little time at third in the minors (lack of foresight on Hendry and coaches??), his diving stop of a ground ball did save a run, didn’t it? Plus, he did have a hit and a sac fly, two things that are hard to come by for Soriano and Bradley. The real defensive culprit was Bradley in right diving and misjudging a ball by a foot which should have and would have been caught by any competant right fielder. Again, Hendry really screwed this team by signing sub par defensive players like Soriano and Bradley. Fukodome even while in his typical, pathetic, human corkscrew, summer swoon would have at least caught that ball but he is too busy playing out of position in center because Hendry the almighty couldn’t or wouldn’t fill the true need of a lead off man/center fielder, instead he continued to load up on over paid defensively challenged American League DH type players. IF he wants to save this team and prove he is a saavy GM he will trade D. Lee while he is hot and get some talent where the team needs it (closer? center fielder? leadoff man?), opening first base up for Hoffpuair and Fox. DeRosa!

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