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