Aramis Ramirez got two hits Tuesday night but that wasn’t enough to carry the Cubs.
In his second game after missing two months because of a dislocated shoulder, Ramirez went 2-for-4 in the Cubs’ 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Ramirez said. “I tried to shorten my swing up a little bit and tried to hit the ball back up the middle and it worked. I definitely felt better today than yesterday. Hopefully, I keep going like that.”
They were his first hits in exactly two months. Ramirez’s last hits came May 7; he injured his shoulder the next day in Milwaukee.
Tuesday also marked the official halfway point of the season for the Cubs, now 41-40. The game was all too familiar to Lou Piniella as the offense stalled. The Cubs went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position, and they are batting .224 in those situations.
It’s a scene Ramirez has seen a lot from the bench.
“Just like today, we don’t score enough runs to win,” he said. “We got great pitching from [Carlos Zambrano]. The bullpen did a great job for three innings. We didn’t score any runs. If you don’t score, you’re not going to win, I don’t care how good the pitching is.”
So, what do the Cubs have to do in the second half?
“They’re going to keep pitching because we have good stuff,” Ramirez said. “But we have to start swinging the bats better, especially with men in scoring position.”
Piniella would agree.
“We just [have to] keep swinging,” Piniella said. “Keep swinging, and see what happens.”
– Carrie Muskat