8/12 Hendry: "We haven't played like I thought we would"
The Cubs head into Wednesday’s game having lost five of their last six games, and three games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central. Lou Piniella has come under some criticism.
“We’re just going through a tough time,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said. “A few weeks ago coming out of the break, everybody was applauding him for getting it turned around in the second half. We lost a lot of games when we haven’t knocked in runs with guys in scoring position. We had a couple where we just got kicked, and rightfully so.
“I think you see the same Lou,” Hendry said. “When you get beat and expectations aren’t being met, whether it’s the media or radio or anywhere else, you’re going to get your share of criticism. We all go through it when we’re not doing well.”
Hendry said the Cardinals somehow find a way.
“As long as they’ve got Tony [La Russa] managing and the guy [Albert Pujols] at first playing, they’re going to have something to say about the race,” Hendry said. “They’ve done some nice additions, too. Obviously their pitching has once again exceeded expectations, a credit to Dave Duncan.
“I thought it would be a three or four-team race. We just haven’t played like I thought we would,” he said. “The injuries are a part of it, but certainly not what I would consider a giant excuse not to be doing somewhat better. Hopefully, we’ll finish the last seven weeks strong and get in.”
* Hendry said the Cubs have made claims on players placed on the waiver wire. Other teams have claimed those players ahead of the Cubs, and some weren’t traded.
“Hopefully, we’ll survive the injuries,” Hendry said.
Ted Lilly (shoulder) was making a rehab start Wednesday night for Class A Peoria and Carlos Zambrano (back) was not expected to miss more than 15 days. Reed Johnson (fractured foot) has not healed as quickly as they anticipated.
– Carrie Muskat