8/23 Pep talk
Lou PIniella talked to the Cubs players after Saturday’s loss to the Dodgers, although he downplayed the chat, delivered as he walked through the clubhouse.
“[It was] nothing formal,” Piniella said Sunday.
The Cubs began play Sunday trailing the Cardinals by eight games in the NL Central. It’s St. Louis’ largest lead since they ended the 2005 season 11 games up.
“We’ve got an 11-game homestand and we need to get hot,” Piniella said of the upcoming stretch against Washington, New York, Houston and the White Sox, which begins Tuesday. “We need to have a really, really good homestand.”
The Cubs are batting .269 in 57 road games compared to .239 on the road.
It can be done. The Rockies trailed by six games in the NL West on Sept. 1 in 2007, and went 20-8 in September to win the Wild Card.
Asked if there was one thing the Cubs need to do, Piniella said: “We need to start scoring runs. Getting [Carlos] Zambrano will help. You’ve got to score runs, c’mon. I think, like I told the team last night after the game, it’s got to turn, it’s got to get better. Just relax and don’t give in to it.”
Scoring runs has been a struggle. The Cubs have been outscored 21-7 in the five losses on this road trip.
– Carrie Muskat