5/21 Lou: It's time somebody got a big hit

When he played, Lou Piniella batted .303 with runners in scoring position. It’s not that hard, he said, to hit with runners on, but it’s been a struggle this year for the Cubs.

“It’s time somebody just gets a big hit around here, it really is,” Piniella said after the Cubs lost, 2-1, to the Rangers Friday, their 24th game out of 43 to be decided by two or fewer runs.

“It’s time,” Piniella said. “We’re almost in June now. I could see April. Once you get past six weeks of the season, you don’t need any more at-bats to get sharp. [Ted] Lilly did a nice job, [Carlos] Zambrano did a nice job. We just didn’t get the big hit.”

That’s been a recurring theme this season. On Friday, the Cubs were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.

“Everybody’s trying to get the big hit, everyone’s trying to do a good job,” Marlon Byrd said. “Everyone’s trying to go out there and battle their butts off and that’s what they’re doing. We’re just not coming up with wins, we’re not coming up with a key hit.

“We’re not coming up with us on top,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. We’re still trying to figure out a way to do that. We haven’t done it consistently all year but we’ll get there.”

Byrd is optimistic. Piniella’s patience is being tested.

“Look, you’ve got to hit with men on base, that’s all there is to it,” Piniella said. “It’s really not that hard. I played 17 years. It’s not like I haven’t played up here. It’s not that hard. It really isn’t. I know everybody’s trying but it’s not that hard.”

— Carrie Muskat


As much as I want to blame Lou for all the struggles that this team has endured, he’s not the one that is up at the plate with RISP. He’s not the one making the stupid errors. He’s not the one striking out in cluch situations. That responsibility belongs to the players. They are the ones that are screwing this up for every Chicago Cubs fan in the nation. Friday was a prime example of why this team is scared of driving in runs that should have been driven in. Lilly pitched a hell of a game and got nothing for it. THese guys are frikkin professionals that have played this game their entire lives. It’s just too ridiculous to believe that they are playing as bad as they have been. They still can turn this around, but they better get their act 2gether ASAP.

Before I start venting I want to make it clear that I agree that it ultimately comes down to the players need to perform. Now that I’ve stated that, it really irks me that Lou is coming down so strongly as being frustrated with the players when by all appearances it should be the players who are frustrated with Lou. He continually puts them in the worst possible positions to succeed. Yes it would be great if the players were able to overcome his terrible decisions, but it obviously hasn’t been happening. Then when Lee says two words that appear to have come out of frustration with Lou’s managing everybody jumps all over Lee. The more I look at this situation the more I think Lou and management is the weakest link in a very tenuous situation as he has not managed this team well in close games. There have been so many opportunities where a good sac. bunt could have advanced the winning run (Thursday night) or having Colvin in left and Soriano in the DH role might have sparked some more offense and better defense on Friday. I think Lou has been a good manager at times in the past, but this year has been a bad year for Lou and I put a lot of the blame on his performance and guidance of the team.

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