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