6/20 Soriano: "We're not playing like we're supposed to"

Lou Piniella isn’t the only one puzzled by the way the Cubs have played this season. So is Alfonso Soriano.

“We’re not consistent,” Soriano said Sunday. “We play one game good, the next day, we play rookie ball, like we’ve never played before.”

Soriano said he felt the Cubs played well in Spring Training but it hasn’t carried over. Lou Piniella told the players after Saturday’s game that if they didn’t improve, it was going to be an embarrassing season.

“It is [embarrassing],” Soriano said. “We’re not playing like we’re supposed to play. What I see is we’re not hungry to win. We go out there and don’t fight to win — we play nine innings and we go home. That’s what I see.”

But how do the Cubs get back on track?

“That’s the biggest problem,” Soriano said. “I don’t know what we have to do but we have to figure it out soon. It’s not early any more — it’s almost half way thorugh the season.”

Soriano said two Cubs stand out: rookie shortstop Starlin Castro and center fielder Marlon Byrd. Being around Castro, Soriano said, makes him feel young, while Byrd “plays hard every time.”

Now, if the rest of the roster could duplicate Byrd’s efforts, the Cubs might get back on track, he said.

“Sometimes we try to do too much, but that’s not the way to fix it,” Soriano said. “We have to go one game at a time, one at-bat at a time.”

It’s been tough to sleep at night as the team struggles.

“I go home and think about it because I don’t like to lose,” Soriano said. “I try to figure out what we can do to get better. It’s not working for us. I think we have to try not to do too much. Just one pitch at a time, try to hit the ball hard and see what happens.”

— Carrie Muskat

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