7/2 Lou: "This was ugly"
The Cubs and Reds were playing a good game until the seventh inning on Friday.
“These type of games aren’t any fun,” Koyie Hill said. “It’s frustrating and the way the season’s been going, it’s easy for us to hang our heads and pout but a little adversity never hurt anybody. You can test a guy’s character a little bit, a team’s character but I feel we have a strong group in here, a strong bunch of hearts. I think guys will come in tomorrow with their heads high and confident, and in the long run when it turns around, we’ll feel good about battling through this.”
The Cubs mustered two hits in a 12-0 loss to the Reds and fell to a season-low 12-games under .500.
“The feeling of having to play close to perfect can make a team tight but it’s the style we’re having to play right now,” Hill said. “We have to continue to come here and practice good habits and hopefully it’ll come through for us on the field.”
Ryan Dempster held the Reds to two hits over six scoreless innings. In the seventh, the Reds scored nine runs on three hits, taking advantage of an error by Mike Fontenot.
“I could never have expected that, especially with Dempster on the mound and myself up,” Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo said. “I thought maybe we’d put a couple of more on the board but I didn’t think it was going to explode like that.”
This was the third time this season the Cubs have lost by a 12-run margin.
“The bottom line is we’re not getting it done,” Hill said. “It’s one thing to say it, one thing to do it.”
There’s only one way to turn this around and that’s to get the job done on the field.
“What else can you do?” Lou Piniella said. “The other teams don’t care if we’re struggling or not. They’re going to come here and try to beat you every day. We have a bunch of young pitchers in the bullpen and sometimes they throw strikes and sometimes they don’t. Today was one day they didn’t. For the most part, our pitching has been good.”
The problem wasn’t really the pitching or Fontenot’s error.
“The other thing is two hits today,” Piniella said. “Two hits. You’re not going to win too many games with two hits.”
The Cubs may look flat but Piniella said lack of effort is not the problem.
“When you don’t do much, you look flat,” Piniella said. “I don’t see that. What I see is basically lack of hitting. When you don’t have many baserunners, you don’t get any hitting, how are you going to look sprite? We’re not the quickest team in the world anyway. I know it’s ugly at times but believe me, I don’t see the lack of effort. It might seem that way but that’s not the case.”
Saturday’s game will be No. 81, which marks the halfway point of the season.
“Let me tell you this, if we continue to put two hits, three hits, four hits on the board, how are you going to win baseball games?” Piniella said. “I don’t have an answer for that one. You’ve got to score runs. Look, we lost 12-nothing and it was really ugly. If it had been 2-nothing, or 3-nothing — but it’s still nothing.”
— Carrie Muskat