8/7 Lou: "It's frustrating"

The Cubs’ offensive struggles this year have become so puzzling that all Lou Piniella can do is shrug.

“I don’t even want to talk about it anymore, truthfully,” Piniella said after a 4-3 loss to the first-place Reds on Saturday. “No sense rehashing what could’ve been, whatever. It’s hard, it’s frustrating, is what it is. That’s what it is, it’s frustrating.”

Drew Stubbs doubled and scored in the third, hit a tie-breaking leadoff homer in the eighth, and added a RBI single in the ninth to lift the Reds to victory over the Cubs, who lost for the ninth time in the last 10 games.

“It’s such a bad taste in your mouth when you play like this — you want to play good baseball,” Derrek Lee said. “Even if we lose and play good baseball, you can deal with that. We’re just not playing the way we should be playing.”

The Cubs threatened in the ninth as they loaded the bases with one out on three walks against Francisco Cordero. Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch in the left shoulder to force in a run. But Nick Masset replaced Cordero and struck out Lee, then walked Aramis Ramirez to force in another run, and struck out Marlon Byrd to end the game.

“I didn’t have a good at-bat,” Lee said of the ninth. “Bases loaded, one out, I’m expected to hit something in the gap and I strike out. That’s the disappointing part is when you know what you’re capable of doing and it’s just not happening.”

The Cubs were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11. Not good.

“It’s disappointing,” Lee said of the lost season. “We’ve played way below our expectations. In no way, shape or form did we think we’d be sitting in this position now. It’s extremely disappointing.”

— Carrie Muskat


Disappointing? Ball players still cash those big paychecks win or lose.

They still cash those big paychecks win or lose.

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