8/12 Good effort, bad execution
The Cubs may have lost Thursday’s game to the Giants in the ninth but the fifth inning was more costly. Aaron Rowand was safe on a throwing error by third baseman Jeff Baker and then stole second, sliding under a missed tag by Starlin Castro who dropped the ball.
“[Pat] Burrell was key for them in this series,” acting Cubs manager Alan Trammell said. “But you cannot give Major League teams extra out. Can’t make a play — can’t make two plays, to be honest.”
One out later, Randy Wells walked two batters to load the bases for Burrell’s grand slam, his 10th homer of the season. It’s the first time Wells has given up three homers in one game.
The problem wasn’t mechanical but mental.
“It’s just a bad game,” Wells said. “Poorly executed and no feeling sorry for yourself. Cut and dry, it’s pitiful.
“I can’t keep putting the team in a hole like that,” he said. “It’s not professional, it’s not acceptable. Just chalk it up to a bad day and move on.”
Trammell turns the Cubs back over to Lou Piniella on Friday when he joins the team in St. Louis to start a three-game series. Since Piniella’s been gone, the Cubs have traded Fontenot and added Micah Hoffpauir plus rookies Marcos Mateo, Welington Castillo and Darwin Barney this week. Barney is the 11th rookie on the 25-man roster and entered as a defensive sub in the ninth.
“I’ll be very glad to see [Piniella],” Trammell said. “He feels like we’re in good hands. Obviously, we haven’t done that well but I think he’s comfortable knowing we did our best and we did.
“The effort level is there,” he said, “but we have to clean some things up. It’s more than just talking — we’ve talked about it. Guys have to go out there and do it. For some reason, this year in particular, we’ve had more than our share of mistakes that have come back to cost us.”
— Carrie Muskat