Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Piniella sits struggling sluggers
By Bruce Levine
PITTSBURGH -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella's lineup on Tuesday night was reflective of his sour mood after watching another listless performance by his offense in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Pirates.
Piniella's lineup was more like a spring training lineup than what you'd expect to see on June 1.
Among the bench players for Tuesday evening were slumping stars Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. In their place, Xavier Nady was playing first base and batting third and Tyler Colvin was batting fourth and playing center field.
"We'll see how it works out.," a frustrated Piniella said about the changes. "Look, we're looking for offense. We need to hit. The best way to explain our situation is whoever is swinging the bat is going to find his way into the lineup."
Piniella said he wouldn't categorize the change as a benching of his big hitters.
"I didn't say that. I want to play the regulars," Piniella said. "I want to stay as consistent as I possibly can. I think we've shown remarkable patience here. Not changing things, being constant, assuming the hitting is right around the corner. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. Patience is a virtue. Too much patience is stupidity."
Other Cubs not in Tuesday's lineup include center fielder Marlon Byrd, second baseman Ryan Theriot and catcher Geovany Soto. This is the second straight game that Theriot hasn't started, and Piniella has hinted to a platoon with Theriot and Mike Fontenot.
The Cubs have scored nine runs in their last five games, winning only two of them. Even more frustrating for the Cubs is that they've lost six of seven games to the Pirates this season, a team that's won only 21 games all year.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.