Piniella: Chemistry is Fine

Piniella: Chemistry is Fine

To hear Cubs manager Lou Piniella tell it, the "chemistry" on his club is fine and he's not managing any differently than he did in his first two years, when the Cubs won division titles.

"Games are won on the field; they're not won in the clubhouse," Piniella said Tuesday. "You get people on base. You get them in. You score more runs than the other team. You play a little harder than the other team. Play a little smarter than the other team. A lot's made of the clubhouse. Chemistry's important, but I tell you what, talent and the way you play on the field is more important."

The Cubs have been the picture of mediocrity this year, and Piniella turned to the numbers. The Cubs scored 855 runs and allowed 671 last year.

So far this year, they've scored 576 and allowed 554. Not only is the production down, but also the run differential is a lot closer this year.

"I think the big reason, the biggest reason (for the team's struggles), we're going to score about 160-170 runs less than we did last year," he said. "That's a lot of offense to lose. That's a dozen or 15 games on a win or loss column."

NOTES

--RHP Randy Wells became the first Cubs rookie pitcher to reach double digits in victories since Kerry Wood won 13 in 1998, a Rookie of the Year season.

"I'm not trying to reach any plateaus or win any awards," said Wells, who has given up one unearned run in 20 2.3 innings against Houston this year. He's 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA against the NL Central.

--Relievers John Grabow, Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings Tuesday. The Cubs bullpen has a scoreless-innings streak of 19 1/3, dating to Aug. 27. Grabow has not allowed a run in 16 appearances for the Cubs covering 13 innings.

--RHP Rich Harden walked a season-worst six Monday against the Astros. He threw 33 pitches in the third inning alone and ran his pitch count to 98 over five innings. Harden fell to 8-8.

--LF Alfonso Soriano was a late addition to the lineup Tuesday. Soriano had a cortisone shot in his left knee Sunday, and Piniella wanted to give him one more day off, but Soriano said he was ready. Soriano went 1-for-3.

--The Cubs recalled 1B/OF Micah Hoffpauir and RHP Justin Berg from Class AAA Iowa as part of September call-up's. They also activated IF Andres Blanco off the disabled list. On Wednesday, they activated RHP David Patton off the DL. Blanco and Patton have been on minor league rehab assignments.

--RF Milton Bradley was 2-for-4 with a homer, a single and two runs Tuesday. On the homestand, he's 14-for-30 (.467) with three doubles, three homers and six RBIs. He's batting .370 (.27-for-73) at home since July 12.

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