Cubs say ``ouch’’ but not ``uncle’’

SHARE Cubs say ``ouch’’ but not ``uncle’’
SHARE Cubs say ``ouch’’ but not ``uncle’’

Maybe the Ricketts-Tribune agreement will provide a little positive emotion going forward. Maybe getting home on Tuesday to open a long homestand filled mostly with also-rans will spur something. Maybe Carlos Zambrano’s return from the DL Tuesday will do it.

But right now it doesn’t look so good with 42 games for the Cubs – who lost a one-run game Friday night in L.A. because they (1) committed an infield error that led to the only runs the Dodgers scored, (2) watched both those score on a two-out double by the pitcher and (2) got exactly one hit all night.

“It gets painful watching this,” manager Lou Piniella said.

“It’s hard to be out there playing sometimes,” shortstop Ryan Theriot concurred.

But more than a quarter of the season remains. And whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is starting to look like a matter of pain threshold.

“You stay positive and you continue to work and you know things are going to turn around – they can’t get any worse,” said Theriot, whose lone Cubs hit of the night was an RBI single in the third inning.

“Anything’s possible. We haven’t hit that hot streak yet. There’s no reason to think we can’t do it. We come together and start scoring some runs, anything’s possible.”

Start scoring some runs? Huh?

Talk about optimism.

Already 13th in the league in batting, the Cubs are now hitting just .253. Already 10th in scoring, they’ve got just 530 runs in 120 games (4.4 per game).

Even one of the most spectacular catches of the season – Sam Fuld’s home-run robbing, over-the-wall grab of a Manny Ramirez drive in the bottom of the eighth — couldn’t elicit anything more from the top of the Cubs order than a 1-2-3 ninth on this night.

“Obviously, it’s a tough loss. You hate to lose games like that,” said Fuld, who read the ball perfectly from contact. “It would have been a sweet way to win to come back in the ninth there.

“Just seems to be the way things are going. We’re losing tough games.”

Ouch.

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