The old-timers pine for the days when July 4th doubleheaders and Labor Day doubleheaders were a set part of the schedules. However, one game like today's is enough for a single afternoon, thank you.
Another stinker today for Rich Hill (5-6), who has dropped five of his last six decisions and in his last four starts has been tagged for 17 runs in 17 2/3 IP, good for an 8.66 ERA.
According to cubs.com, Lou Piniella had this to say of his struggling lefty:
"He fights himself too much out there. I think he wastes too much energy fighting himself instead of concentrating on getting hitters out. I'm going to have a little talk with him about that. You don't have to be perfect. He gets mad evey time somebody gets a base hit. You don't have to be perfect in this game. Nobody's perfect.
"You've got to keep your concentration. That's a big thing with the pitcher. Why let the other team know things aren't going as planned? I think the break will do him good, and I think it'll freshen his arm, and he'll come back and have a real nice second half for us."
The Cub offense, meanwhile, was sucking air for the second straight game, collecting just five hits (one by Hill) against three Nats pitchers. Matt Chico (4-5), making his first-ever start against the Cubs, threw seven shutout, walk-free innings. Chico was 0-1 in his last eight starts; in the seven no-decisions, Washington hitters had supported him with just 13 runs.
On the plus side, the Brewers lost again to the Pirates, so the Cubs remain 5 1/2 in back of Milwaukee.
Thursday night, the Cubs will play their final game ever at RFK Stadium. Sean Marshall, 4-3 but coming off of his worst start of the season, faces the National's Jason Bergmann (1-5).AP Photo/Susan Walsh