Ryan Theriot made a critical error and Carlos Zambrano was clearly outpitched by returning Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets, but in his press conference following the Cubs' 6-1 loss Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, Lou Piniella focused on the failings of the Cub offense.
"You've got to put five or six runs up on the board consistently if you're going to win up here," Piniella just said on Comcast Sportsnet's post-game report. "In three of our last four defeats, we scored one run. That's not getting it done."
Piniella applauded Sheets's performance but pointed out correctly that the Cubs still had chances to put runs on the board against him and came up mostly empty.
Lou did acknowledge that Zambrano was no match for Sheets on this evening and that the Cubs have to get Z "back to pitching like he was." As cubs.com reports, Zambrano, who was tagged for six runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings Wednesday night, was winless in the month of August, with four defeats and an ERA of 7.06. In July, he went 5-1. 1.38.
The best thing to happen tonight was the Cardinals losing to the Astros, 7-0 in Houston, a game that saw Roy Oswalt beat Kip Wells, something that should only happen, oh, 998 times out of a thousand.
The Cubs are now 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Brewers and 2 games better than the Cardinals. The Cubs' magic number over the Brewers is 30; versus the Cards, who've played two fewer games than the Cubs and three fewer than Milwaukee, it's 31.
Something tells me there is a good deal of drama yet to unfold.