Cubs Manager Lou Piniella, stretched and strained by home and professional obligations throughout a three-game sweep at the hands of his former Tampa Bay Rays team in St. Petersburg, left Florida glad to be heading back to Wrigley – but clearly in no mood for the standard media circus of carousel, regurgitation of issues that have already been addressed for days on the road.
``Horrible inning, wasn’t it?’’ he said of the bullpen’s seventh-inning collapse Thursday, including setup ace Carlos Marmol’s two-walk, two-hit-batter sequence to start a seven-run Rays inning.
``It’s only one loss. First time we’ve lost three in a row. Now we go home and try to regroup, that’s all we can do,’’ Piniella said. ``But I found some things out in this series that I think will pay some dividends down the road, and we’ll leave it at that.’’
Was he referring to Scott Eyre’s grand slam allowed to Carl Crawford in a left-vs.-left matchup that amounted to the first pressure situation he used Eyre in this season? Or Marmol’s continued command issues over the past two weeks?
But he added, ``We’ve had trouble scoring runs this whole road trip. And I don’t want to hear any more when I get back to Chicago, and when we get [Alfonso] Soriano back, about leadoff or anything else. I really don’t. I’m not going to put up with it anymore. I think we know what we’re doing here.
``It’s just been a struggle. We’ve got to piece it together, and we’ve got to keep our heads up, and keep going. And we haven’t been in a bad spell all year. Well, we’re in one right now. And, hopefully, at home it’ll cure it, and we go forward.’’