All of that losing wasn't a waste.
"In retrospect, it was a mistake (going to Tampa Bay)," he said. "But I wanted to be home. I learned a lot. I learned about managing young kids. I learned about patience. In this business you learn a lot more from losing than winning, and there I learned a hell of a lot."
The Cubs have been using plenty of young players this season, and during a tight drive for the National League Central title, players such as Ryan Theriot, Geovany Soto, Matt Murton, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Hart have made an impact.
"The young kids bring a lot of enthusiasm and vim and vigor to the situation," Piniella said. "We used a lot of young kids here."
MARLINS 4, CUBS 2: Ted Lilly gave up four second-inning runs and Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis shut the Cubs out for seven innings before Craig Monroe hit a two-run homer in the eighth. It wasn't enough, though, and the Cubs' four-game winning streak was snapped at Dolphin Stadium. The Cubs had just three hits on the night. Cubs relievers threw four innings of shutout ball, but the offense wasn't able to get rolling. The Cubs' lead over Milwaukee shrank to two games with five left in the season.
INSIDE EDGE: Cubs manager Lou Piniella might be changing his mind on using Steve Trachsel on Thursday against Florida. He hasn't pitched since Sept. 13. "We're probably going to tweak our pitching between now and Sunday," Piniella said. "Whoever is scheduled -- I wouldn't exactly go to the bank with it."
--LHP Ted Lilly had one bad inning, but it cost him dearly. Lilly gave up four second-inning runs in what turned out to be a 4-2 loss to Florida. It was his first loss since Aug. 25.
--SS Ryan Theriot, who missed Sunday's game with back spasms, was back in the lineup.
--RHP Carlos Zambrano, who left Sunday's game after six innings because of right forearm cramps, threw in the outfield on Tuesday, and manager Lou Piniella said Zambrano would be able to make his next start, either Friday or Saturday against Cincinnati.
--C Jason Kendall has not been getting much playing time because rookie Geovany Soto has been hot. But manager Lou Piniella said the veteran is getting rest and letting a banged-up right thumb heal and will be ready when called on.
--RHP Jason Marquis will try to get the Cubs back on the winning track on Wednesday. In his last appearance on Friday, he gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. But the Cubs rallied to win the game, 13-8, and he did not get a decision.