Lou Lights Up Cubs

Cubs manager Lou Piniella says his message to the team remains constant.

Piniella lit his team up after Tuesday night's loss to the Cardinals, saying it was playing not to lose. In other words, Piniella said his team played well all summer but somehow lost its aggressiveness during a streak of losing eight of nine. He said, "You've got to get your damn shirts rolled up and go out and kick somebody's (butt)."

Although his tone had softened some by Wednesday, the message had not.

"The message, basically, is the right one," he said. "Like it or not, it's the right message."

He went on: "Kick some (butt). What's wrong with that? What do you put the uniform on for? You put the uniform on to compete and win baseball games."

Piniella cited toughness and confidence as the two main ingredients to achieving success.

Left-hander Ted Lilly showed some toughness Wednesday, bowling over Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina while being tagged out during the Cubs' 4-3 victory. Lilly said he didn't know of Piniella's words, but he made light of it.

"He might be over 100, but he's still got a lot of fire in him," Lilly said.


--OF Felix Pie made his first start in center field for the Cubs since May 12. He was sent to Class AAA Iowa on May 14 and recalled Tuesday. He walked twice and had an RBI single. With Jim Edmonds slumping, Pie could see additional playing time and redeem himself.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano threw a bullpen session Tuesday and proclaimed himself fit to start Saturday in Houston. Zambrano hasn't started since Sept. 2 because of shoulder problems.

--RF Kosuke Fukudome made only his second start in seven games Wednesday. Manager Lou Piniella said Fukudome needed time to relax because he has been slumping since midseason. Fukudome went 1-for-4 with a single.

--RHP Kerry Wood picked up his 29th save, but he gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Ludwick in the ninth. It marked the third consecutive outing in which Wood has given up multiple runs. He's allowed seven runs in the three games.

--LF Alfonso Soriano reached the 700-RBI mark in his career with a run-scoring fielder's choice grounder in the second inning.

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