Cubs manager Lou Piniella sounds as if he's at his wit's end with right fielder Kosuke Fukudome, who got one more chance in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.

Fukudome started Thursday again going 0-for-4 in Game 1. Piniella dropped him from second to eighth in the batting order, and Fukudome went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

When the series moves to Dodger Stadium, Fukudome will find himself on the bench. The Cubs can move Mark DeRosa to right field and put Mike Fontenot at second base.

Fukudome has struggled at the plate since June.

"It's a mystery," Piniella said of Fukudome's poor performance. "It's been a long time. I've had as much patience with him as I've had with anybody I've ever managed."

Piniella added that the problem with moving Fontenot into the lineup is that it costs the Cubs their best bench player.

After Thursday's 10-3 loss, Piniella all but wrote off Fukudome.

"From now on, I don't want to hear about Fukudome anymore as far as whether he's going to play or not," the manager said. "I'm going to play Fontenot or Reed Johnson or somebody else and that's the end of that story."

DODGERS 10, CUBS 3: The Cubs had played good defense all year long, but two errors led to four unearned runs in the Dodgers' five-run second. When it was over, each of the Cubs' four starting infielders had committed an error. The Cubs, whose offense has been non-existent in the playoffs, had five hits over 6 2/3 innings against Dodgers RHP Chad Billingsley. 1B Derrek Lee and DeRosa each had two hits.


--LF Alfonso Soriano singled on the first pitch he saw in the first inning but was retired his next three times up. Soriano is 1-for-9 in the series. Last year in the playoffs against Arizona, he was 2-for-14. Both the Diamondbacks and Dodgers game-planned Soriano perfectly, throwing him sliders low and away.

--Lee extended his postseason hitting streak to five games. He's 7-for-19 (.368) with two walks and two runs in the streak.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano allowed seven runs, a personal postseason high. Of the seven runs, only three were earned. Zambrano is 0-2 for his career in postseason play.

--DeRosa doubled twice, tying the Cubs record for doubles in a postseason game. It's the sixth time in team history it's been done and the first time since Mark Grace did it on Oct. 5, 1989.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- Consecutive postseason losses for the Cubs. Their last victory came in Game 4 of the 2003 NL Championship Series at Florida. They dropped the next three of that series, all three last year to Arizona and the first two this year to the Dodgers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think it would be a huge advantage for the Dodgers, but do-or-die? If we lose tonight, well, might as well just stay home and go home and forfeit the game in Los Angeles. I don't see us doing that." Piniella responding to DeRosa calling Thursday's game do-or die.

Northsiders Report Top Stories