But after watching the Cubs' sleepwalking offense the last two months, Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella are counting the days until Aramis Ramirez returns from his shoulder injury.
The Cubs put on another display of offensive ineptitude in Wednesday's 5-3 loss to Detroit.
They stranded 13 baserunners and went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-14 their last two games. The Cubs are the worst clutch-hitting team in the majors, ranking dead last with a .219 average with runners in scoring position.
"Maybe we'll draw the names out of a hat," Piniella said. "Leave a couple of guys doing the job in their positions and draw some names and see where they fall. We can't do any worse."
How bad was it?
Milton Bradley couldn't even break his bat over his knee after striking out against Fernando Rodney with two on in the ninth.
The Cubs dropped to .500 at 34-34, but remained 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals.
Rich Harden gave up two solo homers and walked four men over 5 1/3 innings, falling to 4-4.
"It was an ugly game, and I wasn't happy with my performance," Harden said. "I don't have too much else to say."
Is this a bad team?
"I didn't say it was," Piniella said.
But is it a bad team?
"We have a chance to be a good team," he replied. We haven't really done [anything]. We've been playing .500 ball all year."
After Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello was removed with two men on and a 2-1 lead in the sixth, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs but scored one run, on Mike Fontenot's RBI fielder's choice.
Geovany Soto's error on a Marcus Thames foul ball led to Harden's downfall in the sixth.
Harden walked Thames before being removed after a one-out walk to Brandon Inge. Magglio Ordonez's sinking liner to right off Aaron Heilman eluded Bradley's diving grasp to load the bases.
Jake Fox grabbed a hot liner at third for the second out, but couldn't throw out Adam Everett on an infield hit as the go-ahead run scored. Heilman proceeded to walk Curtis Granderson to force in the second run to make it 4-2.
After loading the bases with one out in the seventh, the Cubs managed only one run on Fox's sacrifice fly. The Tigers got that back in the ninth when Carlos Marmol forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk.
Up nextThursday at Tigers, 12:05 p.m., WGN-Ch. 9
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