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Cubs lose again, but Hendry says major rebuilding not needed
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

The Cubs' Starlin Castro reacts after striking out with runners on base in the fifth inning.

 

Associated Press

Cubs starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny fell to 6-6 giving up 3 runs in 7 innings.

 

Associated Press

Reds' Paul Janish, right, scores on Brandon Phillips' RBI double as Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto fields the late throw during the seventh inning.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 8/6/2010 4:17 PM | Updated: 8/6/2010 7:04 PM

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Bruce Miles' game tracker

Reds 3, Cubs 0

Same old story: Tom Gorzelanny gave the Cubs their 66th quality start, with 7 innings of 3-run ball. Because of poor offensive support, the Cubs are only 36-30 in quality-start games with the starters having an ERA of 2.24 in those starts.

Little noise: The Cubs did not get a hit until Aramis Ramirez singled to deep short in the fourth. They wound up with 5 hits all day, with no player getting more than 1.

Walking man: Catcher Geovany Soto drew his team-leading 51st walk. He is 11 walks shy of matching his career best, set in 2008. Soto's on-base percentage is .401.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry wants to see a few things from his team down the stretch.

Victories would be one thing, but those look like they're going to be hard to come by, given the way the Cubs have been playing and their upcoming opponents.

The first-place Cincinnati Reds gave them a possible sample of what's to come Friday as Bronson Arroyo and two relievers shut them out 3-0 at Wrigley Field.

That dropped the Cubs' record to 47-62. The Cubs have been out of the playoff race for some time, but Hendry says there are goals to be achieved.

"I want to see a good effort, first and foremost," he said before the game. "We've been so inconsistent offensively, and for a couple of weeks, we didn't pitch well after the break. So I'd like to see us play hard, win as many games as we can. Just don't want to be limping home in any way, shape or form. I don't think we'll have that problem.

"It's going to be a good opportunity for a lot of people to establish themselves going into the off-season. I think we'll see a few more guys from the minor-league system eventually here, whether anyone one else is traded, or in September, you'll see some other new guys."

All that said, Hendry added the Cubs are not facing an overhaul.

"I'm here to tell you it's not some kind of a major rebuilding job," he said. "When you start seeing the improvement in the young people that we have and the type of young arms that we have and the arms that we have coming, you make three or four solid moves in the off-season and your young guys keep developing, then you're right back to being a contending team, and that's the way we're going to go about it."

The Cubs managed just 5 hits against the Reds Friday, all coming off Arroyo (12-6), who lasted 7 innings. Cubs hitters were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and generated very little in the way of threats.

Center fielder Marlon Byrd acknowledged that the Cubs are in dire straits, but he added his boss has little reason to worry about effort.

"It would be nice to go out there and play inspired baseball," Byrd said. "When you're not winning and things aren't going your way, it's tough. We haven't given up. We're not going to give up. We're going to go out there every single day. Again, it's getting close to the time where we need a miracle. We're hoping for it."

One of the players who has a lot riding for next year is pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. The lefty worked 7 innings of 4-hit, 3-run ball in falling to 6-6 with a 3.51 ERA. He gave up a 2-run homer to catcher Ryan Hanigan in the second and a run-scoring single to Brandon Phillips in the seventh.

"I hope they count on me this year as much as next year, as well," Gorzelanny said. "I'm just trying to focus on what I'm doing the rest of the year here and putting together a good season and trying to do my part to help us win games."