PHOENIX – Manager Lou Piniella got ahead of himself and, next thing he knew, the Chicago Cubs had fallen behind.
Painfully. Hopelessly. Unnecessarily.
Had Piniella witnessed it unfold from the broadcasting booth, where he spent the 2006 season, he would have recited a mantra memorized by any manager – certainly any manager who has more than 3,000 games on his resume.
Play 'em one game at a time.
Do not, under any circumstances, peer ahead to Game 4 during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a best-of-five playoff series.
Yet Piniella did just that on Wednesday night, pulling starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano after six innings and a scant 85 pitches with the score tied at one, not because Zambrano was losing steam, not because the Arizona Diamondbacks were dialing him in, but because Piniella wanted his burly right-hander to be fresh to pitch on three days' rest in Game 4.
Take a hard look at the NLDS schedule, Lou. It reads: Game 4, if necessary. It might never be played. Zambrano's nextRead More »from Sweet Lou's move backfires, sours Cubs' outlook