Before the Chicago Cubs’ most recent game, manager Lou Piniella voiced frustration with the inconsistency that has his team well below .500 nearly a quarter of the way through the season.
Fortunately for Piniella and the Cubs, their next opponent is one they’ve consistently beaten at Wrigley Field in previous years.
Chicago will try to start its turnaround by earning its 10th win in 11 home games against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
The Cubs failed to reach the postseason for the first time in Piniella’s tenure in 2009 but finished with a third straight winning season for the first time in 37 years.
This year’s team has a little work to do to keep that string going.
During their 16-22 start, the Cubs have been plagued by disappointing efforts from their bullpen, a lack of consistent run scoring, and slow starts from Aramis Ramirez(notes) (.167) and Derrek Lee(notes) (.238).
“It’s just a question of being more consistent. Once we do that, we’ll win more baseball games,” Piniella said. “And then everybody will be happy. The media will be happy. The manager will be happy. The players will be happy. The fans will be happy.
“And if not, we’ll continue to be unhappy.”
The Cubs have usually been pleased after recent home games against the Rockies, who snapped a nine-game skid at Wrigley in their final game there last season April 15.
Chicago has dropped nine of 12 and started 2-4 on its eight-game homestand. The Cubs needed Xavier Nady’s(notes) pinch-hit RBI single for a 4-3 win Sunday that helped them avoid a three-game sweep to Pittsburgh.
The Rockies will attempt to earn a season-high fourth straight win and their ninth in 14 games Monday. They’ll start Aaron Cook(notes) (1-3, 5.80 ERA), who is 0-5 with a 9.79 ERA in six road starts dating to August.
The right-hander allowed seven runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings in his only career start at Wrigley on May 30, 2008, a game in which the Cubs rallied from an eight-run deficit for a 10-9 win. He is 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in five starts against Chicago.
Wells is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in his past two starts. He struck out a season high-tying eight and walked one over eight innings while allowing three runs and four hits in a 3-2 home defeat to Florida on Tuesday night.
“I really believe, as he goes along, he’s going to continue to get better,” manager Jim Tracy told the Rockies’ official website.
The Cubs could again be without one of their top hitters. Ryan Theriot(notes), batting .318 and leading the team with six stolen bases, sat out Sunday after being hit in the left elbow by a pitch the previous day.
The Rockies won four of six over the Cubs last season after dropping 11 of the previous 14 meetings.