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Cubs hit the road seeking better weather and pitching

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Cubs hit the road seeking better weather and pitching

The Cubs sounded like a team ready to get out of town Wednesday.

Their scheduled game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field was rained out. It's been a cold and wet spring in Chicago, and the Cubs have had their problems both with their pitching and their hitting.

"The backbone is still going to be pitching," manager Mike Quade said. "For some of the offensive problems we're having, we've still got to pitch it better, too."

The Cubs are having problems piecing together a rotation with Nos. 4 and 5 pitchers Randy Wells (forearm) and Andrew Cashner (rotator cuff) on the disabled list.

The rainout does buy the Cubs some time to figure out what to do with the fifth spot, where left-hander James Russell has had three ineffective starts.

General manager Jim Hendry will accompany the team to Arizona and Los Angeles. Hendry, Quade and pitching coach Mark Riggins will determine whether the Cubs give Russell another start next week or go with another option.

It's more likely that they will call up a minor leaguer from Class AAA Des Moines Iowa than move Jeff Samardzija out of the bullpen, where he is riding a nine-inning scoreless streak.

At home, Cubs' batters hit only eight home runs compared to 17 by their opponents, and Quade figures maybe some warmer weather will help the offense.

"It's been a tough stretch, even by Chicago standards," the manager said. "We're all from here, but the warm weather will be nice, and we know it will be better when we get back.

"This is the greatest place in the world, but it can be tough in April, and we've had a pretty long stretch of it here. We'll see if the bats won't be helped by some warm weather. The warm weather won't be frowned upon."

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