Cincinnati Reds defeat Chicago Cubs, 11-4

The pall hanging over the Cubs has a stagnating feel, not only because of how badly things are going on the field, but because of the daunting eight full weeks that still lie ahead.

For a team that has lost 10 of its last 11 games, has a roster that now includes eight rookies -- six of them pitchers -- and the prospect of facing five contenders in the next three weeks alone, the specter of the ugliest of endings is hard to shake.

It is no less ominous to think that i...

Cubs manager Lou Piniella's trying summer is continuing on and off the field. His latest concern now is the hospitalization of his mother in Tampa, Fla.

Piniella left after Sunday's 11-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds to return home to Tampa to be with his mother, Margaret, 90, while the team traveled to San Francisco for a four-game series that begins tonight.

Margaret Piniella, who has been in fragile health, was hospitalized late Saturday for the third time in recent...