The weather Friday at Wrigley Field was more fit for Opening Day than the middle of May.
A game-time temperature of 38 degrees, wind out of the east and off-and-on light rain made it a miserable afternoon for spectators and players alike.
The Cubs' offense has had a hard-enough time getting going, and manager Rick Renteria was asked if he'd like to see what his hitters could do in some consistently warm weather.
"We can't control the weather; I think what we have to do is make sure that we do what we're capable of doing under any circumstances," he said. "They're not looking to make any excuses, or shouldn't look for excuses. Weather certainly shouldn't be one. I think what we need to do is go out there and have good approaches.
"When we do have opportunities to drive in runs, drive in runs. Put the ball in play when we need to in situations dictate that a groundball is all you need. I think we've had some games where we've had some nice breakthroughs. In situations, we've done some good things. Keep improving. I know we'd all like to see it grow faster, but it's growing at the pace it's growing at now."
The Cubs have been poor all year at hitting with runners in scoring position. Renteria was asked if he believes there are "clutch" hitters.
"I think there are clutch approaches," he said. "I think there are hitters who have good approaches in those situations. Part of that is that they take the anxiety, somehow they're able to manage the anxiety in those situations."
No Molina fallout:
Rick Renteria termed Thursday's little dust-up with the Cardinals' Yadier Molina no big deal. Molina took exception to a pitch from the Cubs' Neil Ramirez coming up and in.
"There was nothing there," Renteria said. "I think he took a step back after that at-bat. Both teams should react exactly the way they reacted. That's baseball. Was there any intent to hit him? Absolutely not. But are the reactions normal? Sure. He's one of your key players. You see a pitch that seemingly looks up and in ... if you go back on the video, it wasn't as close as you might think. But when a pitch is elevated, to the mind's eye, it seems like it's very close.
"But I think everybody reacted the way they should. Two teams are competing against each other. There's nothing wrong with the way they showed their emotion. But there was no intent there."
Left-handed reliever Zac Rosscup said he doesn't believe the shoulder ailment that landed him on the disabled list this week is serious.
"I was feeling some discomfort in my shoulder area, so I tried to rehab it a little bit, do some preventative work," he said. "After awhile it wasn't going away, nothing was really working. So I figured it was best to get it looked at.
"There's nothing serious. It's just showing some extra inflammation and a little bit of fluid. Nothing too serious."
Rosscup went on the DL when the Cubs activated former closer Jose Veras, who rehabbed an oblique injury. Veras pitched in the sixth inning at St. Louis on Thursday and the ninth Friday in the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
Middle relief and non-save situations are roles Veras is likely to fill for the foreseeable future.
"We'll chip away and let him have his successes and just continue to work and we'll see how it evolves," Rick Renteria said.