Capped by three consecutive losses against the intra-city rival White Sox during the weekend, the Cubs finished 6-9 against the American League. Overall, the NL was 102-149 against the AL, a paltry .406 record. "We're not really too pleased with [our play]," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "We got hit with a wave of injuries, both pitching and position player-wise, at the wrong time." Among those largely unavailable were ace pitcher Carlos Zambrano and slugger Alfonso Soriano. Those absences, though, don't explain why the NL has played the role of little brother to the AL for the past several years. Typically, the teams the Cubs met in Interleague Play, except their neighbors to the south, wouldn't be deemed intimidating -- Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay. But, Piniella said, because the Yankees and Red Sox are constantly trying to one-up each other, the smaller market teams are forced to keep pace. "The teams that we played were good teams," Piniella said. "They've all had to face the Yankees and the Red Sox, and they've had to get better, and they have." Fortunately for the Cubs, Interleague Play makes up less than 10 percent of the schedule. Against the NL, Chicago is 43-24, a .642 winning percentage. Across an entire season, that would equate to 104 wins. "You play the teams in your league enough times to make up for it," Piniella said. "When it's all said and done, the right teams get into the playoffs."
David Biderman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.