The Cubs trailed 3-2 when Marlon Byrd doubled to lead off the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. Mike Fontenot was up next and popped up to shortstop Ian Desmond. After the game, Cubs manager Lou Piniella became a little testy with a reporter who asked if Fontenot should've bunted.
"Bunting what?" Piniella snapped. "With a left-handed hitter [Fontenot] up, you want to bunt? What kind of baseball do you play?"
Twenty-four hours later, what did Fontenot think?
"Whatever he wanted me to do, I'd do," said Fontenot on Thursday, who obviously wasn't bunting. "I should've been able to get the job done swinging the bat. That's part of the game. When there's a guy on second, nobody out, the pitcher knows -- everybody knows -- you're trying to pull the ball.
"Usually they try to keep it away -- he actually wasn't trying to keep it away," Fontenot said of Nats reliever Brian Bruney. "He threw a few pitches, and I had really good swings and fouled them off. I had a good swing on the last one and the ball just went the wrong way on me."
The Cubs stranded 11 in the loss, so it wasn't just Fontenot who failed to deliver with men on.
"We had opportunities," Fontenot said. "Myself, I had opportunities a couple times and I didn't get it done. As a team, we didn't get it done yesterday, and that's what it comes down to. After the fact, there's always things you can say, like, 'I could've done this.' Long story short, swinging the bat, I should've gotten it done."
As for Piniella, he got a little break on Thursday and didn't meet with the media before the game.