Guess it wasn’t home cooking that the Cubs needed to get back on the winning side of things. The Twins beat the Cubs 7-4 in the opener of the 3-game weekend series at Wrigley Field between the 2 teams. It was only the third win for the Twins in 10 tries at the Friendly Confines.
Different day, same old story for the Cubs. No hitting, no hitting, no hitting. The Cubs managed just 6 hits and 1 walk off of 6 Twins pitchers. The Cubs had 12 strikeouts at the plate today, including 10 by starter Kevin Slowey. In fact, the Cubs had only 1 good hitting inning – in the 6th, the Cubs got back-to-back singles from Aaron Miles and Bobby Scales to lead off the inning. After an Alfonso Soriano K, Mike Fontenot walked to load the bases. Milton Bradley had the big hit with a 2-RBI double, and Derrek Lee followed with an RBI groundout to cut the Twins lead to 4-3. But that’s where things turned in the wrong direction for Bradley and the Cubs.
On the Lee groundout, Bradley ran into an easy tag out by Joe Crede at 3rd base, taking away another scoring opportunity by staying at 2nd base and in scoring position. The next inning, with a runner at 1st base, Bradley lost Jason Kubel’s lazy flyball to right field in the sun. Instead of a man on 1st and 2 outs, it became 2 men on with 1 out. Then with 2 outs and 2 on still, Bradley got a bad jump on a ball hit to shallow right field, and his diving attempt fell just short as the ball scooted under his glove. That allowed a run to score. Then, as if those plays weren’t bad enough, Bradley lost track of the number of outs in the 8th inning. With 1st and 3rd and 1 out, Bradley caught Joe Mauer’s flyball to right and thought it was the 3rd out of the inning. Nick Punto tagged from 3rd and scored, but when Bradley through the ball to the fans in the bleachers, Brendan Harris was awarded 3rd base for his error. It’s bad enough that Bradley’s numbers are awful and he’s always hurt. But when you’re not in the game, it makes it look like you’re not even trying. Hendry should be seriously criticized for the Bradley signing – what a joke.
Randy Wells had his worst outing of 2009. After the Cubs failed to even make a dent in 2 inings against Slowey, it looked like Wells lost his focus. Given how much support they’ve given him in his previous 5 starts, it’s hard not to forgive Wells for bailing out early in this contest. Wells lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. Oh well.
Manager Lou Pinella mixed things up a bit with his lineup in an effort to jumpstart the offense. Here are some good numbers for you – Mike Fontenot in the 2 hole – 0 for 2 with a walk and K; Geovany Soto in the 5 hole – 0 for 4 with 2 K’s; Kosuke Fukodome in the 6 hole – 0 for 4 with 3 K’s; & Ryan Theriot in the 7 hole – 0 for 4 with 2 K’s. Guess it’s back to the drawing board Lou.
There’s always tomorrow, and pretty soon, we’re all going to be saying, there’s always next year…