Filed:June 17, 2009
Scott Podsednik chats it up between pitches at Wrigley Field Wednesday (Cubbie Nation/file)
John Danks went seven strong innings, and the White Sox executed perfectly to beat the Cubs 4-1 Wednesday at Wrigley Field. The loss sets the Cubs back under the .500 mark (30-31), and leaves manager Lou Piniella mulling changes for the team.
"It's getting to the point where I'm going to have to start making some tough decisions and get different people in the lineup. I've been real patient with it, but, I'll tell you, it's getting to that point."
Sigh. This is a comment that you get only from a true old-timer—and I don't mean old-timer in a bad way—as a younger, less credentialed manager would have pulled the plug on these guys weeks ago. Believe me when I tell you the hardest hit ball by the Cubs during this game was by Jake Fox, which took a herculean effort by Brian Anderson to haul down at the wall.
Frankly, he's got to find a way to get some of these guys in the lineup. Hoffpauir, Fox, even Bobby Scales was proving significantly more productive than Aaron Miles. News outlets are reporting that the Cubs are chasing Pedro Martinez, which he has confirmed himself, by the way. That can only mean that a trade is developing around one of the current starters.
Until then, hopefully Lou will consider playing Fox and Hoffpauir a bit in left more, with Soriano at second. Man, I can't believe I just wrote that.
Or even better, give Fox a couple of at-bats to start a game, and use him at third. He can always be lifted for a more reliable defender. Mike Fontenot is a soldier, but having to throw him out there against a good lefty in John Danks speaks loudly to how bad things are.
And he was good. Danks went seven innings, before giving way to Scott Linebrink and Bobby Jenks in relief. That was a big difference actually from Ryan Dempster, who walked six, and generally looked wild. A more potent offensive team would have probably chased him earlier, but the Sox have their own problems at the moment offensively, so the Cubs were able to at least make a game of it.
But the Sox got what they needed, getting a solo homer from Alexei Ramirez in the first inning to set things off. Then they proceeded to give a clinic in NL-style offense.
First, a Chris Getz triple in the second to score Brian Anderson. Then, a pitch-perfect suicide squeeze by John Danks to score Chris Getz in the seventh. And finally, an A.J. Pierzynski sac fly in the eighth for an insurance run.
I saw some good baseball Wednesday. The only problem is that it wasn't the Cubs that were playing it.