Come To Think of it: Wrigley Field Anniversary Spoiled By Sloppy Play

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IApril 24, 2009

On this date in history, 95 years ago, baseball was first played at what is now known as Wrigley Field.

But the Cubs didn't exactly pay homage to the anniversary, as a lack of offense and a porous defense contributed to a 7-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on a Thursday afternoon.

On Apri. 23, 1914, the park at 1060 West Addison St., then known as Weegham Park, opened its gates for the first time.

The Chicago Federals (later, the Chicago Whales) of the Federal League played their first game. The Federal League folded after only two years, however, and Willam Wrigley, Jr.  purchased the Cubs and moved the team to Weegham Park.

The name of the stadium was changed to Cubs Park in 1920, just in time for opening day. It was renamed Wrigley Field in 1926.  

But back to the present-day Cubs. They committed "only" two errors, but the defense was worse than the numbers indicate.

Micah Hoffpauir, who had been distinguishing himself rather well out in right field, suddenly looked like a misplaced first baseman. He got turned around on a catchable fly ball that he turned into a triple in the fourth inning.

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Hoffpauir also made an error in the seventh that led to two runs.

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano contributed to the sloppy play, making an errant pickoff throw in the sixth, which led to a run.

Lou Piniella had this to say:

“It wasn’t a pretty baseball game, not from our point of view, anyway,” he said. “We’ve played two games, we’ve thrown the ball away, haven’t hit when we have had opportunities with men on base. It’s just been two very…lackluster games.”

In addition to poor defense, the bullpen once again failed to hold down the score.

Neal Cotts continued his lousy relief pitching by giving up a home run in the eighth, and new call-up Jeff Samardziha gave up two runs in the ninth.

Also, the Cubs bats were mostly silent once again.

They have scored a total of only one run over the past 20 innings.

Geo Soto is batting .103, Derrek Lee is at .207, and Mike Fontenot is hitting .209.

Milton Bradley, who is still missing-in-action, has only one hit in 23 ABs.

But putting Hoffpauir in the outfield is not the answer.

I understand the need to add offense, and you can call me old school, but I think defense is important.

The Cubs are 8-0 when playing error-less baseball and 0-6 when making at least one error in a game.

Some happy anniversary.


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