Cubs-Twins: Interleague Play Only Brings Chicago More Woes

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IJune 13, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 29:  Ted Lilly #30 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game on May 29, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Filed: June 12, 2009

Milton Bradley reacts to his eighth-inning blooper Friday (Cubbie Nation/file)

Click here for the photo gallery of Friday's game.

Twins starter Kevin Slowey dazzled for much of his six innings, and Minnesota took advantage of home runs by Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel to beat the Cubs 7-4 Friday afternoon.

Slowey would pick up his ninth win of the season, while losing Cubs starter Randy Wells continues the search for his first major league win.

Let's be frank. The sight of Alfonso Soriano manning second base Friday was officially a sign that things are on the brink in Cubbie Nation, and Lou Piniella is desperate. If you missed it, don't worry.

I can all but promise it won't be the last time you'll see it, as the Cubs look to sneak Micah Hoffpauir into more games, and hide the impotence that is their middle infield.

Personally, I find the idea of a 30-something Soriano (already a liability at the position) only slightly less palatable than the image of the $130 million man being taken out on a 4-6-3 double play.

I have to say though, I agree with Lou. Let him stand there a couple of games. Worst case, a week or two.

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You'll surely get more production out of a Hoffpauir/Soriano pairing than playing the Miles/Scales/Blanco tandem there.

But to the game which led to this move. I understand now how most other teams feel. The ballpark was packed (and I mean packed) with Twins fans. My friend Al Yellon over at Bleed Cubbie Blue thought there were 30-40 percent Twins fans in the crowd Friday.

I'm going to say it was an even split. They were loud, boisterous, and even a little obnoxious at times. Put a blue cap on them, stick them up at Miller Park, and they could have easily been confused for Cubs fans.

They got a really good show from their team though. Kevin Slowey was amazing. The guy looks to have an average fastball, and a real off-speed pitch, and he used it to keep the Cubs off-balance for most of his six innings of work. He'd strike out 10 on the day, many looking so bad they could only walk away with looks of disgust.

Joe Mauer would homer in the third, and the Twins would chase starter Randy Wells in the fourth, after he put two on to start the inning. Bad day for Wells. I thought he looked a touch fatigued, and the fastball was often high, a bad combination if there ever was one.

The Cubs would score a few runs today, highlighted by a two-run RBI double from Milton Bradley in the sixth. But they couldn't make up for the miscues and bad plays; often from Bradley himself.

First, he loses a ball in the sun in the seventh, allowing Jason Kubel to reach. Then, he misses what looked to be a very catchable ball hit by Michael Cuddyer, which would go for a double.

Then, to cap off the day, forgets the number of outs in the eighth, and throws the ball into the right field bleachers.

The funny part is, Bradley says he's not embarrassed about it, which says more to me about the situation than the plays themselves. But that's for another day, I guess.

Right now, this team has a host of other, bigger problems that they need to address. Quickly.

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