Felix Pie came through bigtime for the Cubs in the top of the 15th with a two-out, two-run game winning single.
Ryan Dempster pitched seven solid innings, allowing only one hit, walking two and striking out five. What is more remarkable is that he allowed only one baserunner to get to the second and he retired 20 of the last 21 hitters he faced. He did not, get the win, however thanks to closer Kerry Wood’s failure to close the game out.
The Cubs are now 2-1 in extra inning games and have moved to 5-3 on the season.
The Cubs go for the sweep tonight at 7 E.T. Rich Hill faces off against Matt Morris.
After only two games, it became apparent to Cubs manager Lou Piniella that Alfonso Soriano can’t hit in the two hole.
Soriano has gone 0 for 9 in the first two games of the season with three strike outs.
The change isn’t a result of the Cubs dropping the first two games of the season. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the end of Spring Training, and we’ll go with it,” Piniella said. “Soriano is running better. We’ll put him in the leadoff hole, where he’s more comfortable, and let him hit there.”
Soriano has batted first all of his career. Last season the Cubs record was 69-56 when he batted in the lead off spot.
“I’ve batted leadoff all my career,” Soriano said. “I feel comfortable batting leadoff. It’s my first time batting second this year. But I’m seeing the same pitches. It’s not a big deal for me. I’m the same guy, batting leadoff, batting second, I’m the same guy.”
Soriano started the season off in the two spot to protect his legs. Last April, he missed some games due to a hamstring and was on the disabled list in August after pulling his right quad.
“I feel 100 percent,” Soriano said. “I have to play smart, be careful. In this weather, sometimes you feel good. I have to be careful.”
Soriano battled .308 when leading off. He is a caree .295 hitter. Soriano isn’t worried about having an off year.
Shortstop Ryan Theriot batted .300 in 34 games last year in the lead off spot while subbing for the injured Soriano. He doesn’t mind where he bats, just as long as he’s in the line up.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Theriot said. “It’s something we tinkered with a little bit last year. I embrace it. I think it’ll be good. For me, it’s a spot I’ve been in pretty much my whole career. It’s a spot I’m comfortable in, and we’ll see what happens.”
Quotes from: Soriano to move back to the top of line up
In Wednesday’s game, Felix Pie missed the cutoff man that cost the Cubs a run. Giovanni Soto made an ill-advised throw that sailed into centerfield. This is a repeat of last year where the Cubs struggle defensively early on.
This is something they work on for six and a half weeks at Spring Training. They work on making those throws from the outfield. They work on those throws from the plate to the infield. Yet, the Cubs looked like a bunch of little leaguers playing their first game.
It’s sickening. Alfonso Soriano is 0 for 9 with three strikeouts. He’s moving back to the lead-off spot for Thursday’s finale against the Brewers. And to make matters worse, Ryan Dempster is starting the game.
There’s no sense in throwing the season away yet. After all, there’s 160 more to go. It’s time to get a handle on the basics and play some good solid ball.
The Cubs dropped another game 8-2 against the Brewers Wednesday.
Fukudome went 0 for 3 drawing a walk. Derek Lee and Giovanni Soto connected for their first home runs of the season.
In post-game notes, Soriano will be moving back to the lead-off spot for tomorrow’s game.
Tomorrow’s line-up pits Ryan Demptster against Dempster in the finale.
The Cubs aren’t altering their line-up from Monday. They’re going to stick with the O-fers at the beginning:
I pulled this off of the Cubs Vine Line blog…
Kosuke Fukudome reached base in each of his four plate appearances Monday, including the three-run home run Michael reflected on in yesterday’s post.
According to Cubs historian and Vine Line contributor Ed Hartig, Fukudome is just the 12th player since 1956 to notch multiple hits and RBI in his Cubs debut. Of those 12, he was just the fifth to accomplish the feat in his major-league debut. He joins a list that includes Ron Santo (June 26, 1960 at Pittsburgh).
He was the first to homer in his Cubs debut since Henry Rodriguez on March 31, 1998 at Florida.
That’s pretty remarkable.
The Cubs dropped the home opener 4-3 in ten innings on Monday, but welcome to Chicago Kosuke Fukudome! I’m betting that today, he’s going to get a standing ovation in right field.
Carlos Zambrano continues his streak of not getting a decision (or a win) on opening day. He went out with cramps. He appears to be okay, just needs to drink more water. But he did look good, which is better than he has in his previous opening starts which at the time was over 18.00 ERA.
Kerry Wood celebrates his tenth year as a Cub (he is the longest serving current Cub). Wood didn’t pitch worth a **** in the ninth. But it doesn’t matter, Howry gets the loss in the end. The bullpen screwed it up once again.
But then again, you can’t soley blame the pitching. The Cubs did only scrape together five hits, three of which went to Fukudome.
Cubs play again today with Lilly taking the mound against Jeff Suppan.
Cubs announced that Kerry Wooder would be the closer Monday. They also announced that Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis will be the 4th and 5th starters.
I’m not sure that Dempster is the wisest choice for a starting pitcher. I’d prefer to see Lieber in a starting role.
Cubs play their first official game March 30 at home. Let’s hope it’s a warm one folks. Chicago weather in March can be downright "blisterly."