Lou Piniella doesn’t have the patience that he used to. That’s why after dropping 2 of 3 to the Astros, he vowed to make changes. The Cubs’ new look lineup was in full effect (cosmetically speaking) in the Big Apple to take on the equally struggling Mets.
Some changes included: Marlon Byrd moved to the leadoff spot. Jeff Baker slid into the 2 hole, Aramis Ramirez was dropped to 5th while Xavier Nady took over the clean up duties. Finally Geovany Soto was bumped to the 7th slot and Ryan Theriot moved to 8th.
Unfortuanlety for Lou, the changes didn’t make the impact that he was hoping for. Instead the offense was more of the same song and dance. Chicago was able to put runners on base all game, but struggled converting many of those runners into scores.
Randy Wells was on the bump for the Cubs and as always, he pitched well (no pun intended). Wells was shaky in the 5th, but only surrendered 1 run to stop the bleeding.
Luckily for Wells, the offense was able to scratch across a run in the next half inning to pull even at 1-1. Much like last year, Wells didn’t get the “W,” even though he deserved one. Wells went 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 5.
Rookie left-hander James Russell (0-1) relieved Wells and surrendered his 1st 2 runs of his career. Russell put a man on base by hitting Jose Reyes on an o-2 count. Then, 2 batters later, Russell served up a 2 run bomb to former Cub, Angel Pagan to make it 3-1 Mets.
Lou then went to the ‘pen again, calling upon former Notre Dame receiver: Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija didn’t surprise anyone when he walked the 1st batter he saw, and promptly allowed another run. Piniella saw enough of “The Shark.” Sweet Lou opted for Sean Marshall to get out of the 7th. 1 hit and 1 wild pitch later the score was 6-1.
After the bullpen meltdown in the 7th, the Cubs mailed it in to extend their losing streak to 3.
Alfonso Soriano continues to irk Cub fans around the world with his lazy attitude. For someone struggling as bad as he is, you wouldn’t think Soriano would be hot dogging it like normal. In the 2nd, Soriano hit a towing fly ball that looked like it had potential to leave the park, but instead of running hard just in case, “Sori” admired his non-home run (and added a Sosa hop) and was held to a double instead of a 3 bagger. He didn’t score come around to score.
Soriano also went on record that he would eliminate his patented hop when “attempting” to play defense. That promise didn’t last very long. On a fly ball forcing Soriano to run in towards the infield, he jumped on the opportunity to make the hopping catch.
Final Score: Cubs (5-8) 1 – Mets (5-8) 6
WP: Fernando Nieve (1-1)
LP: James Russell (0-1)
The Cubs continue their 4 game set vs. the Mets tomorrow night. Probable pitchers include Carlos Zambrano for the Cubs and Mike Pelfrey of the Mets.