Can Cubs have some fun around here?
It’s another day game after a night game here at Wrigley, but the night game was in a different sport as everybody here seemed to have stayed up for the Blackhawks triple-overtime winner in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. There are a lot of happy humans here, and speaking of that, Hawks and NBC color analyst Eddie Olczyk will sing during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Cubs will try to win one from the Reds, who have taken 12 in a row from the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The 12 straight losses by the Cubs to the same opponent at Wrigley is a franchise record.
For today’s game, the Cubs will move Starlin Castro back up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He has been batting seventh or sixth.
“You dabbled with it a little bit, but obviously the offense isn’t scoring a whole lot with him down there,” said manager Dale Sveum. “It’s just kind of getting back to seeing where we were. He’s still a guy who can swing the bat and have all the confidence in the world he’ll come out of this. You need him up there than three or four times. Hopefully, he can get that fifth at-bat.”
After yesterday’s game, first baseman Anthony Rizzo said it looked like the team isn’t having any fun. Of course, that’s hard to do when you’re a season-worst 13 games under .500 at 25-38. The trick is making sure the attitude doesn’t go south along with the record.
“Offensively, especially, you try to make guys understand these things are in cycles and they go in cycles,” Sveum said. “You don’t use these things as excuses but we’ve faced some pretty good pitching lately and just grind out the at-bats, and all of a sudden, it starts coming. You do have to make an effort to do things like that as a manager.
“There’s nobody right now that’s stepping up and doing anything in any position of the lineup. Sometimes you get to the point where you just might want to pick the lineup out of a hat and see what happens.”
Here is the lineup, with hitting lines:
DeJesus, CF: .262/.322/.429
Castro, SS: 238/.276/.333
Rizzo, 1B: 248/.326/.463
Soriano, LF: .267/.301/.427
Schierholtz, RF: .293/.320/.539
Valbuena, 3B: 238/.357/.420
Castillo, C: 246/.294/.326
Barney, 2B: 203/.281/.314
Samardzija, P: 105/.150/.316
From the game notes: Cody Ransom’s homer Tuesday was the 12th by a Cubs third baseman, matching the total hit by Cubs third basemen last year … The Cubs are 18-17 against opponents outside their division but 7-21 against the NL Central. The White Sox also have 7 wins against their division, the AL Central … The Cubs have batted .158 (38-for-240) in their last eight home games dating to June 1 and are averaging 2.4 runs during that stretch. They have a .246 OBP and .267 slugging percentage in their last eight home games.
The Kane County Cougars were weathered out last night because of the storms, and Class AA Tennessee had the night off.
Class AAA Iowa won for the fourth time in five games, beating Oklahoma City 5-1. Chris Rusin was the winner. He worked 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and no runs while walking one and striking out three. He is 5-6 with a 3.38 ERA. Brian Bogusevic hit his seventh and eighth homers. He had 4 RBI and a stolen base. Junior Lake was 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base as he extended a hit streak to give games, during which he’s gone 10-for-21
Class A Daytona lost a doubleheader, falling 6-3 and 5-4 to Fort Myers. Ben Wells lost the first game, as he lasted 3.2 innings, giving up 5 hits and 5 runs, 3 earned. He’s 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA. Chadd Krist hit his first homer, and Jorge Soler was 2-for-3 with a double and a run. In Game 2, Matt Loosen suffered the loss, working 4 innings and giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. He’s 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA. Zeke DeVoss hit his third homer. John Andreoli was 3-for-5 with 2 doubles. The Florida State League added lefty Frank Del Valle to the all-star team.
Class A Boise opens its season Friday night at Eugene.