The Cubs traveled to Minnesota on Friday for the second part of interleague play. The two starters did not last long in pitcher-friendly Target Field. Travis Wood stared for the Cubs, still searching for his first win as a Cub. P.J. Walters started for the Twins, he made his ML debut with the Cubs when he came up with the Cardinals.
The first inning was a good one for the Cubs. Castro tripled to deep right center and was driven in by a sac fly by David Dejesus. Next up was Alfonso Soriano and he hit a ball that went about 440 ft to center field. In the last couple weeks, Soriano has been dropping bombs like it is his job, which is convenient because it is.
Travis Wood gave up a run in the second on a base hit by Darin Mastroianni (say that ten times fast or just once and pronounce it correctly). This was due to a big error by Ian Stewart. The leadoff hitter reached on an infield single, but it was a ball that hit Stewart right in the glove and he dropped the soft liner. Then in the fourth Trevor Plouffe homered to left center and just like that the game was tied.
The Cubs immediately responded with an RBI single by Reed Johnson and then a two-run homer by Starlin Castro, his fifth of the year. Still think we should trade him? Nonsense. All of these runs were scored with nobody out, but the Cubs would do no more damage in the inning.
The Twins responded with a Jamey Carroll double to score one in the bottom of the fifth. That made it 5-3 Cubs going into the 6th. That would be the end of both starting pitchers, but not the end of the scoring.
The Twins jumped on Randy Wells in the sixth and scored two runs on 4 hits and a walk. Asencio got the Cubs out of the jam with runners on second and third, but the Twins already tied it up.
Ryan Doumit, former Pirates great, homered to give the Twins the lead. James Russell, who had been reliable, gave up the lead.
Alfonso Soriano, who might literally burst into flames he is so hot, hit a go-ahead two run BOMB. That’s right all caps. It went into the third deck. Read that again. Third Deck. Soriano is dropping bombs like it is his job, still convenient. Sell high anyone? 7-6 Cubs into the ninth.
Shawn Camp came in to try to shut it down. Willingham lead off with a single and then Justin Morneau hit a ball that is out in every, but San Diego and Minnesota. In Minnesota it was a triple, a triple for a man who might be running backwards. He is that slow. Man on third nobody out. Camp struck out the next, then intentionally walked another. First and third one out. Camp got a ground ball to second base and Barney cut down the run at home. Camp got the last out on a fly ball. Did somebody say free baseball?
In the tenth Dejesus lead off with a single. The next two flied out and then Mather reached on a swinging bunt single, but they were both stranded.
Camp stayed in for the tenth and walked the first man. Nothing is more frustrating than that. Maybe when you want to make a sandwich and you don’t have any bread. Still though, leadoff walk is worse. The Twins bunted to get a man in scoring position. Then a swinging bunt put men on first and third with one out. Willingham singled down the left field line and that was it.
The main take away from this game for me was how well Soriano is playing. He might actually play himself into a tradable player if the Cubs eat the contract like Joey Chestnut eats hot dogs. That means eat it fast and eat a lot of it, it is just easier that way. The Cubs will probably start wheeling and dealing soon because their season is pretty much done because they have lost 16 of 23. It has been hard to watch, but if we didn’t keep on then we wouldn’t be Cub fans.